Most charities falling short of public benefit reporting requirements
Most charities are failing to fully meet the requirement to report on their public benefit, according to new research by the regulator, and most small charities struggle to produce annual accounts of acceptable quality.
The Charity Commission analysed around 220 sets of charities’ accounts, split between the March 2012 and 2013 financial years. It found that only 27 per cent of accounts in the 2012 sample and only 35 per cent of those in the 2013 sample fully met the legal requirement to report on the charity’s public benefit.
Since 2008 charities have been required to formally report on their public benefit. At a minimum, trustee annual reports must include a report of the activities undertaken to further charitable purposes for public benefit, and a statement on whether trustees have had due regard to the commission’s guidance on public benefit.
In a separate report the commission used the same sample to analyse the overall quality of trustees’ annual reports and accounts, to assess how useful they are for users and how closely they comply with legal requirements.