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

Civil Society Article on the Impact of Inflation on Charities

This Civil Society article looks at some of the challenges posed by rising inflation and suggests some steps that charities can take.

With inflation in the UK jumping to its highest level in 40 years, charities are likely to face both new financial challenges and increased demands to support people. This Civil Society article looks at some of the challenges this will pose and suggests some steps that charities can take. Click here to view the article.

Finance Focus – Guidance on Managing Rising Costs

With input costs for businesses rising steeply, Age UK’s Financial Governance Team have put together a guidance document looking into ways to approach this issue.

With many Partners currently attempting to reforecast budgets for 2022-23 in the light of the increase in inflation and many other costs, Age UK’s Financial Governance team has written a guidance document covering the impact of these cost increases for organisations and identifying some ideas on how best to approach this issue. Read on for further details.

Stuart Walker, who is presenting at the next Finance Network Meeting on 25th May (“Forecasting in a time of even Greater Uncertainty”) will make reference to this document and expand upon some of the suggestions made, so do sign up to attend that meeting. It will be an opportunity to hear what Stuart has to say on the subject, and to share your own experiences with your peers in the usual Q&A session which will follow the presentation.

To book your place at the next Finance Network Meeting:

The next Finance Network Meeting will take place on Wednesday 25th May from 11:00 to 12:30. Stuart Walker, Volunteer Consultant at Cranfield Trust, will present on the topic ‘Forecasting in a time of even greater uncertainty’. Click here for more details.

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.

View the Guidance Document

Input costs for businesses have risen at a rate not seen for many years, and certainly not since 2011, when Age UK came into being. We recognise that colleagues right across the network are well aware of the challenges this brings and will be looking into what they can do to mitigate these challenges, or what they should be doing to address them.

This guidance document contains some thoughts and ideas from Age UK’s Financial Governance Team on how to approach this issue which we hope will be helpful.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about the information contained in this document, or would like any further guidance or support, please contact:
David.Chenery@ageuk.org.uk  or John.Fox@ageuk.org.uk.

May Finance Network Meeting – ‘Forecasting in a time of even greater uncertainty’

After a brief break, the Finance Network Meetings return on Wednesday 25th May with the topic ‘Forecasting in a time of even greater uncertainty’. Find out how to book your place below.

Following a break in April in recognition of financial year-end work and Easter, we can now announce that the next Finance Network Meeting will take place on Wednesday 25th May from 11:00 to 12:30. Stuart Walker, Volunteer Consultant at Cranfield Trust, will present on the topic ‘Forecasting in a time of even greater uncertainty’, an update on his earlier presentation. Following this, Steve Chu, CEO of Age UK Sheffield, will give us an update on CASEwork Services. Find out full details of the event below, including how to book your place.

Many of you will remember Stuart Walker’s presentation to us in February 2021, when he spoke about ‘Forecasting in a time of uncertainty’, (we were still in the grip of the pandemic and lockdowns), making the point that when times are uncertain, it is even more important to forecast and just because it’s difficult, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it.

Forecasting in a time of even greater uncertainty

Stuart is a volunteer consultant with the Cranfield Trust, and we are delighted that he’s agreed to help us once again by updating his previous presentation in light of the current challenging financial environment. Stuart’s updated presentation ‘Forecasting in a time of even greater uncertainty’ will concentrate on the following challenges which we now face:

  • the aftershock of the pandemic.
  • the impact of inflationary pressures on charity reserves and funds held and existing service delivery contracts,
  • National Minimum Wage increases and wages / salaries in general and the associated recruitment and retention issues
  • the increasing cost of living which will impact on all organisations through increased overheads (utility bills, etc)
  • the likelihood that clients will have less disposable income to pay for and engage with services, coupled with the challenge of needing to increase prices to cover increasing costs
  • Potentially lower levels of donations and the impact on fundraising activities.
  • Some reluctance of clients to return to services and services having to be delivered in different ways.

Against this backdrop, careful, prudent business planning and forecasting, including the proper calculation of full cost recovery for every service and activity, will be essential. We know that Stuart will not disappoint in his take on how we should prepare for the next 18 to 24 months.

