Accounting and reporting

Transparency is become more and more important to the charity sector. Charites have specific reporting and accounting rules which are codified in the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP). These rules apply across the sector and help charities to explain their activities to the public, funders and regulators.

Finance professionals are traditionally responsible for ensuring that reports are accurate and accessible. But it’s also important that charities make their reports stand out – after all, Annual Reports are a charity’s shop window. Use our resources to improve your technical competence, but also produce reports that people want to read.


Nonprofit storytelling
22 September 2021
Using Data and Performance metrics to motivate donors

Finance Focus July 2021
29 July 2021
Inclusivity - why does it matter to finance professionals? We speak to charity leaders this month about equality, diversity and inclusivity (EDI). We also meet a small member charity - Jodie ...

Finance Focus June 2021
30 June 2021
'Leading the Way: Effective, Inclusive and Resilient' is the theme of this year's CFG Annual Conference. Dive inside to find out all about it - who's speaking, who's sponsoring, and ...

Finance Focus May 2021
28 May 2021
Responsible investment is the focus of this month's edition. Our corporate partners share their advice and insights on how to invest responsibly and ethically. We also hear from Rachel Hewitt ...

Finance Focus April 2021
30 April 2021
Welcome to the April 2021 edition of Finance Focus. This month we take a look at mental health and wellbeing in the run up to Mental Health Awareness Week in ...

CFG Briefing: Budget 2021
3 March 2021
CFG's member briefing on the Chancellor's Budget Statement, 3 March 2021.

Finance Focus January 2021
29 January 2021
Welcome to the latest edition of Finance Focus! In this issue, we take a look at the subject of Risk and new ways to recognise and manage it. Plus, we ...

Finance Focus November/December 2020
4 December 2020
Welcome to the latest edition of Finance Focus! In this issue, we ask charities and CFG's trustees about what they've learned in 2020 and what lays ahead. Topics also covered ...

Finance Focus October 2020
23 October 2020
Welcome to the October 2020 edition of Finance Focus. Issues covered inside: Mental health; fraud; audits; training; Brexit and much more!

Welcome to IFR4NPO
7 October 2020

Finance Focus September
22 September 2020
Let's raise our voice to raise Gift Aid!

Finance Focus July 2019
15 July 2019
 Are your accounts transparent enough? Learn from the SORP governance review

Annual Report 2017-18: Empowering Your People
21 December 2018
Download a full PDF version of our 2017-18 Annual Report

Record management in charities: a toolkit for improvement
1 June 2017
Charity Finance Group and the British Academy Research Project Digitising the Mixed Economy of Welfare in Britain, based at UCL Institute of Education, have launched the Record management in charities: ...

Annual Report 2016-17
31 March 2017
Download a full PDF version of our 2016-17 Annual Report 

Banking for Charities
1 April 2016
'Banking for Charities' is a short guide, produced in collaboration with the British Bankers' Association, aimed at those who manage the financial affairs of a charity or voluntary organisation. The ...

Best foreign exchange practice for Charities and NGOs - white paper
22 January 2015
Submitted by Ebury, this whitepaper details how NGOs and Charities can offset their currency risk using tested strategies.

More of the wood, less of the trees: a trustee-centred approach to Management Accounts
1 April 2013
CFG Adrian Randall Prize 2013 Hilary SeawardWinner of the inaugural CFG Adrian Randall Prize

Reporting - Do you have the right tools for the job?
1 January 2013
When it comes to reporting, Finance Directors and their teams have more choice than ever. Despite the seemingly large array of reporting tools on the market, most fall into five ...

Beyond Reserves
6 June 2012
Beyond Reserves has been produced by CFG, ACEVO, the Institute of Fundraising and Sayer Vincent, and looks at the strategic management of charity reserves. The publication includes insights and case ...

World Vision UK - Open Information Policy
28 July 2011
This policy ensures that all stakeholders and interested parties can request information from World Vision UK and will receive a response within 40 days.

