Charity Audit

Our Charity Audit Approach

Our audit approach is based on risk with emphasis on the areas of greatest risk to your charity.  We will understand and evaluate the risks in your operations and we will continuously refine our audit approach to ensure that it is appropriate to the charity’s risk profile.

We are fully aware of the importance of your financial statements to external stakeholders in terms of publicising the aims and achievements of your charity.

Charity Audit Cycle

  1. Strategic Analysis – Understand the objectives and strategies of the charity;
  2. Process Analysis – Understand the processes and factors that drive the charities performance;
  3. Risk Assessment – Identify the risks and evaluate the design and operating effectiveness of controls;
  4. Audit Test Work – Detailed audit work focusing on audit risk areas and non-routine transactions;
  5. Evaluation and Communication – Frequent and informal feedback on key issues throughout the audit, and a formal reporting process at the end result in opportunities for improvement.

Risk Based Charity Audit

The advantages of adopting a risk based analysis and audit approach are that it:

  • Provides a basis for identifying audit risk;
  • Utilises trustees’ and management’s understanding of risk;
  • Focuses on key audit risks;
  • Directs attention to key processes;
  • Applies an understanding of the charity’s environment;
  • Provides a context for analysis of financial information and accounting policy and disclosure issues;
  • Provides a fundamental platform for added value.

Objectives of the Charity Audit

  • To express an opinion on the financial statements of the charity.
  • To highlight key issues that have been of relevance in forming our audit opinion.

In addition to the formal objectives above we aim to achieve the following:

  • the highest quality of audit opinion and client service;
  • provide timely warning of issues requiring management attention;
  • provide advice and support on the resolution of key issues;
  • provide guidance and support to the trustees;
  • provide a constructive contribution to the charity;
  • cause a minimum of disruption to the operations of the charity;
  • add value to the charity wherever possible.

The process to achieve the above will consist of:-

Planning

We keep in touch with you throughout the year, so we are familiar with any major developments. Before the year-end we agree:

  • the timing of the audit and key meetings;
  • the areas where we will focus our work;
  • any schedules you need to prepare;
  • our fee.

Time spent at the planning stage helps to avoid unpleasant surprises and misunderstandings over what we expect of each other. It also ensures the minimum of disruption, and helps to ensure you gain the maximum benefit from the process.

Staffing and Resources

All of our staff who engage in your audit have received specialist training in charity accounting and auditing. The audit will be planned and overseen by one of our team members holding the Chartered Accountant’s Diploma in Charity Accounting.  All of our audit methodologies are tailored to be specific to charities.

Continuity

Our staff turnover rate is significantly lower than most comparable firms. We find that both our staff and our clients like to stay with us. You will be dealing with the same people year on year and because of this you will find we have a deeper understanding of your organisation and its needs.

Reporting

We discuss urgent issues with the appropriate staff and trustees, as they arise. At the end of the audit, we meet with trustees and senior staff to examine any matters arising from the audit and our draft report to the trustees. This report may cover some or all of the following:

  • comments on financial trends;
  • the extent to which the charity’s strategies and performance are in line with its objectives;
  • practical suggestions for systems improvements;
  • comments on any system failures or significant breaches in procedures
  • accounting issues;
  • forthcoming issues, and recommendations on what the charity should do to address them.

Useful links

If you found this information useful, these other resources may be of interest to you: