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Charities

James Cowper Kreston has a long history of involvement with charities, schools, academies and other not-for-profit organisations. We have more than 160 clients in this sector. Our specialist team keeps fully up-to-date with all the changes in accounting, tax and other legislation which affect charities and educational organisations. We will carry out an audit in accordance with all the relevant charity audit requirements.

The benefits of our service extend beyond a signature on the audit report. We will carry out a robust audit focusing on key issues, and we will provide a high quality report to trustees and management covering potential internal control improvements and efficiency gains.  This report will also cover forthcoming challenges which will affect you as well as offering an insight into how our other charities’ experiences may be relevant to your own circumstances.

Whilst undertaking a robust and technically advanced audit, James Cowper Kreston will take the time to form a deep understanding of your charity, looking way beyond the numbers to see what really makes the charity tick.  We will use the audit process as a platform to provide real business advice, helping you to grow and develop your charity.

Independent Examination

An Independent Examination is required for most charities who fall below the audit threshold – broadly income of £500,000. In an audit report we state a positive opinion that in our opinion the accounts show a true and fair view. An Independent Examination has a more negative opinion.

The work carried out for an Independent Examination is less than an audit. The work is largely based on review of the figures and agreeing key balance sheet balances such as the bank balance. In a audit we will select sample transactions and agree these to supporting documentation.

Consequently the Independent Examiation is cheaper than an audit and may be seen as sufficient by the trustees.

We are able to undertake both forms of the report and if relevant would discuss the pros and cons of each with you.

Having independent and unbiased confirmation of the charity's financial position and processes are useful for a variety of reasons:

  • An audit adds to the reliability and credibility to the published financial statements. This may be particularly useful to potential purchasers if the business owner(s) are planning to sell the charity in the next few years.
  • Undertaking an audit will enable your advisors to measure and offer advice on the charity's Key Performance Indicators which will have real benefit to the running, and profitability, of the business going forward.
  • An audit will provide the stakeholders not directly involved in the day to day accounting function of the charity the peace of mind that the numbers are accurate and processes and procedures are in place to minimise the potential for inferior accounting and in the worst case scenario, fraud.

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