The Sorp revision: Simpler Sofa, shorter Sorp?

By finance expert Don Bawtree

Don Bawtree
Don Bawtree

The proposed new draft charities Statement of Recommended Practice was accompanied by 25 consultation questions: but respondents are encouraged to add their own suggestions.

Two questions might be of particular interest to non-accountants. First, does anyone understand the current Statement of Financial Activities? The committee that developed the Sorp says that having multiple columns is important to ensure proper administration and stewardship. But a simpler Sofa would be easier to read, would look like other accounts and might be cheaper to produce.

Second, should the Sorp be a one-stop shop - a guide to all charity accounting? Or should it be a very specific, shorter, more technical document, cross-referring to FRS 102 only where necessary? The latter would leave the regulators to provide general guidance separately.

Both questions need answers from non-specialists, as well as enthusiastic accountants. The answers could result in a simpler Sofa and a shorter Sorp - but would that mean better?

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