October 2022 Finance Network Meeting – “The Importance of Good Financial Governance”

The next Finance Network Meeting will take place on Wednesday 26th October from 11:00 to 12:30 and will focus on the topic “The Importance of Good Financial Governance”.

The next Finance Network Meeting will take place on Wednesday 26th October 2022 from 11:00 to 12:30. The meeting will cover the very topical subject of ‘The Importance of Good Financial Governance’ which will be presented by Judith Miller, a Partner in Sayer Vincent, leading auditors and advisers to charities and social purpose organisations. (Financial Governance here includes relevant financial controls and also good reporting practices, for trustee boards and for SMT use.) Find out full details below, including how to book your place.

We will also be joined on the day by Angela Croucher, Finance Director at Age UK West Sussex, Brighton & Hove, who will share some of her perspectives on Good Financial Reporting for the trustee board.

Both topics are very relevant because we are all living in very uncertain times right now – having come through the worst of the pandemic, we are now facing unprecedented challenges in the form of the cost-of-living crisis, spiralling energy costs (albeit now thankfully capped, but for how long?), inflation, staff recruitment and retention issues and radical changes in the funding landscape. If ever there was a time for trustees to ensure good financial governance in their organisations and to be receiving clear and informative financial reports, that time is surely now.

The pandemic impacted on the Network in varying ways and to different degrees. Many Brand Partners have found new ways to reach clients, adapting working practices to address new circumstances – in particular, by making greater use of technology. This will bring its own set of challenges and it is important that local Age UKs ensure their financial controls and governance processes are fit for purpose and have kept pace with these changes.

According to the Charity Code of Governance, a charity is best-placed to achieve its ambitions and aims if it has effective governance and the right leadership structures. ‘Skilled and capable trustees will help a charity attract resources and put them to best use.’

But effective financial governance carries more challenges because many trustees won’t have been recruited for their financial skills and may not feel confident about finance. Some may be over-reliant on others who have more experience to take the lead on financial matters, or they may engage in an inappropriate level of detail when effective financial management means looking at the bigger picture and longer-term sustainability of the charity.

This can be helped or hindered by the financial information with which trustees are presented. Do reports help them to understand the drivers of financial sustainability and explain, in simple terms, the charity’s position on results, cash, and reserves?

So as a trustee, or a member of the SMT, are you sufficiently up to speed with the present financial position of your charity? Are you able to consider the best way forward for the charity at this time of huge financial and economic challenge? Are you able to show the leadership which good governance demands of trustees?

Book your place

To book your place at the meeting, or if unable to attend on the day, to request a copy of the slides and the recording, please click here.

You will receive a brief confirmation once you have submitted your registration form. The Teams Meeting Link and Joining Instructions will be sent to you directly by the Financial Governance Team nearer the time of the event in the usual way. So please fill in the form using the above link, book out the time in your diary and watch out for the Teams Meeting Link email – thank you.

Cost of Living – Enquiry Codes

We have received a lot of feedback from local Age UKs on cost-of-living issues, including how many older people are coming to you for support in this area, or how it is presented as a concern when older people are seeking support for other issues.

Information & Advice teams have told us that they would value a way to capture these enquiries. Collecting this data will also support Age UK to campaign and influence at a national level for additional support for older people affected by the cost of living crisis.

Changes

As a result, we have now updated the enquiry codes, and have added a new Tier 1 code.

25 – Cost of Living

There is also a Tier 2 code underneath this.

25A – Cost of Living, Energy

We have aimed to keep this as straightforward as possible for now. Please feedback to us any further suggestions. We will review the codes at the next quarter (Q4, January – March 2023).

What do you need to do?

Systems

For Information & Advice Teams using Charitylog, this will appear in your possible enquiry codes from 29 September. There is no further action required to ensure this code is available for use.

For Information & Advice Teams using Salesforce, this will appear in your possible enquiry codes from 1 October. No further action is required.

For Information & Advice Teams using alternative systems. You will need to add this into your own systems. We understand that for some Partners it will not be possible to do this immediately. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact localstatistics@ageuk.org.uk

Use of the New Code

The below is rough guidance, and we will look to refine this over the coming months as the code is used. We suggest using the code for cases where you feel it is appropriate.

The Tier 1 code (25 – Cost of Living) should be added to cases where the older person:

  • Expresses concern about the cost of living and their ability to pay bills, afford shopping or any other expenses
  • Identifies the cost-of-living crisis as a reason for their enquiry

The Tier 2 code (25A – Cost of Living, Energy)

  • Identifies energy prices as a reason for their enquiry
  • Expresses concern about energy prices
  • Will be unable to pay an energy bill without support

Questions and Feedback

If you have any questions or feedback please contact localstatistics@ageuk.org.uk

September 2022 Finance Network Meeting – One week to go!

There’s one more week to book your place at the next Finance Network Meeting on Wednesday 21st September from 11:00 to 12:30. This meeting will focus on the topic “Maximising Property Potential and Protecting Property Assets”.

A quick reminder that the next Finance Network Meeting will take place in a week’s time on Wednesday 21st September 2022 from 11:00 to 12:30. Nick Sladden, Partner, Head of Charities at RSM and William Ray, Partner in the operational Real Estate Department of Gerald Eve will present on the topic ‘Maximising property potential and protecting property assets.’ Find out full details below, including how to book your place.

As you know, property, be it owned or leased, is a key part of a Brand Partner’s organisation. Be that for service delivery, administrative, trading or investment purposes, having a property strategy and determining how to optimise your property holdings should be an important consideration and subject to review on an annual basis.

Against a backdrop of rising inflation, increasing costs and higher interest rates – plus Brand Partners working and delivering services in different ways post pandemic – it is also essential to regularly reflect upon how your property strategy can positively impact on your charity and its current and future beneficiaries.

In broad outline, the presentation will cover the following areas:

  • Property strategy and how it relates to reserves management
  • Tax considerations
  • Accounting options including valuations
  • Overview of regulatory requirements and recent changes
  • The importance of good estate / property management

The session is open to all relevant management, staff and trustees in Local Age UKs and Cymru Partners involved in making strategic decisions, managing and safeguarding the organisation’s property assets. So please share this information with colleagues in your organisation who you feel would be interested in attending.

This will be an opportunity for colleagues from across the network to reaffirm and update their knowledge and to raise questions on this important topic from the specialists at RSM and Gerald Eve to obtain further insight and guidance.

Book your place!

Please note the new booking process directly through Microsoft Forms. To register your attendance, and / or to subsequently receive a copy of the recording of the event and the slides, please register using this link.

Also please note the following – you will receive a simple ‘thank you’ for responding once you have submitted your registration form. The Teams meeting link and joining instructions will be sent to you directly by the Financial Governance Team nearer the time of the meeting in the usual way.

So please fill in the form above, book out the time in your diary and watch out for the email – thank you.

September 2022 Finance Network Meeting – “Maximising Property Potential and Protecting Property Assets”

A reminder that the next Finance Network Meeting will take place on Wednesday 21st September from 11:00 to 12:30 and will focus on the topic “Maximising Property Potential and Protecting Property Assets”.

A quick reminder that the next Finance Network Meeting will take place on Wednesday 21st September 2022 from 11:00 to 12:30. Nick Sladden, Partner, Head of Charities at RSM and William Ray, Partner in the operational Real Estate Department of Gerald Eve will present on the topic ‘Maximising property potential and protecting property assets.’ Find out full details below, including how to book your place.

As you know, property, be it owned or leased, is a key part of a Brand Partner’s organisation. Be that for service delivery, administrative, trading or investment purposes, having a property strategy and determining how to optimise your property holdings should be an important consideration and subject to review on an annual basis.

Against a backdrop of rising inflation, increasing costs and higher interest rates – plus Brand Partners working and delivering services in different ways post pandemic – it is also essential to regularly reflect upon how your property strategy can positively impact on your charity and its current and future beneficiaries.

In broad outline, the presentation will cover the following areas:

  • Property strategy and how it relates to reserves management
  • Tax considerations
  • Accounting options including valuations
  • Overview of regulatory requirements and recent changes
  • The importance of good estate / property management

The session is open to all relevant management, staff and trustees in Local Age UKs and Cymru Partners involved in making strategic decisions, managing and safeguarding the organisation’s property assets. So please share this information with colleagues in your organisation who you feel would be interested in attending.