CASEwork Services

Following this presentation, Steve Chu, CEO of Age UK Sheffield, will give us an update on CASEwork Services CIC Ltd. This organisation is jointly owned by 5 Age UK Brand Partners – Doncaster, North Yorkshire and Darlington, Sheffield, Wakefield District and York. It was established in September 2021 and is providing finance services to all five Brand Partners using the TES finance system used by other Brand Partners.

This will be an opportunity for Steve to share learning where Partners have looked to collaborate / work in partnership together and thus work more efficiently and effectively – an ideal opportunity to learn more about this company and how it might be helpful for your organisation too.

To 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.

New Financial Governance and Management Briefing Document from Age UK now available

Download the new Financial Governance and Management Briefing Document from Age UK’s Financial Governance Team.

Age UK’s Financial Governance Team has created a Financial Governance and Management Briefing Document to support Senior Staff and Board Members at local Age UKs – particularly those who are new to financial governance and want to learn more. This Briefing provides a guide to charity finances and accounting and highlights the support available through the Age UK Financial Governance Team. The document also contains some key external guides and learning resources, some of which are freely available. Read on to find out more and to access the Briefing Document.

Whatever the size and scale of your organisation, sound financial governance and management is essential for sustainability and for it to succeed in delivering its charitable aims.

This headline briefing is designed as a resource guide to charity finances, including charity accounting and its differences from the commercial world. It is aimed at trustees who haven’t had experience of this area before and will be helpful for experienced trustees who lack confidence when it comes to financial governance. It will also be helpful for those senior management and finance colleagues with a non–charity sector background, or for those colleagues just wishing to refresh their knowledge and understanding.

This guide particularly highlights the support available through the Age UK Financial Governance Team and directs you to some key external guides and learning resources, some of which are freely available.

If you have any questions about the document or financial governance in general, please contact John Fox or David Chenery.

February Finance Network Meeting – One week to go!

Book your place at the next Finance Network Meeting on February 23rd from 11:00 – 12:30. This session will focus on the topic “VAT”.

The February Finance Network Meeting will take place on Wednesday 23 February 2022 from 11am – 12:30pm and will cover the topic “VAT”. Our Age UK VAT Helpline support provider Crowe LLP, will be updating us on all things VAT, focussing on areas which have affected many charities over the past eighteen months. Find out full details of the meeting, including how to book your place, below.

Research commissioned by the Charity Tax Group (CTG) and published in November 2020 found that the VAT levied on charities when they purchase goods and services (input VAT) stands at around £3.1 billion per year – of which, £1.8 billion (57%) is believed to be irrecoverable. This compares to previous estimates of irrecoverable input VAT ranging from £1 billion to £1.4 billion (Charity Tax Group and Nuffield Foundation, 2011), a notable increase and significant burden on the charity sector.

Whatever the size of the organisation, managing the charity’s VAT position requires a proactive and strategic approach to identifying opportunities and reducing risk. For example, are you confident, if your charity and any trading subsidiaries are not registered for VAT, that this is correct? Have you considered the VAT impact of any changes to your operations? Have you planned and budgeted for a regular review of your organisation’s VAT position? In certain circumstances VAT registration can be a financial benefit to the organisation such as charity shops for example.

Finance Network Meeting – 23rd February

To this end we would actively encourage all Local Age UKs, whether VAT registered or not, to attend our next Finance Network meeting on the 23 February 2022 (11am-12:30pm) when Crowe UK LLP, our Age UK VAT Helpline support provider, will be updating on all things VAT focussing on areas which have affected many charities over the past eighteen months including:

  • Covid-19 Partial Exemption Special Method
  • VAT Reliefs for Charities
  • VAT Grouping
  • Provision of Welfare Services
  • Grant vs Contract

A list of all the topic areas to be covered can be found here.  However, if you have any particular questions that you would like answered or other areas of interest that you would like covered (subject to time allowing on the day), please send them to John.Fox@ageuk.org.uk. It would be helpful to receive these in advance, no later than close of play on Wednesday 16th February, and we will flag with Crowe so they can prepare appropriately.

Book your place

To book your place, and / or to subsequently receive a copy of the recording of the event and the slides, please email 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.

