Charities Services has introduced new financial reporting standards for charities to take effect for the first full financial year beginning on or after 1 April 2015.

If your charity has an end of year date of 31 March, the first full year will begin on 1 April 2015 and the first report under the new standards will be due on 30 September 2016 (30 June end date means a 31 December 2016 report, 31 December end date means a 30 June 2017 report date).

Charities are categorised into four tiers.  Tier 1 is $30 million plus operating payments.  Tier 2 is $2m-$30 million.  Tier 3 is $125,000 to $2 million.  Tier 4 is under $125,000.

A tier 4 charity with under $125,000 operating payments can choose to report on a cash accounting basis.

If a tier 4 charity wishes to report on an accrual accounting basis it must report under the tier 3 standard.

When completing an annual return the content of the financial statements needed is now determined by the new reporting standards.

A tier 4 charity will need to ensure it collects data throughout the year to be able to report accurately.  Information required will include on the following areas:

Who are we?

Why do we exist?

What did we do?

When did we do it?

What did it cost?

How was it funded?

How did we account for our activities?

What do we need to continue?

Guidelines on the new standards are available from the Charities Services website


Alan Knowsley