This will be an opportunity for colleagues from across the network to reaffirm and update their knowledge and to raise questions on this important topic from the specialists at RSM and Gerald Eve to obtain further insight and guidance.

Book your place!

Please note the new booking process directly through Microsoft Forms. To register your attendance, and / or to subsequently receive a copy of the recording of the event and the slides, please register using this link.

Also please note the following – you will receive a simple ‘thank you’ for responding once you have submitted your registration form. The Teams meeting link and joining instructions will be sent to you directly by the Financial Governance Team nearer the time of the meeting in the usual way.

So please fill in the form above, book out the time in your diary and watch out for the email – thank you.

Supporting staff during the cost of living crisis: Pensions and Salary Exchange Information Session

Age UK’s Financial Governance Team have arrange an Information Session to discuss different options local Age UKs can explore to support current and new staff during the cost of living crisis.

Age UK’s Financial Governance Team have arranged a short 45 minute session for CEOs; Finance and other senior management staff; and trustees to discuss pensions and ‘Salary Exchange’ as a means of supporting current and new staff during the cost of living crisis. The virtual meeting will take place on Wednesday 14 September 2022 from 11:00 to 11:45. Find out full details below.

As the cost of living crisis continues to bite for charities and their staff, and with recruitment of staff a continued challenge, Age UK’s Financial Governance Team have been approached by a number of Brand Partners recently asking about different options they can explore to support current and new staff.

With the support of Peter Queally, Age UK’s Group Pensions and Savings Manager, we are running a short 45 minute session on ‘Salary Exchange’ primarily focussing on pensions as one of those possible opportunities. The virtual meeting will take place on Wednesday 14 September 2022 from 11:00 to 11:45.

In broad outline the presentation will cover the following areas:

  • Salary Exchange – the basics
  • Setting – up a salary exchange scheme
  • Top tips on what to look out for
  • Insight on the benefits of the Age UK Pension & Life Assurance Schemes

The session is open to CEOs, Finance and other senior management and trustees in Local Age UKs and Cymru Partners involved in making such strategic decisions. So please share this information with colleagues in your organisation who you feel would be interested in attending.

This will be an opportunity for colleagues from across the network to update their knowledge and to raise questions – the opportunity to explore the possibilities and understand the benefits this may offer both the charity and staff alike.

Book your place!

Please note the new booking process directly through Microsoft Forms. To register your attendance, and / or to subsequently receive a copy of the recording of the event and the slides, please book your place here.

Please also note the following: You will receive a simple thank you for responding once you have submitted your registration form. The Microsoft Teams meeting link and joining instructions will be sent to you directly by the Financial Governance Team nearer the time of the meeting in the usual way. So please book out the time in your diary and watch out for the email – thank you.

September 2022 Finance Network Meeting – “Maximising Property Potential and Protecting Property Assets”

The next Finance Network Meeting will take place on Wednesday 21st September from 11:00 to 12:30 and will focus on the topic “Maximising Property Potential and Protecting Property Assets”.

The next Finance Network Meeting will take place on Wednesday 21st September 2022 from 11:00 to 12:30. Nick Sladden, Partner, Head of Charities at RSM and William Ray, Partner in the operational Real Estate Department of Gerald Eve will present on the topic ‘Maximising property potential and protecting property assets.’ Find out full details below, including how to book your place.

As you know, property, be it owned or leased, is a key part of a Brand Partner’s organisation. Be that for service delivery, administrative, trading or investment purposes, having a property strategy and determining how to optimise your property holdings should be an important consideration and subject to review on an annual basis.

Against a backdrop of rising inflation, increasing costs and higher interest rates – plus Brand Partners working and delivering services in different ways post pandemic – it is also essential to regularly reflect upon how your property strategy can positively impact on your charity and its current and future beneficiaries.

