Call for a common accounting standard

Overseas aid finance charity Mango says NGOs can't show how their money is spent abroad

Charities helping victims of the Haiti earthquake are wasting time and money because there is no international accounting standard for third sector organisations, according to a charity that supports aid agencies.

Tim Boyes-Watson, director of Mango, which provides financial management support to charities operating overseas, said the annual reports of charities from other countries often gave no accurate picture of their finances. It was also difficult for UK charities to give feedback on money they were spending in partnership with non-UK organisations, he said.

"Because everybody uses their own system, it's very difficult for UK charities to show how their money is spent abroad," he said. "What's needed is an international accounting standard for not-for-profits."

At present, he said charities had to develop a new bespoke accounting system with foreign partners every time there was an international emergency.

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