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Accounting for churches

Church accounting is a specialist area that requires expertise and an understanding of the charity sector. On this page you can access a range of articles, books and online resources providing quick links to practical guidance and background knowledge.

We have separate information on accounting for charities and maintain a guide to resources on Islamic finance.

What's on this page?

  • PCC Accountability
  • Church Accounting Regulations
  • Example reports and guidance
  • Online articles
  • Books and articles from the library

Contact the Library

Expert help for your enquiries and research.

E  library@icaew.com

T  +44 (0)20 7920 8620

ICAEW support and guidance

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.

PCC Accountability Guide

PCC Accountability: The Charities Act 2011 and the PCC
Guide to parish, diocesan and charitable finances providing essential advice for the preparation and scrutiny of annual accounts and financial reports. The guidance incorporates SORP 2015 regulations, provides a guide on receipts and payments accounting, and gives example Annual Reports and Accounts for small and large PCCs. The fifth edition was published in 2017. A PDF version is also available.

Accounting and Reporting Regulations for English Anglican Cathedrals

Accounting regulations checklist
Guidance note to the Accounting and Reporting Regulations for English Anglican Cathedrals produced by the Cathedral Administration and Finance Association (CAFA) and published in June 2016.

Cathedral reserves
Guidance note to the Accounting and Reporting Regulations for English Anglican Cathedrals produced by CAFA and published in June 2016.

Example reports and guidance

Baptist Union resources and guidelines: Finance
Guidance and templates, including sample Terms of Engagement of Independent Examiner and a template for annual reports.

Church accounts under SORP 2005 (United Reform Church)
A collection of guidance notes, pro formas and example trustees' report for church accounts.

Managing Trustees and Methodist Money
Guidance on preparing end-of-year accounts, independent examinations and audits. A specimen set of church accounts and independent examiners unqualified report is also available to download within the text of the publication.

Mosque and community centre: Example trustees' annual report
Sample accounts produced by the Charity Commission.

Parish Resources: Accounting and reporting
Wide range of resources supporting the management of parochial church councils (PCCs) provided by the Church of England's National Stewardship Department. Information includes guidance on:

  • receipts and payments accounts (including example accounts)
  • accruals accounts
  • producing the trustees annual report
  • external scrutiny.

Parish Resources: Parish finance
Guides and information on parish finance including:

  • appointing a new treasurer
  • new treasurers guide
  • accounting for different types of funds
  • accounting and reporting
  • thresholds, independent examination
  • Gift Aid
  • funding guides
  • pensions auto-enrolment
  • FACTA.

Parochial Church Council: Example trustees' annual report
Sample accounts produced by the Charity Commission.

Standard forms of accounts (Methodist Church)
Templates available to download in PDF and Excel format, with detailed notes. Sample documents include standard forms of accounts for accruals accounting, standard forms for receipts and payments, annual reports and engagement letters.

Other resources

Church collections (HMRC)
Information on church collections within the Gift Aid scheme (Gift Aid, section 3.44) covering:

  • collections for the benefit of the church
  • church collections passed on to a charity
  • church collections given to a church fund for a charity.

Organisations

Association of Church Accountants and Treasurers (ACAT)
Body established in 1992 to provide accounting guidance to churches, including checklists for preparing accounts.

Cathedral Administration and Finance Association (CAFA)
Body created to encourage the sharing of best practice and excellent standards of administration and financial management within English Anglican Cathedrals.

Churches' Legislation Advisory Service (CLAS)
Organisation in the UK representing major church bodies on legal issues. The CLAS issues guidance on church management, including taxation and grants. 

Ecclesiastical Law Society
Website includes a selection of reports on ecclesiastical cases taken from the Ecclesiastical Law Journal.

Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme
Interim grant scheme from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The site provides a four-step guide to eligibility for the scheme.

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.

Can't find what you are looking for?

If you're having trouble finding the information you need, ask the Library & Information Service. Contact us by telephone on +44 (0)20 7920 8620, by web chat or by email at library@icaew.com.

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