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Accounting for charities

A range of articles, books and online resources providing quick links to practical guidance and background knowledge on accounting for charities and the not-for profit sector.

We also have a separate page on the Charities Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP)

Webinars and recordings

eBooks

The ICAEW Library & Information Service provides full text access to a selection of key business and reference eBooks from leading publishers. eBooks are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users. If you are unable to access an eBook, please see our Help and support advice or contact library@icaew.com.

Bloomsbury Accounting and Tax Service

Eligible firms have free access to Bloomsbury Professional's comprehensive online library, comprising more than 60 titles from some of the country's leading tax and accounting subject matter experts. Find out who is eligible and how you can access the Bloomsbury Accounting and Tax Service.

ICAEW guidance and support

Charity Community
The community focuses on supporting finance professionals in their paid or voluntary roles in the charity and voluntary sectors. It offers regular e-newsletters containing the latest news and updates, as well as technical helpsheets, webinars and discounts on ICAEW events.

Register of award holders (DChA)
A directory of finance professionals who have been awarded the Diploma in Charity Accounting. The directory is searchable by name, location and organisation.

Useful links

Charity Commission

The Charity Commission is the regulator for charities in England and Wales and responsible for setting the Accounting and Reporting by Charities: Statement of Recommended Practice, along with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.

Charity accounts, financial reporting and tax
Essential information on preparing charity annual returns, accounts and trustees' annual reports collected in one place. The listed resources include introductory guides, example accounts, document templates and technical guidance for auditors, independent examiners, trustees and those managing charity finances.

Example trustees annual reports
Example trustee reports and accounts prepared using FRS 102 and following the Charities SORP. The examples cover a company limited by guarantee and an unincorporated trust.

Information sheets and help sheets
Provides suggested solutions to implementation issues from applying charities SORP (FRS 102) together with further information about the changes introduced by the new SORPs.

Register of charities
Search for charities by keyword, classification, income range or other criteria. The register also provides access to downloadable annual reports or annual accounts for many charities, historical data and a top 50 ranking of charities by income, spending, growth and other criteria.

Charity Commission of Northern Ireland

The Charity Commission of Northern Ireland is an independent regulator responsible for setting the Accounting and Reporting by Charities: Statement of Recommended Practice, alongside the Charity Commission and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.


It provides a suite of guidance on annual reporting providing an introduction to, and overview of, the requirements for charities. Areas covered include receipts and payments accounts, accruals accounts, annual monitoring returns, guidance for independent examiners, template examiners reports and trustees annual reports.

Financial Reporting Council (FRC)

The FRC sets the principles and procedures that external auditors in the UK and the Republic of Ireland are required to follow. The FRC has published guidance relating to charities, including:

HMRC

HMRC produces many resources on charities and tax, including a set of detailed guidance notes and information on Gift Aid and the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme.

Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) is an independent body responsible for setting the Accounting and Reporting by Charities: Statement of Recommended Practice, alongside the Charity Commission.

The regulator maintains guidance on charity accounting in Scotland, including example accounts and an online version of Scottish Charity Accounts: An updated guide to the 2006 Regulations:

Other guidance

Made Simple guides
Audit consultancy firm Sayer Vincent publishes a series of practical guides covering a wide range of topics relevant to charities, particularly their retail outlet.

Retention of Accounting Records
The firm Buzzacott has compiled a table showing suggested retention periods for the most commonly held documents alongside explanatory notes. Published in 2020.

Other organisations

Association of Charity Independent Examiners
Body representing independent examiners with information about the role of the organisation, membership and independent examination.

Charity Finance Group
Specialist organisation (previously the Charity Finance Directors' Group), which assists charities to manage their finance functions. The website contains details of membership and abstracts of information sheets for the charities sector.

Charity Tax Group (CTG)
A non-profit membership organisation previously known as the Charities' Tax Reform Group, which makes representations to government on issues relating to the taxation of charities. The site includes details of its campaign priorities and information on membership.

Charities Internal Audit Network (CIAN)
Supported by the Charity Commission and the Institute of Internal Auditors UK and Ireland, the aim of CIAN is to assist its members in the voluntary sector. CIAN offers a forum, latest news, training opportunities and a special interest groups section.

Featured resources

Croner-i Audit and Accounting Sector Guides

Croner-i publishes a Charity Sector guide that provides specialist guidance on the legal, auditing and accounting aspects of dealing with charities.

To find out more, please contact the Library enquiry team on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or at library@icaew.com. Access to this resource is for ICAEW members and students only.

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 and books in the ICAEW Library collection

The collection of the ICAEW Library & Information Service includes a number of articles and books on accounting for charities. Use the links below to see some of the titles available to request in our Library catalogue (Libcat).

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to borrowing books.

You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports through our document supply service.

Can't find what you're looking for?

The ICAEW Library can give you the right information from trustworthy, professional sources that aren't freely available online. Contact us for expert help with your enquiries and research.

Disclaimer

ICAEW accepts no responsibility for the content on any site to which a hypertext link from this site exists. The links are provided ‘as is’ with no warranty, express or implied, for the information provided within them. Please see the full copyright and disclaimer notice.