Three in ten large charities submitted inaccurate data to the Charity Commission. A study of a sample of charities with incomes over £500,000 found that only 71 per cent had managed to get all the financial information correct on their annual return.
The Charity Commission, who register and regulate charities in England and Wales looked at a sample of 106 charities, and compared information in their annual return with their annual report and accounts. Only 75 charities had got all parts of the annual return correct.
The regulator found that some charities had compiled annual accounts based on the wrong guidance, while others had not correctly matched their annual return to their statement of financial activities.
Another sample found that 38 per cent of small charities – those with incomes under £25,000 – had failed to provide information that matched their accounts. Of these, 16 per cent had not prepared accounts at all, or were unwilling to share them with the Commission.
Duncan Leslie, Head of Charities and Not for Profit at PKF Francis Clark said: “Getting specialist charity and not for profit advice is vital. Getting the figures wrong can have a huge impact on public perception and confidence that the money being donated to a charity is being administered correctly. It is imperative that charities get it right to generate trust in their activities.
“We see it as a fundamental part of our role as auditors to help charity boards to discharge some of their onerous responsibilities and our audit completion report helps with just that.
The report sets out the main risks and our recommendations as well as financial commentary and our clients find it an invaluable tool.
“For those charities falling outside of the audit regime but requiring an independent examination, we conduct this in line with the new Charity Commission guidance and assist with the administration of these complex requirements.”