Other Charity Services

Risk management

The Charity Commission publication "Charities and Risk Management", states that it expects the Trustees Report to contain a section to address the key aspects of the SORP requirement. These are:

  • an acknowledgement of trustees' responsibilities;
  • an overview of the risk identification process;
  • an indication that major risks identified have been reviewed or assessed;
  • confirmation that control systems have been established to mitigate those risks.

We have worked with charities to develop practical risk management procedures which help deal with risks effectively, as well as ensuring Charity Commission compliance.

We will help trustees to fulfil their role in risk management which involves:

  • ensuring the identification, assessment and mitigation of risk is linked to the achievement of the charity's operational objectives;
  • ensuring the process covers all areas of risk – eg financial, governance, operational and reputational – and is focused primarily on major risks (ie those with a high likelihood of occurring and with the capacity to have a severe impact on the charity);
  • ensuring that the process seeks to produce a risk exposure profile that reflects the trustees' views as to levels of acceptable risk – reviewing and considering the principal results of risk identification, evaluation and management;
  • ensuring that the risk management process is ongoing and embedded in management and operational procedures.

Review of internal controls

Internal audit can play an important part in the management of risk. It can provide trustees and the management team with independent assurance that controls are in place and mitigating key risks effectively. Most charities, however, do not have the resources to justify a fully-developed internal audit function.

We can provide a cost-effective solution which will produce the type of assurance which internal auditors would normally provide.  We will discuss matters with the Trustees and once we have agreed the risks we will we then document, assess and test the controls over these areas.  We will also endeavour to identify risks which are not being adequately controlled and controls which are not operating as intended.

Reserves Policy Reviews

Recent reviews by the Charity Commission suggest that many charities need to improve their policies on reserves. We can provide assistance in developing your reserves policy, including

  •  assistance in calculating ' free ' reserve;
  • looking at the current level of reserves in relation to the charity's future needs;
  • identifying problems with low reserves and possible solutions;
  • justification of high levels of reserves in relation to future needs;
  • better reporting of your reserves policy to potential funders via your trustees' report.

Governance reviews

Increasingly, charities need to ensure their governance is beyond reproach, and appropriate for their size and nature. We can review charities’ governance procedures, including:

  • procedures for recruiting and training trustees, and ensuring the board has the appropriate range of skills;
  • the committee structure and terms of reference;
  • procedures for identifying and managing conflicts of interest and related party transactions;
  • procedures for self-assessing the effectiveness of the board;
  • the relationship between the trustees and the chief executive;

Mergers

In the current financial climate many charities are struggling.  One way to deal with this is for charities with similar aims to merge.  We have helped charities achieve successful mergers. Our help will typically include advice on how to structure the merger and, if appropriate, due diligence on the charity being investigated.