Nearly 40 per cent of small charities report inaccurate financial figures - Thorne Widgery

Almost four in 10 charities with incomes below £25,000 per annum are submitting inaccurate data, a new study has found.

The Charity Commission published the figures ahead of the 2017 annual return deadline.

The regulator has reminded small charities, which make up over two-thirds of the charity register, that “basic information on income and expenditure is the only financial information most are routinely required to provide to the commission”.

Its research also shows that while small charities fail to provide accurate information most frequently, one in 10 charities with incomes between £25,000 and £500,000 per annum still struggle to report the right data.

Likewise, while 95 per cent of charities with an income of over £500,000 per annum report accurate balance sheet figures, just eight in 10 report accurate income and expenditure analyses.

The Charity Commission found that in many of the inaccurate cases, charities had tasked someone with insufficient knowledge of the organisation’s accounts with completing their annual return figures, signifying the importance of taking on an experienced financial controller or outsourcing the work to an external accountancy practice.

Commenting on the research, Nigel Davies, Head of Accountancy Services at the Charity Commission, said: “Not providing accurate financial information is misleading and can have an impact on public trust.

“People want to know how charities spend their money; so this result is clearly not good enough.”

The deadline for submitting your 2017 annual return is 31 October 2018. If you have any doubt as to the accuracy of the information included, please get in touch.