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Charity Acuity Spring 2017


A round-up of the key accounting, finance and tax matters facing charity trustees, finance directors and financial managers.

Click on the links below to read the full articles and briefing notes. We do hope you find the information and forewarnings contained within this edition to be useful.

Give Adrienne Airlie, or your usual charity contact at Martin Aitken & Co, a call if you want to discuss any aspect further on 0141-272-0000.

Charity Accounting & Finance: Hot Topics for 2017 at The Gathering 2017

Adrienne Airlie, Chief Executive provided charity finance directors, trustees, finance managers and professional advisers to the third section a concise overview of the key accounting and financial impacts on charities over the next couple of years.

Covering a wide range of topics and issues, Adrienne's talk included:

  • FRS 102 SORP disclosures - the impact on charities graph chalk board
  • SORP benefits
  • Risk Management
  • Reserves disclosure
  • Key management personnel
  • Employee benefits
  • Defined Benefit pension Scheme

Download Adrienne's presentation which includes examples of a Trustees Annual Report and Annual Accounts for you to use as a guide >find out more 

Supporting 2017 Charity Champion Awards

2017 finds the Charity Champion Awards in their third year and once again Martin Aitken & Co are delighted to be supporting the event alongside OSCR, The Marriott Hotel, Bruce Tait Associates and Project Scotland >more

Key points from the UK Spring Budget 2017

The final Spring Budget came just three months after the Autumn Statement and the number of Budget documents issued by HM Treasury shrank significantly from last Spring's Budget 2016.

The Chancellor resisted making any announcements about future increases to the personal allowance or higher rate threshold, presumably saving some 'good news' for his set piece in the Autumn.

Although as we know, any changes here will no longer apply in Scotland.

The Scottish Government announced in December's Scottish Budget that the higher rate threshold will remain unchanged at £43,430 for non-savings, non-dividend income only, and there is no political will to see the higher rate threshold track the changes and expected increases south of the border. >Scottish Budget 2016 MACO business

The Chancellor majored on getting the UK ready for Brexit and also announced extra funding for social care, with tax and NIC rises mainly aimed at the self-employed. Although as announced on 15 March, the Class 4 NIC rise will now not go ahead.

Click here to review Martin Aitken & Co's Spring Budget Briefing notes which summarise of the changes announced on 8 & 15 March, with some reminders of what was previously announced in the Autumn Statement >more 

UK Business & Personal Tax Rates 2017-18 - download Tax Rate Card pdf

Employment Taxes: changes for the new tax year from 6 April 2017

Briefing notes for finance teams and payroll administrators on the changes, including:

  • Scottish Rate of Income Tax
  • National Minimum Wage/Living Wage
  • Apprenticeship Levy
  • Restrictions on Salary Sacrifice and Flexible Benefit Schems
  • Gender Pay Gap Reportin
  • Tax-free childcare

Find out more about the changes and the potential impacts >find out more

Financial & Tax Acuity Spring 2017

There is still time to act before the end of the Tax year on April 5 - read our tips and recommendations for this year, and whilst you're in planning mode, Ian Finch offers his suggestions on what you should consider for the 2017/18 tax year. >download Financial & Tax Acuity Spring 2017

Investing in residential property in 2017? Icons 16

If you are considering an investment in residential property this year, or if you already have residential property investments, you should consider the impact that the tax changes coming into play from April 2017 could have on your investment return. >find out more

Aide Memior: Charities Annual Reporting Duties

The Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) recently published an article on their website to remind charities of their annual reporting duties. It is a legal requirement for every registered charity in Scotland to submit an Annual Return, a Statement of Accounts, a Trustees Annual Report and an external scrutiny report within 9 months of their year end.

With over 10,000 charities in Scotland having their year-end on 31 March 2016 their information should have been submitted to OSCR by the end of December 2016. According to OSCR, they were still waiting on over 400 charities to submit their information at the beginning of March this year.

Similarly, the Charity Commission published figures in February that showed that over 3,500 charities in England & Wales had yet to submit their year-end information to them by the end of January this year.

There can be good and justifiable reasons why a charity has not submitted on time, however OCSR found, following contacting the charities that hadn’t submitted their information to them on time, that in a number of cases, the reporting just hadn’t been given the required level of importance.

On the face of it this is worrying as having good governance procedures in place for accountability and transparency is the nucleus of best practice for charity trustees. compliance

Not only does submitting information on time demonstrate compliance with the law, it will, and does, enhance a charities reputation and increases stakeholders trust in what the charity is doing. These stakeholders can be funders e.g. grant providers, local authorities, members of the public who have donated money or left a legacy, employees and the people who access the services the charity provides. All of whom benefit from knowing that the charity they have a relationship with is complying with the relevant law and regulations.

OSCR provides a range of guidance for charity trustees on their website on how to prepare charity accounts, as well as providing detailed accounting guidance notes and example accounts >find out more. If you have any questions or require any clarification on recent accounting developments - see The Gathering 2017 article above - give Adrienne a call on the number above.

In summary, preparing, reviewing and submitting information to OSCR is a board responsibility not just the responsibility of the finance director or treasurer. So do ensure that all of your trustees are fully briefed on their responsibilities and have a good understanding of your charity's financial statements.

It’s also a good idea to have a briefing pack issued to all new trustees and refresher training provided at least every 2-3 years with updates scheduled as necessary if there are any changes to reporting requirements.

And don’t wait until the very last minute to submit your information to OSCR. You should aim to submit as soon as you can, as we all know working to a deadline very often results in the task being given the time that is left, as opposed to the time that is needed. charity

We will be running trustees refresher training sessions in our offices later in the year. If you are interested in attending a session please do get in touch with Megan Houston, Marketing Assistant email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Code of Fundraising Practice

The Fundraising Regulator for England and Wales has suggested changes to the Code of Fundraising Practice based on recommendations from the former standards adjudicator, the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) as well as emerging issues from public complaints and fundraisers queries, and wider regulatory and legal context.

They are now looking for feedback on these changes and OSCR, SCVO, IoF and the Fundraising Regulator are holdings sessions across Scotland to offer charities an opportunity to find out more.

The events will be held on the following dates:

  • 24 March 12.30pm Dundee
  • 29 March 1pm Edinburgh MACO BUILDING BLOCKS
  • 31 March 3pm Glasgow

Find out more and book your place on OSCR’s website >find out more

Martin Aitken & Co to help Glasgow SMEs to scale up

Our business advisory team has been appointed to help Glasgow SMEs scale up over the next three years as part of an innovative new scheme by Glasgow City Council.

The scheme, a cental part of GCC's Economic Strategy, utilises funding from the Glasgow City Region City Deal, European Regional Development Fund and the Department of Work and Pensions.

Part of the programme is an In Work Pilot focused on the care sector in the Glasgow area and GCC is keen to hear from both SMEs and Care Sector Organisations who are keen to receive support. If you are interested, get in touch with either Ewen Dyer or Euan Ferries in the first instance >find out more about the scheme

Beatson 2014Beatson Cancer Charity is determined to beat cancer. We are delighted to be entering our second year of partnership with the Beatson Cancer Charity to help and support them achieve their aims. >more


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