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.

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.

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.

June 2022 Finance Network Meeting – ‘SORP – essentials of good financial reporting.’

The next Finance Network Meeting will take place on Wednesday 29th June from 11:00 to 12:30 and will focus on the topic ‘SORP – essentials of good financial reporting’.

This is a quick reminder that the next Finance Network Meeting will take place on Wednesday 29th June from 11:00 to 12:30. Naziar Hashemi, National Head of Social Purpose and Non Profits and Mark Atkinson Director, Social Purpose & Non Profit Organisations from Crowe U.K. LLP will present on the topic ‘SORP – essentials of good financial reporting’. Find out full details below, including how to book your place.

The Charities Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) provides recommendations and requirements setting out how to prepare ‘true and fair’ accounts in accordance with UK accounting standards. The SORP is updated from time to time to take account of changes to accounting standards and/or charity law.

As the vast majority of Local Age UKs and Cymru Partners start to develop their 2021-22 year – end financial reports we thought this would be a suitable time to update on the key requirements of the SORP and are grateful to the team at Crowe for their support with this. The presentation will focus on the following areas:

  • Risks
  • Reserves
  • Going Concern
  • Impact
  • Governance
  • Income Recognition

This will be an opportunity for colleagues from across the network to reaffirm and update their knowledge and to raise questions – obtain further insight and guidance – on this important topic from the specialist team at Crowe.

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.

June 2022 Finance Network Meeting – ‘SORP – essentials of good financial reporting.’

The next Finance Network Meeting will take place on Wednesday 29th June from 11:00 to 12:30.

The next Finance Network Meeting will take place on Wednesday 29th June from 11:00 to 12:30. Naziar Hashemi, National Head of Social Purpose and Non Profits and Mark Atkinson Director, Social Purpose & Non Profit Organisations from Crowe U.K. LLP will present on the topic ‘SORP – essentials of good financial reporting.’

The Charities Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) provides recommendations and requirements setting out how to prepare ‘true and fair’ accounts in accordance with UK accounting standards. The SORP is updated from time to time to take account of changes to accounting standards and/or charity law.

As the vast majority of Local Age UKs and Cymru Partners start to develop their 2021-22 year – end financial reports we thought this would be a suitable time to update on the key requirements of the SORP and are grateful to the team at Crowe for their support with this. The presentation will focus on the following areas:

  • Risks
  • Reserves
  • Going Concern
  • Impact
  • Governance
  • Income Recognition

This will be an opportunity for colleagues from across the network to reaffirm and update their knowledge and to raise questions – obtain further insight and guidance – on this important topic from the specialist team at Crowe.

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 of Living Campaign Win

We’ve been running our It Doesn’t Add Up campaign calling on the Government to do more to help older people with their energy bills since October. We are really delighted that on 26th May, the Chancellor announced a big package of support, with money specifically targeted at pensioners. A big campaign win for all of us!

Rosie McKearney, Senior External Affairs Manager, said: “Thank you to all of you who played your part in winning this support for older people. We’ve already received lots of emails from people who feel really relieved. This is why we do our jobs!”

We have received the following messages from some of our camaigners:

“I’m so relieved and happy because I will be able to put my lights on which I haven’t been doing since last year and I rely on battery lights.  I only put my heating on the winter just  gone 3 times.”

Age UK campaigner

“Thank you for your efforts over the past few months. Your pressure has paid off, as a 94 year old who will be able to budget for later in the year. How much I will get? I do not know but every little  helps.”

Age UK campaigner

The Chancellor’s package of support will be a relief to many older people, particularly those receiving means-tested benefits or living with a disability.

Pensioners will, at a minimum, receive £700 to help with their bills this year and if they are a disabled pensioner on means-tested benefits, they will get up to £1650. You can read more in our updated guidance here.

We were also relieved to see the Chancellor committed to bringing back the Triple Lock next year and we promise we will hold him to his word.

We know things will still be tough over the coming months, particularly if an older person is just above the threshold for qualifying for benefits, and we will keep fighting for them. We are also aware that the energy bills grant does not help older people living off-grid, in Park Homes or those who use pre-payment metres. We have made it clear a bespoke price cap must be created to support these older people and they need immediate financial support too.

For now, the most important thing to do is for older people to check as soon as possible if they are entitled to additional benefits as it may entitle them to an extra payment if they apply in time.

This really is proof of what we can achieve when we work together. Thank you to everyone across the network of local Age UKs for raising awareness of the cost of living and supporting our It Doesn’t Add UP campaign. Soon we will begin planning how to secure more support for older people as the cost of living crisis continues, to make sure no one is left behind. If you have any queries or would like to be involved, please contact luke.pilot@ageuk.org.uk