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Community Accountants Conference What’s changed and what’s changing… 2 February 2012. Ray Jones – Head of Accountancy Policy. What’s changed and what’s changing…. A new strategic plan for Commission A new accounting framework for the UK A new approach to investments

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community accountants conference what s changed and what s changing 2 february 2012

Community Accountants ConferenceWhat’s changed and what’s changing… 2 February 2012

Ray Jones – Head of Accountancy Policy

what s changed and what s changing
What’s changed and what’s changing…..
  • A new strategic plan for Commission
  • A new accounting framework for the UK
  • A new approach to investments
  • A new (but same) Charities Act
feedback from consultation
Feedback from Consultation

Given resource pressures the Commission needs to focus on core duties, including:

registration of charities

providing guidance

statutory advice or permissions

ensuring transparency through annual returns

investigation of alleged wrongdoing

strategic plan 2012 15
Strategic Plan 2012 - 15

Two key areas of priority for the next four years:

  • Developing accountability and compliance of sector; and
  • Developing self-reliance of the sector
developing accountability
Developing accountability

Rigorous approach to granting charitable status

Holding charities to account (review of information we require of charities)

Promote need for charities to file on time

online filing
Online filing…
  • Over 90 per cent of charities file Annual Return on line
  • But only around 60 per cent file accounts on line
  • Why is this?
  • Absence of a "trusted intermediaries" log on for accountants ?
  • Unsure about how to convert to PDF (there are lot's of free packages on the web) ?
  • We advise customers to go onto Google and type in “pdf converter”
developing compliance
Developing compliance

Timely action

Decisive interventions

More proactive

More co-ordinated

new risk framework
New Risk Framework

The risk assessment :

Does the Commission need to engage?

If it does, what is the nature and level of risk?

If it does, what is the most effective response?

new risk framework1
New Risk Framework

Single point of contact:

First Contact (

First stage filter:

Is it for the Commission?

Is it straightforward or requires web guidance?

refer to specialist teams

Concerns about non-compliance passed to:

Operations Units, or in the most serious cases to:

Investigations and Enforcement

what the commission will not do in future
What the Commission will not do in future …

We will not :

  • give advice to individual charities if the guidance is on our website
  • get involved where a member of the public disagrees with decisions made lawfully by the charity’s trustees
  • engage in internal or external disputes that are the responsibility of trustees to resolve
  • engage in issues that do not pose a serious risk to a charity’s status, assets, services or beneficiaries
  • deal with incidents of poor service from a charity were there is no general risk to its services, its beneficiaries or its resources
  • get involved in issues that are the responsibility of another statutory or supervisory body
future of uk gaap remember the tiers
Future of UK GAAPRemember the tiers
  • Tier 1 - EU adopted IFRS
  • Tier 2 - The FRSME
  • Tier 3 - The FRSSE
  • Plus a PBE Standard…
a new accounting framework
A new accounting framework?
  • Accounting periods commencing 1January 2015
  • Tier 1 - No extension of EU- adopted IFRS beyond that currently required by law
  • Tier 2 – The proposed Financial Reporting Standards for Medium-sized Entities (the FRSME)
  • Tier 3 - The Financial Reporting Standards for Smaller Entities (The FRSSE)
  • Public Benefit Entity Standard (The PBE Standard) – will be incorporated into FRSME
  • Receipts and Payments – not subject to accounting standards
full eu adopted ifrs
Full EU –adopted IFRS
  • ASB to remove definition of ‘public accountability’ from framework
  • No extension of EU-adopted IFRS (Tier 1) beyond current requirements in law
  • Only companies (other than charities) with securities admitted to trading on a regulated EEA must apply EU-adopted IFRS
  • No charity will be forced into Tier 1 reporting
tier 2 the frsme
Tier 2 – the FRSME
  • Based on IFRS for SMEs – initially plan was for minimal change … but significant changes now expected
  • The FRSME to be reissued for consultation in early 2012
  • Amendments likely to allow accounting options provided in UK GAAP ( e.g.. Revaluation and capitalisation of interest on developments)
  • Amendments to facilitate Company Law formats
  • Additional disclosure of Financial Instruments applying to Financial Institutions
  • The PBE Standard be incorporated into the ‘FRSME’ – setting out ‘what’s different’ for PBEs
tier 3 the frsse
Tier 3 - the FRSSE
  • The Financial Reporting Standard for Smaller Entities
  • Based on company law framework for small companies
  • EC proposals to amend Accounting Directives
    • Increased thresholds for small companies
    • Simpler notes for small companies
  • ASB indicate that FRSSE will be retained but revised in line with new directives
  • ASB propose consultation on FRSSE later in 2012
frsse thresholds ec proposals
Currently an entity is small if not exceeding 2 of the following:

Assets of £3.26m

Net turnover of £6.5m

50 employees

Proposal - small if not exceeding 2 of the following:

Assets of EUR 5 m (approx. £ 4.417 m)

