A fifth of trustee reports 'are poor'

More than a fifth of charities produce poor annual trustees' reports, according to a Charity Commission study.

The regulator looked at 600 sets of reports and accounts and spoke to the charities involved. It found that 23 per cent of the reports were poor.

Small charities' reports were particularly bad: 62 per cent of charities with incomes below £100,000 did not include key information or documents.

The commission also found that many trustees did not think it was their responsibility to write the trustees' report, leaving accountants to do the job instead.

The charities that took part got feedback on their reports. Joanne Cronin, senior accountant at the commission, said the findings would be used to help promote best practice.

Last month, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator concluded in its first annual report that small charities' reporting standards were low (Third Sector Online, 3 September).

 

Main Findings

 

- 23 per cent of charities surveyed produced poor-quality trustees' reports and accounts.

- Bigger charities tended to produce better reports.

- 26 per cent of reports did not include reserves levels.

- 14 per cent of charities sent the same report as the previous year.

- Some trustees thought it was not their responsibility to write the trustees' report.

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