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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.

We also have a separate page on accounting for charities in general.

What's on this page?

  • Statement of Recommended Practice
  • Useful links
  • Timeline of previous SORPs, consultations and guidance
  • 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) – Second edition October 2019
Statement of Recommended Practice applicable to charities preparing their accounts in accordance with FRS 102 effective from 1 January 2019. Published in October 2019. The SORP can be accessed as modules on the SORP website and printed copies are available to purchase from CIPFA.

Guidance from the Charity Commission and OSCR

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.

Accruals accounts pack (CC17): SORP FRS 102
Templates to help non-company charities prepare their trustees' annual report and accruals accounts in accordance with Charities SORP FRS 102. The pack also includes a trustees' annual report template (SORP FRS 102) and independent examiner's report template (SORP FRS 102). Updated in September 2016.

Information sheets and help sheets
Suggested solutions to implementation issues and guidance giving preparers of charity accounts further information about the changes introduced by the SORP. Includes:

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 Finance Professionals Community
The community focuses on supporting finance professionals working in or advising clients 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.

Volunteering Community
A new community created specifically to support members who wish to provide pro bono finance services, take up a trustee position or a volunteering role with a UK charity or not-for-profit organisation. It provides regular e-newsletters covering latest developments and volunteering opportunities, access to trustee training modules and professional liability insurance for pro bono activities with UK charities and not-for-profits.

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. 

Timeline of previous SORPs, consultations and guidance

2020

COVID-19 implications for charity accounting
Guide from ICAEW highlighting a number of key issues arising from COVID-19 that may require consideration in connection with trustees’ annual reports and accounts for charities. Published on 4 June 2020.

Implications of COVID-19 control measures and charity financial reporting
The Charities SORP Committee published guidance for trustees and preparers of charity accounts on 23 March 2020, focusing on the "financial reporting implications that may arise from the measures being put in place to contain the impact of the COVID-19 virus."

2019

Guiding the Development of the Charities SORP: ICAEW Representation 20/19
ICAEW response issued in February 2019 to the the consultation opened by the Charities SORP Governance Review Panel.

Guiding the development of the Charities SORP: Exploring changes to the way the Statement of Recommended Practice: Accounting and Reporting by Charities is developed
Invitation to comment issued by the Charities SORP Governance Review Panel in November 2018. The call for comments closed in February 2019.

2018

Charities SORP (FRS 102) Update Bulletin 2
This second bulletin takes into account the amendments to FRS 102 made in the December 2017 Triennial Review. It should be read in addition to applying Update Bulletin 1. Published on 5 October 2018 by CIPFA, the Charity Commission for England and Wales, the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, and the OSCR. 

Update Bulletin 2 - Consultation launched 20 February 2018
Consultation documents and background information from the Charity Commission and OSCR. The consultation period closed on 4 April 2018.

2016

Research exercise on Charities SORP (FRS 102)
The joint SORP-making body and SORP Committee launched a consultation on 4 May 2016 seeking the views of users, practitioners, commentators and the accountancy profession following the first year of the Charities SORP (FRS 102) that became effective on 1 January 2015. The responses received are available to view online.

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.

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. The consultation closed on 18 September 2015.

2014

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. Available through the archive of previous editions on the Charities SORP website.

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. Available through the archive of previous editions on the Charities SORP website.

Charities SORP consultation
A new exposure draft was published by the Charity Commission and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator on 8 July 2013. The consultation closed on 4 November 2013 and an analysis of the responses was published in March 2014.

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.

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. Available through the archive of previous editions on the Charities SORP website.

2004

Consultation: Accounting and Reporting by Charities
The Charity Commission launched a Charity SORP Consultation on 30th June 2004, alongside an exposure draft for a new edition of the SORP. A summary of the responses was published in December 2004.

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. A summary of responses to the consultation was published in April 2004.

Accounting and reporting by Charities (the Charities SORP) - Update Bulletin 1
Update (24 pages, PDF format) from the Charity Commission which addresses all new accounting standards and abstracts issued by the ASB since the publication of SORP 2000. Published January 2003.

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

Accounting and Reporting by Charities: Statement of Recommended Practice
The Charity Commission published a new edition of the SORP which came into full effect on 1 January 2001. A summary of associated materials was also provided on a dedicated SORP 2000 page, including guidance on what changed with the new SORP.

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

1999

Accounting and Reporting by Charities: Exposure Draft of Recommended Practice (Revised 1999)
In December 1999 the Charity Commission issued a exposure draft for a new SORP to replace the SORP issued in 1995, following on from a consultation in September 1998.

1995

Accounting by charities
Statement of Recommended Practice issued by the Charity Commission in 1995. The ICAEW Library holds copies in its print collection. 

The Charity Commission later produced a publication setting out the charity accounting framework under SORP 1995 and the 1995 Accounting Regulations, for charities with new financial years which started on or before 31 December 2000. The publication includes links to a range of guidance associated with SORP 1995 (CCs 51-58).

Online articles

The Library provides access to leading business, finance and management journals. These journals are available 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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