Top 10 Take Away Tips for Travel Savings
7 June 2011
Some top tips for travel savings.

Treasury Policy
31 May 2011
Institute of Development Studies' Treasury Policy.

Banking Tender
25 May 2011
It is a surprisingly common fact but many charities do not have a regular process for reviewing their banking arrangements. Those organisations that do have such a policy will often ...

Group Cash Flow
16 May 2011

Cash flow template.

White Paper - 5 Tips to Speed Up Month End Reporting
16 May 2011
This document examines Month End Reporting and gives the reader 5 tips to speed up the moth end reporting process.

Company Cars
21 May 2010
Company cars policy from Motability.

Accounts Procedures
25 March 2010
Accounts procedures from Peel Institute.

Report on the Independent Expert Group on Expenses
28 February 2010
This report sets out the findings and recommendations of the Independent Expert Group on Expenses.

Finance handbook extract - expenses
18 December 2009
Describes the policy and procedure for charities when handling expenses. Also outlines practical and procedural steps in implementing effective expenses systems.

Impact reporting - What impact is being made?
18 December 2009
Explores impact reporting and the challenges for charities of assessing and reporting their impact tin their field, using survey and secondary research methods.

Impact reporting: Value vs. Cost: Looking at a Sample Of Charities, Which Has Led to the Biggest Impact?
11 December 2009
Charities are under increasing pressure to measure and communicate the impact of their work. This pressure is both internal (as organisations struggle with the recession) and external (as beneficiaries, funders ...

Would you like to save 20% of your travel budget?
11 November 2009
Tips for saving on your travel budget from Key Travel.

Authority Limits
2 October 2009
This policy names the Directors and Managers who have the authority to purchase goods and services and/or to make payments on the charity’s behalf.

Ethical Purchasing Policy
11 September 2009
Ethical purchasing policy from Oxfam.

Purchasing, Procurement and Invoicing
26 August 2009
Purchasing, procurement and invoicing.

Travel & Subsistence Policy And Procedures
26 May 2009
Travel & Subsistence Policy And Procedures.

Purchase Card Reconciliation: Boosting Purchase Card ROI Through Tighter Business Integration
18 February 2009
Purchase Card Reconciliation: Boosting Purchase Card ROI Through Tighter Business Integration

Charities and Insolvency
4 December 2008
Written for CFG members by Pesh Framjee, Head of the Not for Profit team at Horwath Clark Whitehill LLP and CFG Special Adviser, this is a detailed guide to Charities ...

Accounting Software - Made Simple Guide No.11
1 November 2008
Accounting Software - Made Simple Guide No.11.

Supplier Questionnaire
1 February 2008
Supplier questionnaire template.

Sustainable Procurement Policy
6 January 2008
Sustainable procurement policy template.

Cash and Treasury Management
16 June 2006
Benchmarking workshop: Cash and treasury management.

The Charity Treasurers Forum
7 February 2006
The Voluntary Sector has a number of bodies that bring key people together. They roll off the tongue CFDG, NCVO, ACVO Institute of Fundraising etc.

Standing Financial Instructions
1 August 2002
Standing financial instructions.

Standing Financial Instructions - Appendices
1 August 2002
Standing Financial Instructions - Appendices

CFG Annual Conference gets off to a flying start
11 October 2021
Helen Stephenson, CEO of the Charity Commission, sets out the Commission's role as “guardians of legitimacy".  

CFG responds to first ever consultation on developing global financial reporting standards
12 August 2021
CFG urges members to get involved in Part Two of IFR4NPO's consultation on international reporting.

HSBC Private Banking leads the way for CFG's Annual Conference 2021
21 July 2021
CFG are delighted to announce that HSBC Private Banking, ORACLE NetSuite, Sarasin & Partners and SmartSimple are this year's Annual Conference sponsors.  

