Charity regulators to review SORP governance - Thorne Widgery

The four charity regulators in the UK and Republic of Ireland will hold a governance review of the “constitution and composition” of the Charities Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) committee and the SORP making process, it has been revealed.

In a new report published by the Charity Commission, the charities regulator for England and Wales said the review will be undertaken by an Oversight Panel comprising of a representative from each of the four regulators, as well as a representative from the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).

The Commission said the purpose of the review is to gain assurance that the SORP-making process “commands confidence and addresses the transparency and public confidence challenges facing charities”.

A second aim, stipulated by the FRC, will also look to assure that any revised arrangements adhere to the FRC Policy on developing SORPs.

The four regulators, which also include the Scottish Charity Regulator and the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, said the following areas will be considered in the review:

-The composition of the advisory SORP Committee

– Identification of, and engagement with, key stakeholders in the SORP development process

-The extent to which the views of key stakeholders have been recognised in the process

-Potential of changes to membership of the SORP Committee should the FRC agree the remit of the SORP to make recommendations covering non-statutory financial reporting by charities

Charities SORP Committee Governance Review Panel Chair, Professor Gareth Morgan, said: “I am very much aware of its significance in achieving massive improvements in charity accounts and reporting since the first modern SORP was issued in 1995. Going forward in 2018, I am delighted that the four charity regulators across the UK and Ireland will together form the new SORP-making body.”

Laura Anderson, of the OSC, added: “To be effective we need a SORP process that is fully representative and delivers a SORP that it is clear, accurate and meets the reporting needs of the users of charity reports and accounts whilst upholding the standards issued by the FRC.”