Charities against fraud: new web site launch

Bevan & Buckland AccountantsCharities against fraud: new web site launch

The Charity Commission, in collaboration with members of the Charity Sector Counter Fraud Group, has today launched www.charitiesagainstfraud.org.uk, a new website dedicated to helping charities in the fight against fraud. It provides an initial point of reference for trustees, staff and volunteers who want to find out more about tackling fraud in their charity, and includes guidance, top tips, case studies, as well as signposting users to other organisations tackling charity fraud.

The launch of the new website marks the start of Charity Fraud Awareness Week (24-28 October). According to the National Crime Agency, ‘individuals, the private sector and the charity sector lose billions of pounds each year to fraud’. The campaign – led by the Commission and the Fraud Advisory Panel – will be reminding charities how to limit their fraud risk. It aims to ensure that trustees and charity staff can recognise the warning signs of fraud and shape an effective and proportionate response.

Top tips to reduce your charity’s vulnerability to fraud include:

1.    Develop a strong counter fraud culture where staff are encouraged to play their part in the fight against fraud.

2.    Have in place and robustly apply internal financial controls.

3.    Encourage staff to voice concerns.

4.    Have a fraud response plan so that everyone knows what to do and when – stay calm but act quickly when incidents do occur.

5.    Ensure you report incidents to Action Fraud and to the Commission, via the dedicated reporting facility: RSI@charitycommission.gsi.gov.uk.

David Kirk, Chairman of the Fraud Advisory Panel, commented:
Fraud presents a serious threat to every organisation but unfortunately charities can be particularly vulnerable due to the high number of financial transactions they undertake. Fraud can manifest itself in many different forms and is constantly evolving – which is why we are urging everyone working with charities and not-for-profit organisations to join together and stop fraud against charities. Charity staff and trustees must stay alert to the risks and understand how to manage them.

Diana Isiye, Head of Counter Fraud at Oxfam GB said:
We know that charities can fall victim to fraud. Working together to encourage trustees and staff to start a conversation about fraud and share their experiences is a crucial way to ensure the sector is better equipped to meet the growing challenge posed by fraud.

Michelle Russell, Director of Investigations Monitoring and Enforcement at the Charity Commission added:
Fraud can thrive in an environment of weak governance and poor financial management, so we are reminding charity staff and trustees, as part of Charity Fraud Awareness Week, to seek out the good practice guidance that is widely available and to review their charity’s financial controls and procedures. We’re keen to work closely with charities to improve their fraud resilience and hope that the new site will enable charities to access and learn from the best practice that’s already out there.

Charity Fraud Awareness Week will conclude with the second National Charity Fraud Conference in London on 28 October, which will include panel discussions and presentations from Michelle Russell and Commission board member, Mike Ashley. Two regional events will follow in December and January for those not able to attend Friday’s conference. The Fraud Advisory Panel and the Commission will also be producing a conference report, summarising issues and conclusions and reminding trustees to maintain a counter-fraud focus.

If you’d like to get involved and help spread the word, a supporter’s pack is available and you can follow #CharityFraud on Twitter for live updates.

2016 South Wales Charity Conference

Bevan & Buckland Accountants logo2016 South Wales Charity Conference

SCVS, Neath Port Talbot CVS & CAVS would like to invite you to the 2016 South Wales Charity Conference being held on the 10 June 2016 at the new Wales Air Ambulance site in Dafen, Llanelli. The theme for this year’s conference is cybercrime and fraud. charity-conference

Our guest speaker is Kevin Weekes from Zen Solutions and there will be several workshops hosted by Bevan & Buckland, JCP Solicitors and MGB PR.

Refreshments and lunch are provided.

Please see the attached brochure for full details of the day and booking instructions.

For booking queries, please contact Christina Coates on 01792 529630 or by email christina.coates@jcpsolicitors.co.uk

For the full event details: Please read this PDF document

We look forward to seeing you on the 10 June 2016.

Event location
Wales Air Ambulance

Ty Elusen
Llanelli Gate
Dafen
SA14 8LQ

jcp-and-bb

New and simplified Gift Aid Declaration

Bevan & Buckland Accountants logoHMRC has just released a new and simplified Gift Aid Declaration.