Net turnover of EUR 10 (approx £8.834 m)

50 employees

FRSSE Thresholds – EC proposals
what about the pbe standard
The Public Benefit Entity Standard

Recognition by ASB that commercial standards did not address key PBE issues

ASB now propose to address PBE issues by supplementary paragraphs within the FRSME

What about the PBE Standard ?
the pbe standard what it covered
The PBE standard – what it covered
  • Concessionary loans
  • Property held for social benefit
  • Entity combinations
  • Impairment of assets
  • Funding commitments
  • Income from non-exchange transactions
  • Heritage assets taken into FRSME
receipts and payments accounts
Receipts and payments accounts
  • Unaffected by accounting standards
  • Only applicable if charity is not a company
  • But will be an option for CIO when available
  • Charities Act review might look at thresholds (income of £250,000 or less) and need for format rules – but no changes predicted
  • August 2011 – BIS consultation on accounting for Micro Entities ( EC proposals to exempt from 4th Directive)
  • Proposals received mixed reception from accountancy profession in UK
what about sorp
What about SORP
  • SORP will need to be updated
  • Needs to address charities using either:
    • The FRSSE; or
    • The FRSME
  • Need to be in place by 1 January 2014
  • ASB promise 18 months between finalising new standards and their application
  • A modular web-based SORP – download what is relevant
new time line
New time-line
  • ASB re-consult on framework and FRSME in early 2012
  • ASB consult on FRSSE in 2012
  • New EC rules for micro entities and small companies?
  • New SORP and accounting regulations ideally needed by 1 January 2014
  • Implementation of new framework for accounting periods commencing on or after 1 January 2015
charities and investment
Charities and investment
  • In 2010 – registered charities held £78bn as investments
  • Traditionally investment held to provide income that supports charitable purposes
  • But charities increasingly interested in moving beyond conventional investments and looking to invest in further aims more directly
motives may differ
Motives may differ…
  • Financial investments
  • Programme related investments
  • Mixed motive investments
financial investment
Financial investment
  • An asset held to provide the best financial return (income or gain) within the level of risk considered to be acceptable
  • Trustees can invest in any asset that is intended to produce income and/or gain subject to investment powers
  • Need to meet trustees’ investment duties
  • Need to be aware of tax rules
trustees duties when investing
Trustees’ duties when investing…
  • A duty of care
  • Consider how suitable any investment is for their charity
  • Consider the need to diversify investments
  • Take advice from someone experienced in investment matters where they consider they need it; and
  • Review investments (and their investment manager) from time to time, changing them if necessary.

These legal requirements do not apply to trustees of charitable companies. However, they should adopt these principles as good practice when making investment decisions.

an ethical stance to investment
An ethical stance to investment

The law permits an ethical approach if:

  • a particular investment conflicts with the aims of the charity; or
  • the charity might lose supporters or beneficiaries if it does not invest ethically; or
  • there is no significant financial detriment.
programme related investment
Programme related investment
  • A programme related investment is investment made by a charity specifically to further its aims for the public benefit.
  • This means that the rules on financial investment, for example in the Trustee Act 2000, do not apply. However, while PRI is bound by different rules, it can still be considered as a form of investment.
mixed motive a new category
Mixed motive…a new category?
  • Some charities seeking both a financial and charitable return find they are unable to justify making the investment solely on the basis of it either furthering the charity's aims or as a financial investment.
  • We consider that the law permits, where it can be justified in advance of the investment decision, a mixed purpose investment.
best interest of the charity
Best interest of the charity…

Core question – can trustees demonstrate they

are acting in best interests of their charity by

either investing for:

  • Best financial return (financial investment)
  • Furthering the charity’s aims (programme related investment)
  • Or doing both (mixed motive investment)
charities act 2011
Charities Act 2011
  • The Charities Act 2011 consolidates previous charity legislation into a single Act.
  • The implementation date is 14 March 2012.  
  • Refer to the provision of the Charities Act 2011 on documents executed on or after 14 March 2012
  • Refer to the provisions of the Charities Act 1993 (or other relevant legislation) in documents executed before 14 March 2012
charities act 20111
Charities Act 2011

Download 2011 Act:

Download destination tables:

new references for independent examination
New references for independent examination
  • Independent examiners following the 2011 Act would state that:
    • Their examination of the accounts was under section 145 of the Act.
    • They follow the Directions made under section 145 (5) (b) of the Act.
    • The charity keeps accounting records under section 130 of the Act.
    • The accounts comply with the requirements of the 2011 Act.
review of charities act
Review of Charities Act
  • Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts to report to Parliament by 17 July 2012?
  • Lord Hodgson will issue a call for evidence from charities and others
  • Possible issues:
    • Commission’s funding
    • Tribunal
    • Social investment/social enterprise/mixed purpose investments
    • Volunteering
    • Calman Report and definition of charities and passporting
    • Fundraising, self regulation and collections
    • Thresholds
sign up for updates
Sign up for updates…