In broad outline, the presentation will cover the following areas:

  • Property strategy and how it relates to reserves management
  • Tax considerations
  • Accounting options including valuations
  • Overview of regulatory requirements and recent changes
  • The importance of good estate / property management

The session is open to all relevant management, staff and trustees in Local Age UKs and Cymru Partners involved in making strategic decisions, managing and safeguarding the organisation’s property assets. So please share this information with colleagues in your organisation who you feel would be interested in attending.

This will be an opportunity for colleagues from across the network to reaffirm and update their knowledge and to raise questions on this important topic from the specialists at RSM and Gerald Eve to obtain further insight and guidance.

Book your place!

Please note the new booking process directly through Microsoft Forms. To register your attendance, and / or to subsequently receive a copy of the recording of the event and the slides, please register using this link.

Also please note the following – you will receive a simple ‘thank you’ for responding once you have submitted your registration form. The Teams meeting Link and Joining Instructions will be sent to you directly by the Financial Governance Team nearer the time of the meeting in the usual way.

So please fill in the form above, book out the time in your diary and watch out for the email – thank you.

Financial Governance and Management Workshops Programme 2022-23

Age UK’s Financial Governance Team are running a new workshop programme taking an in-depth look at the key essentials of financial governance and management.

Age UK’s Financial Governance Team have organised a new series of Financial Governance and Management Workshops from September 2022 to February 2023. Find out full details below, including how to book your place.

Since the start of the pandemic, Age UK’s Financial Governance Team have been running monthly Finance Network Meetings on Microsoft Teams, which have been well attended by CEOs, senior staff and trustees.

These Finance Network Meetings will continue to occur monthly, but the team are now offering a new series of Financial Governance and Management Workshops from September 2022 to February 2023.

These new workshops will take a more in-depth approach to the key essentials of financial governance and management that the team have identified through running both face-to-face workshops pre-pandemic and the recent online Finance Network Meetings.

These half-day workshops will be aimed at CEOs and Finance Directors/Managers, as well as Treasurers and Trustees who wish to refresh or improve their knowledge in these areas to better meet their financial governance responsibilities.

You can find out full details of these new workshops, including how to book your place, by viewing or downloading the document below:

Reminder: July 2022 Finance Network Meeting – ‘Charity Reserves’

The next Finance Network Meeting will take place on Wednesday 20th July from 11:00 to 12:30 and will focus on the topic ‘Charity Reserves’.

This is a quick reminder that the next Finance Network Meeting will take place on Wednesday 20th July from 11:00 to 12:30. Katie Cooper (Associate Director in the Business Restructuring team) and Lucy Rowley (Senior Manager in the Not for Profit Audit team) from BDO LLP will take an in-depth look at ‘Charity Reserves.’ Find out full details below, including how to book your place.

All Brand Partners need to develop a policy on reserves which establishes a level of reserves that is right for the charity and clearly explains to its stakeholders why holding these reserves is necessary.

A reserves policy provides assurance that the finances of the charity are actively managed, its activities are sustainable and is an essential cornerstone of financial management and governance.

The presentation will focus on the following areas:

  • The importance of free reserves and how to calculate them;
  • Understanding charitable funds and managing restrictions;
  • Developing a tailored reserves policy (including examples);
  • Completing a going concern assessment; and
  • Proactive monitoring of reserves and red flags to watch out for.

This will be an opportunity for colleagues from across the network to reaffirm and update their knowledge, develop their thinking and to raise questions on this important topic with the team at BDO.

Book your place!

To register your attendance, and / or to subsequently receive a copy of the recording of the event and the slides, please simply send an email to John.Fox@ageuk.org.uk  with your name and role title, the name of the Brand Partner you are representing and the email address to which the follow-up material should be sent.

We would be grateful if you could confirm in your email whether you will be attending on the day or just requesting access to the meeting recording and supporting slides – thank you.

The session is open to all relevant management, staff and trustees in Local Age UKs and Cymru Partners. So please share this information with colleagues in your organisation who you feel would be interested in attending.

July 2022 Finance Network Meeting – ‘Charity Reserves’

The next Finance Network Meeting will take place on Wednesday 20th July from 11:00 to 12:30 and will focus on the topic ‘Charity Reserves’.

