Charity Commission and Financial Reporting Council consult on digital filing of accounts

Charities are being asked technical questions in a bid to devise a workable system for digital data collection; the consultation runs until 8 December

Digital filing: a step closer
Digital filing: a step closer

The Charity Commission and the Financial Reporting Council have launched a consultation as part of a move towards allowing charities to file digital accounts.

The commission said that enabling annual data to be filed digitally could reduce administration costs, particularly for those charities that also have to file accounts with Companies House, and enable data within accounts to be analysed more easily.

The consultation, which was launched yesterday, asks technical questions about a charity taxonomy, or classification system, that will define the computer-readable tags that identify pieces of financial data in accounts.

The regulator said that 70 per cent of companies already filed digital accounts with Companies House, and 35,000 charities filed accounts with the commission and Companies House.

Nigel Davies, head of accountancy services at the Charity Commission, said the consultation was an early step towards enabling charities to file their accounts digitally.

"If we can make filing digital accounts possible, it will reduce administration for many charities while also opening up charity data, not just for us but for those with a keen interest in sector trends and data," he said.

"I hope charity finance professionals will engage with our joint consultation and move us closer to making the option of digital filing a reality."

The commission said the option to file accounts by PDF would remain, but it noted the popularity of digital filing by companies with Companies House and wanted charities to benefit from having this option.

The regulator said it expected to set out more detailed proposals later this year on how charities could file their accounts digitally.

To take part in the consultation, which runs until 8 December, click here.

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