CFG submits consultation response to Annual Return 2018 Survey
29 November 2017
CFG has submitted its proposed revisions and recommendations on charities Annual Return 2018. Our response draws on the evidence gathered through our consultation process with our members and the wider ...

CFG has submitted a response to the Financial Reporting Council’s invitation to comment on the exposure draft of Practice Note 11: The Audit of charities in the United Kingdom (PN 11)
31 August 2017
This exposure draft for PN 11 has been produced due to changes to the legislative and regulatory framework and developments in account and audit framework, including the new Charities SORP ...

Consultation response - Research exercise on charities SORP (FRS 102)
12 December 2016
CFG has submitted its proposed revisions and recommendations on charities SORP. Our response draws on the evidence gathered through our consultation process with our members and the wider sector.

CFG Consultation Response for Matters of Material Significance
20 September 2016
CFG has responded to the Charity Commission, OSCR and CCNI consultation on reporting matters of material significance.

Record management in charities: a toolkit for improvement
19 June 2016
Charity Finance Group and the British Academy Research Project Digitising the Mixed Economy of Welfare in Britain, based at UCL Institute of Education, have launched the Record management in charities: ...

Top ten tips for how to handle the year end in a pandemic
6 April 2020
Joanna Pittman, Partner at CFG corporate member Sayer Vincent gives her top ten tips for how to handle the year end in a pandemic.

What’s new for audit and accountancy?
8 January 2020
Ahead of her session at the CFG Midlands Conference 2020, Partner at Sayer Vincent, Fleur Holden, provides an update into what’s new in the world of charity audit and accounting.

Why The Times is (mostly) wrong about charity reserves
13 November 2019
By David Ainsworth, Sector Specialist, Charity Finance Group Last week, The Times newspaper launched an attack on military charities for holding too much money in reserve. It claimed that the ...

Are charity reserves policies really clear enough?
13 November 2019
By David Ainsworth, Sector Specialist, Charity Finance Group Last week, The Times newspaper launched an attack on military charities for holding too much money in reserve. It claimed that the ...

Why we’re launching an international accounting standard for charities?
21 August 2019
Last month, overseas finance body Humentum announced a project to develop an international accounting standard for not-for-profit organisations. Here, Tim Boyes-Watson of Humentum outlines what the project will mean in ...

What the recent SCOTUS judge controversy can teach us about the Charities’ SORP
15 January 2019
It's hard to get excited about the current review of the charities' SORP says Caron Bradshaw, but it's imperative we engage with the consultation. Like the recent controversial appointment of ...

The key to good governance - truly understanding the business
9 April 2018
Trustees need to make informed and appropriate strategic decisions for their charity and to do this, need to fully understand the business. Suzanne O’Brien, CXK, highlights the need for information ...

Sarah Atkinson - Have your say on the annual return for charities
14 November 2017
Sarah Atkinson, Director of Policy and Communications at the Charity Commission explains why all charities should take part in their consultation on the Annual Return.  The Charity Commission is ...

Fraud and the 3 C's
25 September 2017
Throughout CFG’s Counter Fraud Campaign we have talked a lot about establishing controls, culture and communications, or the 3 C’s. It is important to also think about how these 3 ...

How can charities ensure they work towards gender equality in their organisation?
3 August 2017
CFG has previously reported on the introduction of gender pay regulations for organisations that have at least 250 employees as of the 5th April 2017. 

What can charities learn from the recent fraud cases?
27 July 2017
Unfortunately this week there have been two high profile cases of fraud being committed within a charity.

Responsible Record Keeping: what do voluntary organisations need to know?
31 January 2017
In this guest blog, Dr Charlotte Clements, Research Assistant on the British Academy project ‘Digitising the Mixed Economy of Welfare’, writes about the need for charities to have good archives ...

Devolution is our chance to advocate for the most vulnerable
2 September 2016
Kathy Evans, CEO of Children England highlights the important voice that the voluntary sector has and how they can use it to be a power of advocacy. 