The next Finance Network Meeting will take place on Wednesday 20th July from 11:00 to 12:30. Katie Cooper (Associate Director in the Business Restructuring team) and Lucy Rowley (Senior Manager in the Not for Profit Audit team) from BDO LLP will take an in-depth look at ‘Charity Reserves.’ Find out full details below, including how to book your place.

All Brand Partners need to develop a policy on reserves which establishes a level of reserves that is right for the charity and clearly explains to its stakeholders why holding these reserves is necessary.

A reserves policy provides assurance that the finances of the charity are actively managed, its activities are sustainable and is an essential cornerstone of financial management and governance.

The presentation will focus on the following areas:

  • The importance of free reserves and how to calculate them;
  • Understanding charitable funds and managing restrictions;
  • Developing a tailored reserves policy (including examples);
  • Completing a going concern assessment; and
  • Proactive monitoring of reserves and red flags to watch out for.

This will be an opportunity for colleagues from across the network to reaffirm and update their knowledge, develop their thinking and to raise questions on this important topic with the team at BDO.

Book your place!

To register your attendance, and / or to subsequently receive a copy of the recording of the event and the slides, please simply send an email to John.Fox@ageuk.org.uk  with your name and role title, the name of the Brand Partner you are representing and the email address to which the follow-up material should be sent.

We would be grateful if you could confirm in your email whether you will be attending on the day or just requesting access to the meeting recording and supporting slides – thank you.

The session is open to all relevant management, staff and trustees in Local Age UKs and Cymru Partners. So please share this information with colleagues in your organisation who you feel would be interested in attending.

Cost Recovery Workshop for Service Managers – 21st July

Age UK’s Financial Governance Team has been providing support to CEOs and Boards through their Finance Network Meetings. They are now hosting a workshop just for Service Managers on 21st July. Find out full details below.

Age UK’s Financial Governance Team has organised a cost recovery workshop specifically for Service Managers. This workshop will take place on Teams on Thursday 21st July from 11am – 12pm. Find out full details, including how to book your place, below. Please share this update with anyone who has the responsibility for delivering your organisation’s services, so that they can attend.

Age UK’s Financial Governance team has long-supported CEOs, senior Finance staff and trustees of Brand Partners in a wide range of financial governance and management matters, with feedback displaying that these contributions have been well-received.

However, an understanding of some key finance issues amongst other managers within across the Network is equally important. With that in mind, the Financial Governance Team has organised a workshop specifically for Service Managers – i.e. those who have the responsibility for delivering your organisation’s services. That said, if other senior staff or trustees wish to attend, you will be very welcome.

About the Workshop

When a charity is invited to tender to provide a service for its beneficiaries, or when the organisation is considering making changes to an existing charged-for service or applying for grant funding, it is important that the Manager responsible for delivering that service is aware of what it will cost the charity to provide it. It’s equally important for the Service Manager to know that the funds required will be sufficient to cover the costs involved and allow for unforeseen contingencies and a surplus.

As it is always good practice for Managers to continually look for ways to improve both the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of service delivery, it is important to have a full understanding of the financial basis of the service, so that good practice can be applied.

This workshop will take Service Managers through the basic financial considerations required to accurately cost and price a service so that together with Finance colleagues and other managers, they will feel confident that the application for grant funding or a proposed charge to users, will be fair and transparent, and that the provision of that service will represent a good use of the charity’s assets.

Book your place

This workshop will take place on Thursday 21st July, via Teams, will run from 11:00 to 12:00. It will take no longer than an hour and this will allow time for questions and answers. Please encourage your Service Managers and other colleagues who you feel would benefit from attending, to register by emailing John Fox (John.Fox@ageuk.org.uk) so that an invitation to join the workshop can be sent.

We intend to record the event and then to make the recording, and the supporting slide deck, available to the wider network as a Webinar which staff can view at a time convenient to them. However, attendance at a live, interactive event will always provide greater value.

By tailoring a workshop specifically for Service Managers, this is an experimental departure from our normal support approach to Brand Partners. Our aim is to raise awareness and understanding of Full Cost Recovery principles, why this is important, especially in the current challenging operating environment, and to demonstrate how it adds real value for all concerned across your organisations.