Money matters - David Ainsworth's round-up of what's happening in the finance world

Ethical investment, administration costs and software feature this week.

- It is becoming easier for charities to find ethical investment targets in the FTSE 100, according to the Ethical Investment Research Service. The charity found big improvements in environmental policy, human rights and supply chain management. "Our research shows encouraging signs," said Mark Robertson, communications and development manager at Eiris.

- New Philanthropy Capital says charities should budget for more administration work rather than less. A report by the charity said that administration costs were a poor measure of how well charities were run, and they should not be used to judge financial effectiveness. "NPC has rarely come across a charity that it thought was spending too much on administration," said the report.

- Microsoft accounting software could become available to charities for a nominal fee later this year. The software giant has redesigned its traditional accounting programs to suit charities' regulatory requirements, and intends to make one or more available through the Charity Technology Exchange, run by the Charity Technology Trust.

- On a similar subject, Salesforce, a free online database management system for charities, is being demonstrated tomorrow at Can Mezzanine in London. The system can be used to monitor contacts, membership and supporter communications, as well as financial requirements and Gift Aid processes. Finance directors keen to see it in action should email l.cook@can-online.org.uk to register.

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