Four charity regulators launch Sorp consultation

The new Sorp will be the first to include all four charity regulators in the UK and Ireland

The four charity regulators in the UK and Ireland have launched a consultation on reforming the Statement of Recommended Practice for charities.

The consultation, which was launched yesterday and will run for 10 weeks until 4 February 2019, is seeking views on the best way to reform the Sorp’s accounting standards and ensure they remain relevant for the charity sector.

The Sorp-making body has recently been expanded to include the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland and the Charities Regulatory Authority for the Republic of Ireland, as well as the Charity Commission for England and Wales and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.

The consultation will be overseen by an independent chair, Professor Gareth Morgan, and a summary of responses will be published before the end of April.

The new Sorp, which covers financial reporting, auditing practices and actuarial practices in the charity sector, will be the first to cover all four charity law jurisdictions.

The CCNI and the Irish regulator have been observer members of the Sorp Committee, which advises on the creation of the Sorp, since 2010.

Sarah Atkinson, director of policy, planning and communications at the Charity Commission, said: "In order for charity to thrive, charities need to demonstrate that they meet the legitimate expectations of the public in everything they do.

"It is therefore vital that the process for developing the accounting framework inspires confidence and enables charities to report clear, reader-friendly information."

Judith Hayhow, head of support services at the OSCR, said: "If the Charities Sorp isn’t right, the accounts that charities produce won’t be right for those who need to use them.

"That’s why we as regulators are committed to opening up and inviting feedback on the way in which the Sorp is developed."

Punam McGookin, head of charity services at the CCNI, said: "We look forward to receiving responses and working collaboratively with our counterparts to create a high-quality reporting and accounting framework for charities across the UK and Ireland."

Tom Malone, head of compliance and enforcement at the Charities Regulatory Authority for the Republic of Ireland, said: "With the accounting framework now being used across different jurisdictions, getting the process right for the development of future Sorps will be vital. That’s why hearing back from stakeholders is so important."

The full consultation document can be found here.

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