The Charity Commission has warned trustees about financial controls and managing budgets. Following a number of high profile collapses in the sector and reports of fraud affecting some charities, the Commission has issued a reminder that all trustees are responsible for the financial health of their charities through ensuring financial safeguards are in place and scrutinising accounting records.
In a recent high profile case a charity lost £260,000 to fraud committed by one of its members of staff. Basic safeguards against fraud include the use of dual-signatories on online accounts as well as cheques and having more than one person access bank statements, as opposed to just management accounts. As all trustees have a duty to safeguard charity assets, it is important all the board are aware of what safeguards are in place.
Trustees are reminded to familiarise themselves with updated Charity Commission guidance:
- Managing a charity’s finances: planning, managing difficulties and insolvency
- Charity reserves: building resilience
- Charity governance, finance and resilience: 15 questions trustees should ask
We also recommend that all trustees read the guidance on internal financial controls to ensure they are happy with the procedures in place.
If you have any questions or concerns about your finances or financial controls you can always contract the RVA Advice Service on firstname.lastname@example.org.