FINANCE NEWS: Research project to offer new approach to cost comparison

A new method of analysing accounts, which will provide the public with a more realistic means of comparing charities' performances, could be available in six months.

Paul Palmer, professor of charity finance at South Bank University, and Les Hems, director of the Institute of Philanthropy at University College London, will present a draft report on their Pipeline Project to the joint NCVO and Charity Commission conference on benchmarking on 19 April.

The research could lead to a "more meaningful

alternative to the controversial Directory of Social Change method of performance analysis, which uses the SORP.

The team analysed 2,000 sets of charity accounts and consulted the sector's leading finance directors in developing their proposals. Focus groups were set up comprising finance director from cancer, homelessness, overseas and children's charities. Leading charity auditors were also asked for their input.

Palmer said the research would produce a realistic way of analysing core indicators such as fund-raising and administrative costs.

Analysis, p12.

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