Charities will have to abide by a single Sorp from 1 January

The charity Sorp committee has said all charities will move to a Statement of Recommended Practice based on the FRS 102 reporting standard for reporting periods starting on or after that date

Financial reporting: single Sorp from new year
Financial reporting: single Sorp from new year

A single Statement of Recommended Practice that all charities will have to abide by will apply for reporting periods that begin on or after 1 January.

The charity Sorp committee, which advises on the development of the Sorp for charities, announced that all charities would need to move to a new Sorp based on the FRS 102 Financial Reporting Standard, one of two that have been in use.

The other standard, based on the Financial Reporting Standard for Smaller Entities, has typically been used by smaller organisations, including medium-sized charities below the audit threshold.

The committee confirmed that the reporting standard based on the FRSSE would be withdrawn.

It also agreed to amend FRS 102 to explain that "a small entity choosing to apply ‘full’ FRS 102 is not required to present a cash-flow statement".

The FRSSE standard made statements of cash flows optional and applied to charities meeting two of three criteria: a gross income of £6.5m or less; total assets not exceeding £3.26m; and 50 staff or fewer.

It also agreed to remove the link in the definition of larger charities to the statutory audit threshold so that the Sorp would remain relevant if the threshold changed in any jurisdiction.

A threshold of £500,000 in the UK and €500,000 in the Republic of Ireland was adopted.

The committee’s decision came in the wake of a consultation in the summer of 2015 after the Financial Reporting Council, which sets financial reporting standards, decided to withdraw the FRSSE.

Minutes from the Sorp committee’s meeting on 14 October, which were released last week, show that 23 of the 24 respondents to the consultation agreed to adopt FRS 102 for all charities.

A spokesman for the Charity Commission said the move from two Sorps to one had been widely anticipated and responses to the consultation "were overwhelmingly in support of the adoption of the one Sorp based on FRS 102".

A spokesman for the Charity Finance Group, which is represented on the Sorp Committee by its chief executive, Caron Bradshaw, said it supported the overall decision to replace the FRSSE with FRS 102, with the option to omit the statement of cash flows for small charities.

"We believe that this will simplify the system for charities and will provide stability for charity reporting," the spokesman said.

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