Government review could change audit thresholds

Audit thresholds for charities could be changed for the second time in a year after a Government pledge to review new legislation on the issue.

Thresholds were raised earlier this year in line with the Charities Act so that only charities with gross incomes of more than £500,000 had to be audited. The previous figure was £250,000.

But the Government and the Charity Commission have now announced a new review of all thresholds - including audit and regulation - which is due to start in the autumn. The feedback from this is expected to include recommendations for the thresholds to be raised even higher.

Charity accountants are concerned about the potential for mass confusion. Nick Brooks, head of not-forprofit business at Kingston Smith accountants, described the situation as ludicrous.

"We were consulted about this two years ago and we cannot believe that the sector will have changed its mind in the intervening period," he said.

In a separate move, the Office of the Third Sector has launched a consultation on audit, reporting and accounting regulations for charities in order to implement parts of the Charities Act and the Companies' Act 2006.

The consultation will cover issues such as legal arrangements for small charitable companies, preparation and audit of group accounts and guidelines on whistleblowing duties. The consultation period ends on 14 September.

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