Plans to cut red tape for charitable companies

A Cabinet Office report says companies could submit a single set of accounts to Companies House and the Charity Commission

Charity Commission
Charity Commission

Charitable companies could submit a single set of accounts and annual returns to their regulators under proposals to cut red tape, according to a Cabinet Office report.

Companies House and the Charity Commission are considering the issue and the commission will consult on the change in the summer, according to the Civil Society Red Tape Taskforce’s report Unshackling Good Neighbours – One Year On, published this week.

The report, which looks at proposals made a year ago to reduce the regulatory burden for charities, says Companies House and the commission use different software. The report says it is unclear whether the format is suitable for charities.

At present, charitable companies prepare their accounts, then convert them to the format.

The report says the two regulators use charities’ information differently: the commission uses it for scrutiny and to update its register; Companies House confirms factual data such as names and addresses.

It says these differences add to the complexity of developing a single portal for the two regulators but do not preclude it. The report says: "A business case is under development to ensure that any changes are made following a full appraisal of the benefits."

It also says the School for Social Entrepreneurs is working with the London Voluntary Service Council and other trade bodies in London to develop a joint platform for bidding for public sector contracts that would help smaller organisations.

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