This has particular implications for churches holding stocks of paper Gift Aid forms and envelopes.

The new model declaration has now been published on gov.uk. Links to the model declaration and enduring model declaration can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/gift-aid-declarations-claiming-tax-back-on-donations

The new declaration will apply to all new donations. Declarations that are already in place do not need to be updated.

HMRC recommends that all charities, including churches, use the wording of the HMRC-approved model declaration. However, charities remain free to adapt the model declaration, for example to include their own branding or additional messages.

Please note that Churches holding stocks of printed materials using the previous model declaration may only continue to use these until 5 April 2016.  From 6 April 2016, the new declaration must be used. Incorrect declarations may result in Gift Aid claims being invalid.

Links to samples of the new Declarations can be found here: http://acat.uk.com/news.html

If you require further information please contact Harri Lloyd Davies on 01792 410100.

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Swansea Tel: 01792 410100

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Haverfordwest Tel: 01437 760666

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Pembroke Tel: 01646 682383

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Carmarthen Tel: 01267 233115

Bevan & Buckland Accountants St David’s Tel: 01437 720352

What reserves should a charity hold?

Bevan & Buckland Accountants logoBevan & Buckland video series No 3 – What reserves should a charity hold?

This is the third in a series of six short videos that have been developed to provide businesses with essential advice across various key areas.
The videos will feature an expert insight into business valuation, research and development tax credits, auto enrolment, financial advice, tax investigations and charities.

Bevan & Buckland Charities Partner Alison Vickers explains what reserves should a charity hold?

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Swansea Tel: 01792 410100

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Haverfordwest Tel: 01437 760666

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Pembroke Tel: 01646 682383

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Carmarthen Tel: 01267 233115

Bevan & Buckland Accountants St David’s Tel: 01437 720352

Bevan & Buckland welcome four new team members

Bevan & Buckland logoEveryone at Bevan & Buckland is very pleased to welcome the arrival of four new team members. They are vital additions to the continued expansion of the firm in Swansea.

bevan and buckland new starters

Bethan, Chris, Caroline, Kayleigh

Bethan Murphy joins our Business Services Department “I studied A-level Maths, Business Studies, Physics and WBQ in St. Joseph’s Comprehensive & Sixth Form Centre Port Talbot. While at Bevan & Buckland I intend to complete the AAT course and gain the qualification”.

We are very pleased to welcome back Christopher McCarley. He worked with us last year on a temporary contract in our Tax Department and now joins our Audit Department to further progress with his qualifications and experience. “I went to school at Bishop Vaughan and then to Swansea University where I graduated with a BA 1st class Hons in Geography. I’ve been studying the ACCA books independently since finishing university. I plan to qualify as a chartered/certified accountant (not sure which exams I’m going to sit yet) within the next 4 years.

Caroline Hopkins is the newest member of the Audit Team “After completing my A levels, I attended Polytechnic of Wales and gained a HND in Business and Finance. I then started working in a Chartered Accountants in Neath, where I stayed for 22 years until joining Bevan and Buckland. During which time I studied for my ACCA qualification, I qualified 8 years ago and I’m now a FCCA”.

Kayleigh Howells joins our Tax Department. “I have recently graduated with a first at Swansea University where I studied Accounting & Finance. My contract here is 6 months in tax with a view to move to Audit in February 2013. In 2013 I would like to start my professional exams but still undecided whether to do ACA or ACCA”.

Here at Bevan & Buckland we are always on the lookout for new staff. Please feel free to send us your CV even if there are no vacancies advertised, we do look through all applications and keep copies on our jobs database for possible use in the future.

Simply email jobs@bevanbuckland.co.uk to apply.   

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Swansea Tel: 01792 410100

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Haverfordwest Tel: 01437 760666

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Pembroke Tel: 01646 682383

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Carmarthen Tel: 01267 233115

Bevan & Buckland Accountants St David’s Tel: 01437 720352

Free training on charity governance issues

Bevan & Buckland logoCHARITY GOVERNANCE

The ICAEW and the Charity Commission have recently completed a pilot project which offered free reviews of financial controls and risk awareness to charities. 

