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.

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.

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.

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.

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.