Please share this information with colleagues in your organisation who you feel would be interested in attending and encourage them to do so.

Reminder: Finance Network Meeting – Wednesday 23rd February

A quick reminder to book your place at the next Finance Network Meeting on February 23rd from 11:00 – 12:30. This session will focus on the topic “VAT”.

A reminder that the February Finance Network Meeting will take place on Wednesday 23 February 2022 from 11am – 12:30pm and will cover the topic “VAT”. Our Age UK VAT Helpline support provider Crowe LLP, will be updating us on all things VAT, focussing on areas which have affected many charities over the past eighteen months. Find out full details of the meeting, including how to book your place, below.

Research commissioned by the Charity Tax Group (CTG) and published in November 2020 found that the VAT levied on charities when they purchase goods and services (input VAT) stands at around £3.1 billion per year – of which, £1.8 billion (57%) is believed to be irrecoverable. This compares to previous estimates of irrecoverable input VAT ranging from £1 billion to £1.4 billion (Charity Tax Group and Nuffield Foundation, 2011), a notable increase and significant burden on the charity sector.

Whatever the size of the organisation, managing the charity’s VAT position requires a proactive and strategic approach to identifying opportunities and reducing risk. For example, are you confident, if your charity and any trading subsidiaries are not registered for VAT, that this is correct? Have you considered the VAT impact of any changes to your operations? Have you planned and budgeted for a regular review of your organisation’s VAT position? In certain circumstances VAT registration can be a financial benefit to the organisation such as charity shops for example.

Finance Network Meeting – 23rd February

To this end we would actively encourage all Local Age UKs, whether VAT registered or not, to attend our next Finance Network meeting on the 23 February 2022 (11am-12:30pm) when Crowe UK LLP, our Age UK VAT Helpline support provider, will be updating on all things VAT focussing on areas which have affected many charities over the past eighteen months including:

  • Covid-19 Partial Exemption Special Method
  • VAT Reliefs for Charities
  • VAT Grouping
  • Provision of Welfare Services
  • Grant vs Contract

A list of all the topic areas to be covered can be found here.  However, if you have any particular questions that you would like answered or other areas of interest that you would like covered (subject to time allowing on the day), please send them to John.Fox@ageuk.org.uk. It would be helpful to receive these in advance, no later than close of play on Wednesday 16th February, and we will flag with Crowe so they can prepare appropriately.

Book your place

To book your place, and / or to subsequently receive a copy of the recording of the event and the slides, please email 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.

Please share this information with colleagues in your organisation who you feel would be interested in attending and encourage them to do so.

Finance Focus – Useful Webinar Recordings on Charity Reserves

Moore Kingston Smith (MKS) have recorded a useful webinar on taking a pragmatic approach to reserves. View the webinar below along with links to previous Finance Network Meetings.

Following the January Finance Network meeting (Big Plans, Strategy and Business Models – thinking out loud) presented by Nick Wilkie, we’ve received some suggestions that it would be helpful to have another session on Reserves this year – we plan to do this in a few months’ time. In the meantime, Moore Kingston Smith (MKS) have recorded a Webinar on Reserves which is well worth watching, especially if the active management of reserves is an area with which you may be unfamiliar.

Bearing in mind that there have been several new CEOs appointed across the Network in recent months, we’d also draw your attention to the Finance Network Meeting which Jill Halford, BDO Partner Head of Charities, very kindly presented for us back in May 2021, simply called ‘Charity Reserves’. Please click here to view this session, along with our other recent Finance Network Meetings. If you would like to access PowerPoints from these sessions, please email John Fox (John.Fox@ageuk.org.uk) who will be pleased to send you the link.

February Finance Network Meeting

As mentioned in yesterday’s Signpost, the February Finance Network Meeting will take place on Wednesday 23 February 2022 from 11am – 12:30pm and will cover the topic “VAT”. Our Age UK VAT Helpline support provider Crowe LLP, will be updating us on all things VAT, focussing on areas which have affected many charities over the past eighteen months. You can find out more about the meeting plan here.

To book your place, and / or to subsequently receive a copy of the recording of the event and the slides, please email 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.

Please share this information with colleagues in your organisation who you feel would be interested in attending and encourage them to do so.

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