Reporting matters by Charity Auditors and Independent Examiners
28 November 2017
The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator and The Charity Commission for England and Wales as regulators of charities across the UK have produced joint guidance to assist auditors and independent examiners to identify issues that must be reported to the charity regulator (matters of material significance) and matters that may be reported to the charity regulator (matters that are significant and may be relevant).
The main message of the guidance is ‘When in doubt, report it’. Charity regulators want to be informed of significant matters and the relevant charity regulator will then decide if any action needs to be taken.
The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland has specific areas of priority and specific guidance on reporting serious incidents which include financial crime such as fraud, theft and money laundering.
The auditor or independent examiner may be required to exercise their own judgment as to whether they have discovered a relevant matter during the course of the audit or independent examination. Helpfully the guidance gives examples of issues that are immaterial to the accounts and don’t have any bearing on use of charitable funds or assets that do not need to be reported. In addition, there are worked examples to help determine what matters may need to be reported.
An auditor or independent examiner of a charity in Northern Ireland that is not yet registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, is encouraged to report relevant matters as such reporting is considered to be best practice.
The guidance can be accessed here : https://www.charitycommissionni.org.uk/media/143070/20171122-ccni-eg062-reporting-of-relevant-matters-of-interest-to-uk-charity-regulators-a-guide-for-auditors-and-independent-examiners.pdf
If you would like any further information or advice, please do not hesitate to contact Naomi Gaston or one of the other members of the Charity Law Team at Carson McDowell.