The view of the independent examiner or auditor In an occasional series, Mike Dunkley, Director of Dunkley’s Accountants, shares with us his take on the role of the independent examiner or auditor. Dunkley’s has a long-standing working relationship with The Trust Partnership but has always been separate and remains independent. As such, Dunkley’s offers a different and distinct service. In this article we have focused on the benefits of splitting the duties of record-keeping from the duties of the independent examiner but of course this applies in the same way when audits are required. State of independence Charity trustees have a legal duty under the Charities Act 2011 to appoint ‘an independent person who is reasonably believed by the trustees to have the requisite ability and practical experience to carry out a competent examination of the accounts’. The examiner must be independent of the charity.
The Trust Partnership is deeply saddened by the passing of the Queen. As a patron of more than 600 charities, including almshouses, she showed by example the meaning of ‘caritas’, or charity by another name. Our thoughts are with the Royal Family at this time, as well as with all those charities which the Queen served so faithfully. As HRH Prince Philip was to her, so she was the ‘strength and stay’ for so many institutions.
Season’s greetings from Stoke Newington in the London Borough of Hackney where I have just been having a happy chat with a bunch of my Muslim neighbours, all of whom were en-route to our magnificent local Mosque. The sun has just set and so each was emerging from the daylight demands of their Ramadan fasts and heading off to share in the Iftar meal, which will mark the end of their fasting for today. I sensed a certain solidarity with their emergent state, because my personal focus for the next few days will be that of making sure that all is ready for me and my church community to emerge from our observance of our holy season of Lent and Holy Week, into the new dawn of Easter. Hopefully, these seasons of Ramadan and Lent will have given us all an opportunity, not simply to stave ourselves, but rather to rummage through
It has seemed a long time in the making but the Charities Act (2022) has now received Royal Assent. We consider some of the changes you can expect to see and what this means for you as a trustee. In our view, it simplifies existing legal frameworks, especially regarding permissions about how charities use their assets. In short, the Act further empowers trustees and gives charities greater operational flexibility. Please click on the title to find out more.
A lecture by our Client Director, Elizabeth Fathi, in her capacity as Chair of The Almshouse Association, given to The Charterhouse in September 2021.
In the ‘new normal’, where the working day is often no longer 9-5, why would someone want to devote some of their precious downtime to being a trustee? Well, in our experience, people choose to become trustees first and foremost because they have a personal interest in the aims of the charity. Perhaps not surprisingly, this is particularly true for trustees of family foundations, many of whom are acutely aware of the legacy and responsibilities that come with the position and are keen to continue the family tradition. But philanthropy in the 21st century may look very different to when these foundations were set up. Trustee boards today are having conversations around opportunity and challenge that would have been unknown to previous generations. With, for example, an increasing awareness of climate change, and an understanding of the importance of board diversity, we find that trustees are very aware of the
Navigating the new do’s and don’ts and what support is and isn’t available is a fast moving and crowded place. We hope this guide will keep you up to date with the main areas of concern for Trusts and Foundations. The Charity Commission response The Charity Commission has updated its guidance in response to COVID-19; please see here for details. In summary, the guidance states that: A charity cannot expand its beneficiary class because it suddenly wants to help a wider beneficiary group during the COVID crisis. If the governing documents do not give express powers to change the beneficiary group, then Charity Commission permission would still be needed. Some of the government’s business support measures apply to charities. Restricted funds may, in some instances and as a last resort, be able to be used by the charity facing financial problems but professional advice should be taken. AGMs. If trustees
The Trust Partnership and Stone King have joined their significant experience of working with Almshouses to put together three webinars aimed at providing trustees and staff with an Almshouse Toolkit of legal considerations and practical tips for the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. The first webinar on 6 May 2020 looked at surviving the lockdown and the second webinar on 17 June 2020 looked at Risk Management and Living with Uncertainty and the third on 28 July 2020 looked at Incorporation for Almshouses – Why and How.
Over the years we have been asked many times for support and guidance from our clients as to whether we think their investments are performing well enough, should they be doing anything different, and who should they be doing it with. We cannot provide investment advice…however, we can certainly help lift the mists which sometimes surround communications from investment houses, and here’s how. Trustees are often simply looking for a steer, a bench mark or a trusted friend when things begin to look a little rough and change looks like the likely remedy. Our Investment manager review document can help with this process, but here is a brief synopsis. Trustees cannot delegate the decision or the responsibility for their choice of investment manager but the process of choosing can be helped enormously by a good independent and qualified investment advisor. However, it’s important to remember they will only provide advice
Presuming that Brexit will go ahead (either on 29 March 2019 or later if Article 50 is extended), the UK’s withdrawal from the EU might affect charities in various ways, depending on their activities. In this briefing paper our colleague, Sarah Chiappini, sets out some of the issues that we should be thinking about. Brexit! – Implications for charities