Cross-border focus of new guide to Charities Act

A network of UK accountants and lawyers has produced a guide to help Welsh and English charities understand the new financial reporting requirements of the Charities Act.

The UK200Group report contains information about changes to accounting procedures, reporting standards and external scrutiny of accounts. A section on fluctuations in the charity investment market includes advice on diversification strategies and ethical investments.

The report also contains specialist information for cross-border organisations - English or Welsh charities that have branch offices or property in Scotland.

These groups are now obliged to comply with Scottish charity regulations as well as the law for England and Wales.

"This is an intelligent, plain-English guide," said Mike Procter, partner and head of the not-for-profit sector at accountancy practice FW Stephens.

"We felt that the UK200Group firms represented quite a sizeable cross-section of the not-for-profit sector and that the individual companies wouldn't have been able to produce such a report on their own.

"This guide is particularly relevant for cross-border charities, which are facing a nightmare of dual regulation. There are similarities in English and Scottish legislation on definitions of issues such as public benefit and how to operate as a charity, but they are not the same."

Procter said that the UK and Scottish charity regulators were discussing how to establish common ground.

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