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ICAEW Charities Online Financial Reporting Awards

The annual ICAEW Charities Online Financial Reporting and Accounts Awards (COFRA) are open to charities registered in the UK which prepare their accounts in line with the charities' SORP or other Charity Commission or OCSR guidance for small charities.

The next awards will be taking place in 2015 so please check this page regularly for information.

If you have any immediate questions please email us.

The awards aim to:

  • increase transparency by rewarding best practice in financial reporting
  • raise the standard of web-based financial reporting for greater impact and accessibility
  • encourage more charities to do their financial reporting online

2013 Winners and runners up announced

The awards took place on Monday 24 June at Chartered Accountants’ Hall which celebrated the charities that demonstrated excellence and innovation in online financial reporting.

About the Awards

The Awards are designed to encourage charities to make the presentation of financial reporting attractive and accessible to beneficiaries, donors and other stakeholders in the charity. These awards are aimed at recognising best practice in statutory accounts and other types of financial reports, including annual reviews and impact reporting, if available. Winning this award can also help charities to stand out from the crowd.

There are five categories of Awards, based on total income:

  • Income above £30m
  • Income between £5m and £30m
  • Income between £1m and £5m
  • Income between £250k and £1m
  • Income below £250K
How to enter

To nominate a charity, please email the following details to onlinereporting@icaew.com:

About you:

  • Name
  • Job title
  • Where you work

About the charity:

  • Contact details: address, telephone number and email
  • Registered Charity number with the Charity Commission or HMRC
  • Income category
  • Website addresses for accessing the statutory accounts, impact reports, annual reviews and other financial reporting information, if available
  • Year-end for the statutory accounts and other financial reports being judged
Judging process

Technical screeners will check and mark the statutory accounts for compliance with the current Charities’ SORP (Statement of Recommended Practice) for best practice. Any non-compliant statutory accounts will be disqualified. The highest scoring charities, those which best comply with the methods and principles of the current Charities' SORP (Statement of Recommended Practice), will go through to the second stage.

Our judges will then examine the shortlisted statutory accounts and other financial reports such as impact reports and annual reviews against a range of online reporting criteria:

  1. Availability

    Are the statutory accounts and other financial reports easy to find? Can they be found within three clicks from the homepage, even if through a search facility or a site-map?

  2. Clarity

    Are your charity's public benefit aims clearly stated?  Do your statutory accounts and financial reports tell an interesting story, to draw your supporters into your work? Are the objectives of your charity clear?

  3. Web-friendliness

    Is there a good balance of design, content and functionality? Do your accounts and reports link to other relevant areas of the website for further insights to deepen the visitor's understanding of your charity?

  4. Accessibility

    Is it easy to read and protected from unauthorised amendment? Is the financial information made more accessible by using an appropriate mixture of HTMLs and PDFs to improve navigation? Have graphs and pictures, video-clips and other visual/aural accessories been used to improve accessibility? 

  5. Impact

    Is it easy to find and appreciate your charity's achievements and the impact they are making in relation to the year's objectives and use of resources? Does your financial reporting focus on activities and outcomes rather than just how much work has been done?    

Previous winners

Photos and videos

Press releases


Winners and runners up will received prize money for their charity, a winners or runners up seal for their website and free annual subscription to ICAEW's Charity and Voluntary Sector Group.

All charities shortlisted for the Awards were given free places to attend the evening with their key stakeholders.

Tips for success

Here are a few hints and tips to make your annual accounts and other financial reports stand out from the crowd!

  • Quick access online is essential - in no more than three clicks from the home page. 
  • Check for basic omissions. However good your statutory reporting is, these will cause it to fail at the first hurdle.  Failure to sign off and date the balance sheet and trustee report on the same day is one of the most common causes of disqualification for these Awards. Manuscript signature or typed name is acceptable (i.e, by a current trustee claiming authority to sign on behalf of all the trustees). 
  • Help get your message across with 'at a glance' summaries. Give readers a snapshot of key achievements, comparatives and illustrations of how the finances relate to all this. Show how you achieve value for money. 
  • Adopt a simple and direct approach to narrative reporting: 'This is what we said we'd do, this is what we've done and the impact we’ve had and this is what we'll do next.
  • Try to ensure that your narrative is integrated with your financial reporting so that your key messages and achievements are consistent and clear for the reader. Security is vital.
  • Reconfigure your online reporting to html rather than relying on extensive use of pdf's or cutting and pasting. If you must use pdf's, break them up and provide the information page by page or in sections. No reader will visit your site if they can't choose the bits they want to read, there are too many pages on screen or the pdf is so huge that their system crashes.
  • Security is vital. Protect your data.
  • For further information view our handy helpsheet for tips and advice on entering the awards.
View the winners and runners up for 2013


The winners and runners up for this year’s awards are listed below in their subsequent categories

Charities with income less than £250K

  • Joint Winner: Aberdeen Strathspey & Reel Society
  • Joint Winner: Mexborough & Swinton Astronomical Society

Charities with income from £250k to £1m

  • Winner: South Yorkshire Funding Advice Bureau
  • Runner Up: Best Beginnings

Charities with income from £1m to 5m

  • No winners were awarded this year

Charities with income between £5m to £30m

  • Winner: Breakthrough Breast Cancer
  • Runner Up: Impetus Trust

Charities with income over £30m

  • Winner: RNIB
  • Runner Up: Alzheimer’s Society

The awards ceremony recognises charities which have demonstrated excellence and innovation in online financial reporting.

The awards are designed to encourage charities to make their websites and reports and accounts more attractive and accessible to beneficiaries, donors and stakeholders. Winning this award can also help charities to stand out from the crowd. Congratulations to all of our winners and runners up this year.

> 2013 winners press release

> View awards photos

Contact us

If you would like further information on these awards, please contact sigs@icaew.com