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July 7th, 2016ArticlesGeoffrey Hand 0 Comments

Charity Governance ConsultancyIs it just one trustee?  The one who ‘understands the accounts’ the best?

Well then, you’re within the legal requirement is for your charity’s accounts to be signed by “one or more of the trustees.”

But here’s a thought.  Why not have them signed by each and every trustee?

So your whole trustee board takes ownership and shows the world that your charity’s Annual Report  and Accounts belong truly to its exemplary trustees.

Good governance is about more than mere compliance.

Annual report and accounts –  whose are they ?

As the financial year-end of the runs into summer, you may be in the midst of preparing your charity’s Annual Report and Accounts. Or you should be!

Too many boards of trustees see these as merely an exercise in compliance, a set of figures easily delegated to a Finance Committee, signed off and filed appropriately.

WRONG !  A charity’s Annual Report and Accounts are massively important not only as a matter of financial record but as the trustees’ personal report to to external stakeholders.

Their publication is also probably your charity’s biggest recurring publicity opportunity in the year.

A playground rather than a chore?

Do not think of your Annual Report and Accounts as a dry document, of interest only to accountants and professional stakeholders.

Rather, consider them the playground of your fundraisers and public relations managers – glossy, shiny, full of colour and excitement, telling the world what a great job your charity is doing and how deserving it is of generous support.

Whenever your charity applies for grant funding, the first response is a search of the Charities’ Register for a copy of your Annual Report and Accounts.

A document of celebration and hope

Properly prepared as a true document of record, of celebration and of hope, your Annual Reports and Accounts will almost stand as a funding proposal in their own right.

And timeliness always impresses.

A  2015 survey by the magazine Charity Finance showed the 100 largest charities taking an average 7.4 months after their year-end to file their accounts. Why not show  your own charity to be top of its game by filing its accounts within three months?   

 And for help and inspiration, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Geoffrey Hand

Geoffrey Hand is a charity governance consultant, offering governance consultancy and training. He also provides legal services management, helping charities get better value for money from their lawyers. Geoffrey has extensive experience in the charity and legal worlds, and his mission is to help charities deliver good governance.

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