A summary of the findings throws up some interesting issues which are likely to impact on charities throughout Wales.  The twenty five charities involved in the pilot project were all relatively small charities with income of less than five million and many of them with income of less than a quarter of a million.  Currently ninety nine per cent of charities in Wales have income of less than £5m.  Their review found a number of interesting issues, many of which are likely to impact charities throughout Wales at present.  Some of their key findings were:- 

  • Many charities rely on one main source of income and are currently looking to diversify their funding sources.  There are several cases where a charity was reliant on one donor and this potentially was causing independence issues.
     
  • Many of the charities had found, in recent years, there was increasing competition on the high streets for charity shops meaning the income from this source was being eroded.
     
  • Several charities had been forced to reduce staffing levels and replace them with volunteers in order to cut costs.  
     
  • Many of the charities found that, trustees in particular, required additional training on financial management.

The review went on to assess the charities’ performance in the major governance topics.  The major topics are strategy and planning, risk awareness and management, internal financial controls, fraud and financial abuse management and information and communication of finances.  Their findings found out that 58% of the charities had some more significant gaps in these areas which could be improved.

We, at Bevan and Buckland, have now been working for a number of years with our charity clients to improve governance and offer free annual training on a number of governance issues.  If you would like to book free training sessions, please get in touch by either e-mailing charities@bevanbuckland.co.uk or calling Harri Lloyd Davies on 01792 410104

http://www.bevanbuckland.co.uk/sectors/charities

In loving memory…

More and more of us are donating our money in remembrance of a loved one. Known as Memoriam Fundraising this is becoming a major fundraising source for charities and many expect it to outperform legacies within the next few years.

Harri Lloyd Davies

Harri Lloyd Davies Partner

Many people want to mark the death of someone they cared for with a tribute of some description, for many Charities this can become an ongoing source of income and even a possible legacy.

 It is predicted that Charities will lose between 7-10% of their income over the next four years so more and more of our Charity clients are using tribute or memoriam funds as a source of fundraising.

These Tribute or Memoriam funds serve a number of functions, not least as a focus point for the bereaved. Research shows that they give donors a connection to the person they have lost, providing a living memory and a purpose in raising funds to remember them. Many donors go on to raise regularly for the fund that they feel they have ownership and responsibility for – a living tribute of sorts. This type of fund can often also ultimately result in a legacy.

Many charities have introduced different versions of a tribute fund scheme and others have tried different versions with memorial pages. The growth in social media sites such as Facebook and JustGiving has also empowered individuals to set up their own tribute and memorial sites. An added advantage is that they have also simplified the administration of gift aid for individuals and charities.

In 2010 there were 8000 memoriam pages on the JustGiving website generating gifts of almost £8million. Kevin Kibble, chief executive of children’s charity the Caspari Foundation recently predicted that this would increase to about 30,000 pages by 2021 and generate about £27 m per year through JustGiving alone.

Memoriam fundraising will be one of the topics at our forthcoming Fundraising Seminar by renowned fundraising expert David Poppitt on 22 September 2011, full details and how to reserve your free place can be found here.

You can also get more advice by following @bevanbuckland on twitter or register for our email newsletter

Charities benefit from the Budget

There were several pieces of good news coming out of the Budget for Charities explains Charities partner Harri Lloyd Davies.
The first is the simplification of gift aid rules.  Gift aid on small donations which total up to £5,000 per annum can now be claimed without filling in all of the paperwork.  This should reduce the administrative burden and help charities who have not taken full advantage gift aid previously to increase their income.

The Government has offered fundraisers and charity finance professionals a bit less of a headache when it comes to saying thank you to donors, or incentivising them to give in the first place. The rise in Gift Aid benefits limit to £2,500 from £500 offers greater flexibility for charities in the scale of packages they offer their major donors whilst still being able to claim Gift Aid.

There was also a new relief to encourage people to leave more of their estates to charity in their will.  A 10% reduction in the inheritance tax rate for all estates that leave 10% or more  to charity should be a useful tool in helping charities to increase their legacy income.