Consultation asks how accounting rules should be applied

The Office of the Third Sector has launched a consultation on how accountancy and reporting provisions outlined in the Charities Act 2006 should be implemented and supported by regulations.

The changes, which the Government hopes to implement for financial years beginning in 2008, include harmonising the audit and independent examination requirements for company and non–company charities, providing a statutory framework for the preparation and filing of group accounts and instituting a clearer whistle-blowing duty and protection for auditors.

They also include a requirement for trustees' annual reports to include information on charities' public benefit, and an update to account requirements for common investment fund charities.

Charity Commission chief executive Andrew Hind said the proposals would create a “level playing field” for the audit and examination of company and non-company charities, and give legal recognition to the group structures that charities now often adopt.

“The proposals simplify the scrutiny framework and give a boost to accountability by setting out proposals for how the public benefit of a charity’s work might be reflected in a charity’s annual report,” he said.

The consultation will run until 14 September. The consultation documents can be downloaded from the Office of the Third Sector’s website.

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