GuideStar data 'could confuse rather than clarify'

Charities are being urged to make sure they are content with the way summaries of their accounts are presented on the charity information website GuideStar UK.

The move follows complaints from a number of charities, including the British Heart Foundation, which says GuideStar data could lead to "more confusion rather than increased clarity".

Coram Family has also claimed its entry is inaccurate. "It has put in three times the true cost of fundraising," said Biman Mittra, the charity's finance director.

Les Hems, director of development at GuideStar, said charities with any problems should get in touch. "We're as keen as anyone to make information as accurate as possible," he said.

GuideStar had consulted the sector about creating information summaries that are understandable to the public, Hems added. "Larger charities can have very complex finances," he said. "We had to reduce this to three or four categories."

GuideStar has secured finance for another year from private philanthropic sources, Hems revealed.

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