HM Treasury urged to act now on NHS charity accounts

Leading accountant Nick Brooks wants progress on talks about consolidating charities' assets

If the Treasury does not take action, NHS charities' assets might be consolidated into NHS balance sheets despite an agreement that this would not happen, an expert close to the issue has warned.

The Charity Commission and the Association of NHS Charities successfully lobbied the Government to delay the application of a new accounting standard that would make it necessary for NHS charities' assets to be recorded on the balance sheets of their parent NHS trusts.

Charity representatives won exemption from the standard until April 2011 and a promise from the Treasury that it would look into a long-term solution (Third Sector Online, 5 February).

But Nick Brooks, head of not-for-profit at the specialist charity accountancy firm Kingston Smith, said that the Treasury had not yet arranged a meeting almost three months later.

"I understand why, because they've had a lot of other priorities," he said. "But this might take a long time to solve. It has previously been suggested that the solution would be to change trusteeship arrangements for these charities, which I understand would take a long time."

The Treasury was unable to comment before Third Sector went to press.

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