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Charities SORP Committee publishes guidance on Covid-19

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30 Mar 2020

The Charities Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) Committee has published guidance on the implications of COVID-19 control measures and charity financial reporting.

The advice does not amend the SORP, is advisory in nature and aims to assist preparers, auditors and examiners of accounts. Preparers are under no obligation to apply the advice.

The key messages from the guidance are:

  • The measures being taken to contain COVID 19 will impact on charities in many different ways and it is important for charity trustees to understand the impact on the delivery of their activity and their governance including their finances.
  • Where a charity is preparing a set of accounts and these have not yet been approved, trustees should consider whether information needs to be included to explain the impact of the COVID 19 situation on their charity.
  • There could be changes to the financial statements needed as a result of the COVID 19 situation and it is important that trustees understand and consider these.
  • Charities should keep up to date with developing guidance from the relevant charity regulator in their jurisdiction.

Specifically the guidance covers:

  • The Trustees’ Annual Report and risk reporting.
  • Accounting related considerations:
    • ‘True and fair’
    • Post balance sheet events
    • Going concern considerations
    • Alternative basis of preparation where not a going concern
    • Defined benefit pension liabilities
    • Liabilities and provisions
  • Audit and external scrutiny.
  • Reporting to the charity regulator by charity trustees.
  • Filing and going concern, trustees’ filing responsibilities and late filing.

The guidance is available on the Charities SORP website.  The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has also published a guide on the implications of COVID-19 on charity acconting.  It is available from the ICAEW website.

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