Statement by the Charity Commission for England and Wales

As the independent regulator for charitable activity, the Charity Commission aims to promote public trust and confidence by:

  • enabling charities to maximise their impact,
  • ensuring compliance with legal obligations,
  • encouraging innovation and effectiveness, and
  • championing the work of the sector.

In furtherance of these aims The Charity Commission and The Accounting Standards Board has issued a Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) for charities. The Statement is a substantial document of some 131 pages. LaiPeters & Co have considerable experience in the preparation and audit of financial accounts to this Accounting Standard.

The Charity Commission issued the following statement when the Standard was published:

"The Charity Commission is pleased to publish this revised edition of the Charities SORP.

The accounting recommendations of this SORP are based on Financial Reporting Standards currently in issue and have been developed in conjunction with the Charities SORP committee, an advisory committee made up of charity finance directors, charity auditors, academics, charity advisers and charity regulators. The committee is also structured to reflect the different charity jurisdictions of the UK.

Sector involvement has been a central part of producing this SORP. The research, input and feedback provided by the sector and the SORP Committee has informed each stage of its development. The resulting document provides a platform for transparent and consistent reporting by charities. The Commission would like to thank the SORP Committee, and all those who responded to the consultation on the exposure draft as well as all those who prepared research papers and publications that have informed this SORP’s development.

This revision creates a new focus for charity reporting, building on existing SORP principles and recommendations. It provides a framework that enables charities to explain what they aim to do, how they go about it and what they achieve. It does so in a way that pulls together narrative and financial reporting into a coherent package focused on activities undertaken.

We, in the UK, are fortunate in benefiting from a dynamic and energetic charity sector that encompasses a huge diversity in terms of size of charity and the activities they undertake. Retaining and enhancing the high reputation of the sector is a responsibility that we share with the sector. This SORP has a key role to play in this respect by assisting charities in providing financial information about their activities and resources that is of interest to many people and to meet legal requirements that such accounts give a “true and fair” view. Dated 4 March 2005"