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Charity reporting & accounting needs to change, says SORP panel

Charity reporting & accounting needs to change, says SORP panel

Charity reporting and accounting must be refocused with the views and needs of the users of charity reports and accounts at their centre, the SORP governance review panel has found.

The panel was set up to review the future development of charity reporting and accounting and has now published its final report making a number of recommendations under five key themes.

It has made the recommendations to ensure that the way that charities report on their work and account for their income under the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) meets new public expectations and is fit for the future.

The Charities SORP (Statement of Recommended Practice on Accounting and Reporting by Charities) sets out the financial reporting requirements that apply to almost all charities preparing accounts, designed to give a true and fair view.

The final report‘s recommendations include:

  • The needs of the wider public and beneficiaries require a refocusing of the SORP and greater simplification of reporting requirements for smaller charities
  • The SORP Committee should be retained but reforms are needed regarding size, composition and clarification of the respective roles of the SORP-making body and SORP Committee
  • Broader and ongoing engagement is needed with a much wider group of stakeholders if the SORP is to continue to be fit for purpose
  • The sector and charity regulators should collaborate to identify and codify best practice in non-statutory financial reporting

Launched by the UK and Republic of Ireland’s four charity regulators, the review took place during 2018 and early 2019, and included a public consultation and events for participants to share their views. The 36 recommendations will now be submitted to the charity regulators for consideration and response.

Charities SORP Committee Governance Review Panel Chair, Professor Gareth Morgan, said:

“I was delighted when the charity regulators launched this Review and honoured to act as the Independent Chair. As an academic, and as a charity practitioner, I am aware of the strengths of the Charities SORP but I have also been aware of concerns expressed by some. Our consultation led to a wide range of really constructive suggestions, and I am confident that if the Panel’s recommendations are implemented the SORP will be considerably more effective in future.”

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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