Charity Commission updates financial guidance for trustees

Its new CC25 reflects recent changes in the sector and should, says the regulator, be more readable

The Charity Commission has updated its CC25 financial guidance for trustees to make it easier to read.

CC25, which is called Charity Finances: Trustee Essentials and was first published in 2011, covers common areas of managing a charity’s resources and finances.

There are no major changes to trustees’ legal duties in the new CC25, but the guidance has been updated to reflect recent changes in areas such as fundraising and to make the document more accessible and readable.

The updated guidance is part of a wider review by the commission of how it supports trustees.

Paula Sussex, chief executive of the commission, said: "Robust financial management is vital to ensure that charities are able to meet the needs of their beneficiaries and to increase public trust and confidence in the charitable sector. We’ve seen in our case work that weak financial governance can be extremely destabilising for charities, affecting their ability to operate and leaving them vulnerable to fraud and abuse.

"It is vital that trustees are familiar with the charity’s governing document, understand the finances, ensure control and procedures are in place and work, and ask the right – and sometimes difficult – questions."

Sussex said the commission was trying to make the guidance clearer for trustees and provide a "go-to financial publication that trustees and charity staff can refer to, to address any knowledge gaps or get assurances on whether they are doing the right thing".

Caron Bradshaw, chief executive of the Charity Finance Group, said: "As we face choppy waters with continued funding pressures and the risk of economic instability, it is more important than ever that charities have the capacity to manage their finances and adapt their business models. Accountants and auditors have a critical role to play. Financial professionals and charities must keep working together to ensure that our sector has the skills and support they need to meet future challenges.

"I warmly welcome the collaborative approach to CC25 from the Charity Commission, which is the right approach."

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