The Charity and Not For Profit sector is both large and complex in terms of the regulatory and governance frameworks which organisations are expected to adhere to. Whether you are looking to appoint an auditor, maximise on tax efficiencies or need specialist insurance cover, we have a wealth of expertise and experience in the Charity sector.
Our Charity and Not for Profit team is made up of experienced professionals who have been handpicked from within our business for their expertise in their specialists fields. We understand how important it is for charities to get it right, particularly as the sector remains under the media spotlight.
From supporting Trustees as they deal with regulatory requirements, to providing assurances that your organisation is operating as it should be, through an Internal Audit, we have advisory teams who can help you in your role and help you to manage and mitigate risks.
Scrutton Bland looks after the insurance and risk management needs of over 500 charities and third-sector organisations. With over 100 years’ insurance broking experience and a dedicated charity team, we understand the unique requirements of the sector and the types of protection it demands.
How we can help
Through our specialist charity scheme, we provide clients with exclusive terms and a bespoke set of covers that aren’t readily available on the open market. Our insurance is underwritten by one of the UK’s leading, A-rated insurers, giving clients all the cover they need in one policy and at an affordable premium.
It is often easy to overlook the fact that Trustees are volunteers too, yet they take on an enormous responsibility and regulatory burden when they accept the post. The external audit process is a key tool for the Board to obtain comfort on the financial statements and the financial operations of the charity.
The charity sector is a fascinating and rewarding one, but it does have its own unique challenges, risks and requirements. From financial reporting to the differing levels of communication between management and trustees, everything works differently in a charity.
Our teams have significant experience, gained over many years by advising not-for-profit sector clients, which means we can offer a more-than-an-average audit process.
We will engage with both your Board of Trustees and management to ensure that communication is clear and effective. We will use our sector knowledge to provide advice on best practice and efficiencies. And we will give you practical support around financial reporting and regulatory compliance which not only underpins the audit process itself, but provides your Trustees with the comfort they require.
We live in a world where the best intentions to reduce red tape can all too often have the reverse effect and increase the regulatory burden by transferring the onus onto organisations themselves, and this is felt most acutely in the not-for-profit sector.
Trustees, who freely give their time, unfortunately end up having to accept responsibility in the event of a regulatory failure, and are therefore incredibly dependent on the effectiveness of internal controls, processes and systems being in place.
Many of these controls and systems will be in respect of financial processes, but increasingly the risks around areas such as cyber-attack, data protection and effective operational governance can all have an equally significant impact.
By outsourcing your internal audit process, you can provide your Board with the reassurance that appropriate controls and systems are in place and working correctly. But perhaps more importantly, undergoing an internal audit allows you to tap into the wealth of experience that our professional teams have garnered over the years through their work with similar organisations, which means that they are well placed to provide recommendations on how to improve efficiency and quality.
In addition our internal audit team regularly work with Boards to ensure that the risk assessment and mitigation processes are formalised and documented, as well as facilitating sessions around self-assessment of effectiveness of the Board and any Committees in operation.
Despite the charity sector benefitting from a number of potential tax exemptions, getting qualified and experienced tax advice is crucial to ensure that compliance and tax planning opportunities are maximised.
The nature of many charities’ activities can mean that they may be subject to partial exemption if they have to register for VAT, but careful planning is needed if you are to ensure that the recovery of input VAT is maximised.
Professional tax advice on VAT and specifically on capital projects, is essential if you are to ensure that any risks can be minimised and that you can focus on your priority of delivering outcomes to the beneficiaries of your organisation.
The rules around Gift Aid are constantly being tweaked and amended, so it is essential to have advisers who regularly deal with specific Gift Aid issues and who can react to the changing regulatory environment.
Stamp Duty is another tax that needs careful planning, particularly on capital projects, and this can often fall between the legal and accounting advisers. However, with a number of in-house specialists who are trained and experienced in dealing with SDLT we can help to make sure that your transactions are structured in the most tax effective way.
Many charities now have trading subsidiaries and we have significant experience in ensuring that such structures are set up efficiently and that ongoing compliance is handled smoothly.
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