A report by the Charity Commission has shown that 38% of small charities are providing inaccurate financial information in their financial returns.
The Charity Commission checked the accuracy of financial information provided by a sample of charities in their annual returns by comparing it with their accounts. 38% of a sample of charities with incomes below £25,000 per annum were found to be submitting inaccurate data, while in the sample of charities with incomes over £25,000, income and expenditure figures were 90% accurate.
Small charities make up two thirds of all charities on the register with basic information on income and expenditure the only financial information most are routinely required to provide to the Commission.
Larger charities with incomes over £500,000 must provide more information. In its sample, the Commission found a 95% accuracy rate for their balance sheet figures, while income and expenditure analyses were just over 80% accurate.
The Charity Commission has concluded that many charities are tasking people with insufficient knowledge of their organisation’s accounts with completing annual return figures, resulting in errors.
Nigel Davies, Head of Accountancy Services at The Charity Commission, said:
“Not providing accurate financial information is misleading and can have an impact on public trust. People want to know how charities spend their money; so this result is clearly not good enough.”
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