CFG's SORP Survey
21 June 2016

EU Referendum: What could this mean for charities?
6 June 2016
As the 23rd June appears closer and closer this Europe's Final Countdown song has never felt more relevant as the UK public decides whether they will be voting to remain ...

Another day, another opportunity for charities to engage in a consultation
24 May 2016
Just like buses, you wait around for one consultation from the Charity Commission and then you’re surprised by two turning up together.

Which SORP is right for you?
5 April 2016
Helena Wilkinson of Price Bailey weighs up the benefits and challenges for smaller charities that are deciding which SORP they should use, and provides some practical advice.

Hunting for the silver lining; the IFS, the economy and charities.
12 February 2016
This week I attended the IFS’s Green Budget 2016 event, which provides an essential commentary on the economic issues facing the current government over the next Parliament. The report comes ...

What did the Romans ever know about data protection?
19 January 2016
As usual, quite a lot. Caesar famously used his cipher device to protect important and sensitive military data among his generals. So what can we learn from the famous Roman?

Audit or independent examination?
15 June 2015
n light of recent changes to audit thresholds, John O'Brien from Community Accounting Plus discusses the options now available, and things you should consider.

Why is transparency and reporting important for charities?
9 April 2015
Helena Wilkinson, Partner at Price Bailey   

A chance to restart the social investment conversation
31 March 2015
Last Friday saw the launch of the Alternative Social Investment Commission’s report. You can read the full report with its conclusions and recommendations here.

Caron’s comment: can profit and social change mix?
9 March 2015
I recently attended an interesting seminar on social ventures. The presenters argued that the legal construct of a venture should be irrelevant, and that it was the organisation’s ability to ...

Audits, thresholds and transparency
30 January 2015
Last week, the Cabinet Office consultation on the future of the audit threshold for charities concluded. 

Are charities losing their voice?
24 July 2014
The campaigning role of charities has stayed firmly in the public spotlight for the last twelve months and appears to be gaining traction as we head towards the General Election.

Vision for sector post-2015. What did the politicians have to say at the CFG Annual Conferece?
19 May 2014
Following our overwhelmingly successful Annual Conference last Thursday, back at CFG-HQ we are now digesting the political nuggets that were debated in our closing plenary by the Minister for Civil ...

Accounting at the sharp end: A report from the Community Accountancy Conference 2014
10 February 2014
I’ve not long returned from a short sojourn in rain-drenched Birmingham. Several CFG colleagues and I donned both our waterproofs and chainmail armour in order to sally forth into the ...

'Professionalism' is not a dirty word
28 January 2014
2014. I can’t quite believe that this is my fourth year working within the sector, but I’ve been sensing that the pressure on us as a ‘sector’ has intensified... Pensions. ...

Accounting for different charity structures
15 November 2013
The legal and reporting framework anchors the values shared by charities, while still allowing flexibility where there is divergence in business model. The guidance for financial reporting in charities, or the ...

CFG has its say on the Charities SORP consultation
4 November 2013
The Charity ‘Statement of Recommended Practice’ (SORP) is the principal document informing charities on how they should report income, spending and activities to the general public. 

The silver lining in the charity salary saga
12 August 2013
Another week and more headlines about charity executive pay. Given the focus on bankers, business leaders, senior civil servants and local authority chiefs of late, it was really only a ...

What’s really new about the new SORP?
5 August 2013
We haven’t had a new SORP since 2005, and in that time we have managed to bring in a whole new accounting framework in the UK.

Tweaking the annual return
24 July 2013
Our policy team recently took the unusual step of completing CFG’s annual return (AR). As in most charities, this normally falls to our finance team, so this was relatively new ...

Audere is a social division of a regulated, independent risk management consultancy, Audere. Their aim is to provide INGOs with the expertise necessary to improve financial governance toward international funding ...

