Recruiting commences for membership of new charities Sorp committee

The Charity Commission and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator are asking candidates to apply by 3 November, for a first meeting on 11 December

The Sorp
The Sorp

The Charity Commission and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator are recruiting members of a new charities Sorp committee, which will meet for the first time in December.

The development and review of the Statement of Recommended Practice accounting standards for charities is carried out by the commission and the OSCR as the joint Sorp-making body. The two regulators appoint a committee to advise on and assist with this process.

The recruiting information says the regulators are looking for accountants, charity employees, funders, commentators on the sector, charity umbrella bodies and academics to sit on the committee.

There will be between 15 and 18 members, including representatives from the regulators, and an external secretariat provided by the Chartered Institute for Public Finance and Accountancy.

The most recent new Sorp was issued this year and takes force for accounting years starting in 2015. New Sorps were published in 1995, 2000 and 2005. "The pace of change in issuing new Sorps is dictated by changes in accounting standards, the legal framework and developments in sector practice," the committee’s recruitment information pack says.

The regulators say they are hoping for applications from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Both fall under the same overarching accounting regulations, but the charities Sorp is voluntary best practice in both and is yet to be made mandatory. The Republic of Ireland’s new Charities Regulatory Authority is still being set up, while the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland has only just started registering charities.

One issue the new committee will have to grapple with is changes to the GAAP standards – the generally accepted accounting principles – expected between 2016 and 2018. These changes are likely to entail the removal of the newly created FRSSE Sorp for smaller charities within the next two years.

The new committee’s first meeting will be on 11 December. Would-be members are asked to apply by 3 November and will be appointed at the end of the month. The role is unpaid, with expenses paid only to members from charities, academia and small umbrella bodies.

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