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Accounting and Reporting by Charities: Statement of Recommended Practice

The charities SORP gives guidance on financial accounting and reporting for charitable entities. On this page you can access a range of articles, books and online resources providing quick links to the regulations, guidance and other key documentation.

What's on this page?

  • Statement of Recommended Practice
  • Useful links
  • Archived documents
  • Online articles
  • Books and articles from the library

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Statement of Recommended Practice

Issuing bodies

The Charity Commission and the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator are responsible for issuing the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) for charities.

Full-text sources for the SORP

Charities SORP (FRS 102)
Statement of Recommended Practice applicable to charities preparing their accounts in accordance with FRS 102, effective from 1 January 2015. Published in July 2014.

Charities SORP (FRS 102) Update Bulletin 1
Amendments to the July 2014 SORP withdrawing the Charities SORP (FRSSE) and taking into account changes to FRS 102 and the Charities Act 2011 (Accounts and Audit) Order 2015. The update was published by the Charity Commission, OSCR and CIPFA on 2 February 2016.

Charities SORP (FRSSE)
Statement of Recommended Practice applicable to charities preparing their accounts in accordance with the Financial Reporting Standard for Smaller Entities, effective 1 January 2015. Published in July 2014. Following consultation, the Charities SORP (FRSSE) will not apply from 2016.

Guidance from the Charity Commission and OSCR

Charities SORP help sheets
Guidance giving preparers of charity accounts further information about the changes introduced by the new SORP:

SORP examples and useful information
Example accounts under FRS 102 and FRSSE for charities in England and Wales and in Scotland. The examples cover a variety of entity types.

Trustees' annual report: How to prepare
Basic guidance on the function of the annual report, how much detail is required and how to report public benefit. The guides include templates and examples.

Useful links

ICAEW

Charity and Voluntary Sector Group
The ICAEW special interest group supports professionals working in this area and provides up-to-date information and newsletters, technical helpsheets, seminars and events.

Other regulations

Charities (Accounts and Reports) Regulations 2008
Full text of the Statutory Instrument that came into force on 1 April 2008.

Charity reporting and accounting: The essentials
Guidance from the Charity Commission with information on the accounting framework, legal requirements and specific reporting requirements for different types of charities.

Guidance and model accounts

Financial disclosure reporting checklist: Charities SORP (FRS 102)
Disclosure checklist for charities preparing accounts under the FRS 102 SORP, with explanatory notes. Published by the CFG and Crowe Clark Whitehill in March 2016.

Guidance for independent schools on statutory reporting (Purple Book)
Fifth edition of the official guidance for independent schools on the Charities SORP under FRS 102, with specimen annual reports and accounts. Published in April 2015 by Crowe Clark Whitehill.

Sector report: Charities and SORP 2015 accounting and tax issues
Accountancy, April 2015
An FRS 102 based accounting framework with the first new charity SORP for a decade and a raft of tax complexities are problematic for the charities sector as they face increasingly difficult funding issues. This article offers an expert opinion from Cancer Research UK CFO Ian Kenyon, discussing Gift Aid abuse, VAT rules, the charity SORP and social media. Includes a table showing top 10 charities by income, expenditure, number of employees and other data.

SORP 2015 made simple
Guide for people new to charity accounts produced by Sayer Vincent in 2015 including:

  • fund accounting
  • the format and content of charity accounts
  • trustees' annual report
  • statement of financial activities
  • income
  • expenditure
  • charity balance sheets.

An introduction to FRS102 for charities
Guide published by Grant Thornton in July 2014 looking at the key changes arising from the FRS 102 compliant SORP along with suggested actions.

Guidance for students' unions on reporting under the charities SORP 2005
Guidance with specimen annual report and accounts produced by the National Union of Students (NUS) in May 2009.

Archived documents

SORP Committee Meetings and Papers
Online archive of SORP committee minutes and selected papers.

SORP 2005

Accounting and Reporting by Charities: Statement of Recommended Practice
The full text of the SORP 2005, updated in May 2008, is available for download from the Charity Commission.

SORP 2005 documents
Overview of materials from the Charity Commission with information sheets and other resources to help preparers of charity accounts, including:

2015

Changes in UK accounting prompt consultation on Charities SORP
Press release issued by the Charity Commission on 18 June 2015 announcing a draft Update Bulletin outlining proposed changes to the SORP. Further information on the SORP consultation is available from the Charities SORP microsite, covering the change to the SORP for FRS 102, a replacement for the SORP based on FRSSE and a revised definition of ‘larger charity’ in the SORPs.

2014

Regulators announce what's to be expected in the new SORP
Press release issued by the Charity Commission on 31 March 2014. The Charity Commission and Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator have published analysis of the SORP consultation and announce that there will be two new SORPs, one based on FRS 102 and one based on FRSSE.

Charities SORP consultation
A new exposure draft was published by the Charity Commission and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator in July 2013. The document is available to download in full or as individual modules. The consultation closed on 4 November 2013 and a new SORP was issued in July 2014.

2008

Charities (Accounts and Reports) Regulations 2008
Briefing published by Baker Tilly in April 2008 summarising the regulations.

2007

Charities and Risk Management
Guidance from the Charity Commission on the risk management elements introduced by the SORP 2005. Topics include reporting of risk management in the Trustees' Annual Report, example format of a risk register and examples of potential risk areas, their impact and mitigation.

2004

A Summary of the Consultation Responses on the Exposure Draft of the Statement of Recommended Practice for Charity Accounts issued in June 2004
A report on the responses to the consultation in June 2004, published in December 2004 by the Charity Commission.

2003

Inputs Matter: Improving the Quality of Reporting in the Charity Sector
In November 2003 the Charity Finance Directors' Group (CFDG) published a consultation document, which made a number of proposals to 'improve the quality and consistency of charity annual reports' ranging from the valuation of volunteer time to redefining management and administration costs as governance costs. The consultation focuses on the inputs into charity accounts and it was anticipated that the report would contribute to the next annual SORP review.

2002

Private Action, Public Benefit: A Review of Charities and the Wider Not-For-Profit Sector
Report published by the Cabinet Office Strategy Unit in September 2002, now hosted on Co-Operatives UK website. The report's conclusions include the recommendation to strengthen the focus of the Charity SORP 'on achievements against objectives, organisational impact and future strategy' (see chapter 6 on Building public trust and confidence and supporting the sector in improving performance).

2000

Risk management for charities: threat or opportunity? (Charities Alert)
A guide from Horwath Clark Whitehill Chartered Accountants looking at the risk reporting aspects of the Charities SORP, and the wider context of risk management for charities.

Accounting by charities: the proposed changes to the regulations on charity accounts and reports
ICAEW memorandum published in March 2000 in response to the Charity Commission's Consultation on Draft Regulations on Charity Accounts and Reports.

Online articles

The library provides access to a range of articles in full text from leading business, finance and management journals. Access to articles is provided to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users subject to suppliers' terms of use.

Articles are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users.

Articles and books in the Library collection

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans. You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports by post, fax or email through our document supply service.

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