Wilkins Kennedy is a leading accounting and business advisory firm. We provide the full range of audit, tax and advisory support. Our clients expect more than a snapshot of how ...

Beever and Struthers
Our client base of over 150 charities and other not for profit organisations - from small local concerns to large national names – benefit from our core services of External ...

BHP Chartered Accountants
Ranked at number 17 in the top 40 firms of charity auditors in the UK by Charity Finance magazine, BHP’s charity and not for profit team excels in this sector.

Bishop Fleming
Bishop Fleming is a leading accountancy firm based in the South West and Midlands. Recognised nationally as a Top 30 Charity Audit Firm by the Charity Finance League Table, Bishop ...

Over the past 50 years, we have taken a leading role in the development and promotion of best practice in the sector and now act for over 300 charity and ...

Charity Financials
Charity Financials contains the latest financial information on all UK charities, giving a unique overview of the charity sector across financial, causal, beneficiary and geographical parameters.

Cooper Parry
Our dedicated NFP team advises charities and other not-for-profit organisations. We recognise every organisation is different and provide a bespoke service to match. Our services include external audit, regularity assurance, ...

Deloitte is the adviser of choice for the Charities and Not For Profit sector. Our specialist team have experience of dealing with a wide range of third sector bodies and ...

Goodman Jones
We help charities and social businesses by providing advice, support, and the reassurance that all the financial aspects are well-managed, allowing you to focus on your important work.

haysmacintyre is an award winning firm of chartered accountants and tax advisors, with 35 partners and over 300 staff. Our award winning charities and not for profit team is one ...

HW Fisher LLP
HW Fisher works with 300 charities and not for profit organisations providing expert accountancy, audit, tax and advisory services to organisations of all types and sizes. Our reputation is grounded ...

m-hance’s NfP 365 Finance suite of solutions are built on the framework of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. We have then enhanced this functionality with charity-specific features that will improve ...

Marble Mayne Recruitment
Cost-effective and flexible Finance & IT recruitment for the not for profit sector.

Mazars LLP
Mazars is an internationally integrated partnership, specialising in audit, accountancy, advisory, tax and legal services. Operating in over 90 countries and territories around the world, we draw on the expertise ...

Menzies LLP are accountants and strategic business advisors committed to bringing #BrighterThinking to your organisation. This approach is more than just balancing the books; it’s the difference we make to ...

Our insight into the Not for Profit sector is extensive; collectively MHA members are able to draw from the experience of over 1600 clients in the sector and 21 charity ...

Moore Kingston Smith LLP
Kingston Smith can help you meet all these challenges by delivering a comprehensive range of services specially tailored for the not for profit sector including auditing, accountancy, VAT and fundraising.

PEM has been serving clients in Cambridge and the south east for over 140 years. Today we are the largest firm of accountants, tax and business advisers based in Cambridge, ...

We specialise in using Sage accounting software and data analytics to help businesses work better, faster, and smarter. With over 15 years’ experience, we’re proud to be trusted by our ...

PKF Littlejohn
Whatever the size of your charity, you want to work with a dedicated and enthusiastic team of people who have a thorough understanding of your world.

Price Bailey
Price Bailey currently acts for over 400 charities and not-for-profit organisations. The Price Bailey service proposition is built around gaining a detailed knowledge of you and your business, and our ...

At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We work together with charities across our five diverse lines of service: Audit, Consulting, Deals, Risk ...

With over 1,000 charity clients of all sizes and one of the largest specialist charities groups in the UK, our understanding and appreciation of the unique challenges in the Not ...

Saffery Champness LLP
Saffery Champness advises over 300 charities and other not-for-profit entities in the UK on tax, VAT and accounting issues, and provides audit and assurance services for many.

UHY Hacker Young LLP
We advise over 300 charity and NFP clients across the UK, from local charities to major national organisations. Our approach is to provide comprehensive charity audit and accounting services which ...