The Association of Charity Independent Examiners is to appoint a paid director and full-time administrator to spearhead a massive membership drive.
The association says that it is responding to an expected legal change in the forthcoming Charities Bill that will raise the audit threshold for charities from £250,000 to £500,000. This will mean many charities will not have to have their accounts professionally audited. But they will be subject to a requirement to have them independently examined by someone outside the charity.
Independent examination is less onerous than a full audit but involves more than the charity's treasurer presenting the accounts in the annual report.
"This isn't something that can be done amateurishly. It needs to be professional," said the association's governing council member Adrian Randall. "The Government has said that independent examiners should be professionally qualified. So there will be a greater role for the Association of Charity Independent Examiners."
Randall said that membership is intended to show that examiners know something about charities and accounting. The association offers training and qualifications.