Finance Network Meetings – Programme into the Winter 2021-22

David Chenery from Age UK’s Financial Governance Team has published their planned schedule for the next four Financial Network Meetings, so that you can save the dates in advance.

Since January 2021, the Financial Governance team has been arranging virtual monthly Finance Network meetings for key people within Brand Partners – CEOs and members of their Senior Management Teams; Chairs, Treasurers and other interested trustees. Attendance has exceeded our initial expectations – we’ve consistently had over 100 attendees register for these meetings – and feedback has been extremely positive. It would appear that these meetings are addressing a need for information, help and guidance, from across the entire network. Read on to view the schedule for the upcoming Finance Network Meetings across the next few months.

So far, we have covered Cashflow Forecasting and budgeting, Reserves management, Full Cost Recovery, revised Audit requirements (Going Concern assessments) and VAT, along with some more generalised discussions about Building Back Better from the ravages of the pandemic.

When it came to planning for the coming months (October through to January), we wanted to really hone in on the issues which are likely to be of help to the majority of Partners who, we anticipate, will be developing plans for 2022-23 and beyond, and also thinking about changes to their business models – perhaps introducing new services, or scaling up existing ones to meet increasing demand. I’m confident that what we’ve put together will be of interest to all.

October 20th – “Business Cases”

The subject will be ‘Business Cases’, when Helen Blundell and Jim Clifford, both from MHA McIntyre Hudson, will discuss the ‘What, Why, When, How, and for Whom’ of this simple but important document.

We tend to associate Business Cases with the purchase of a significant capital item, or the development of a substantial new initiative. However, the need to produce a reasoned explanation to support the commitment of resources (people, time and money) to any proposed activity is nothing more than best practice and good governance. So, when you plan to tender for a new service delivery contract, or to launch a new charged-for service, how do you justify sign-off if that is within your level of authority, or support a recommendation to the trustee board for approval, if it’s outside of your delegated authority? Helen and Jim will look at trustees’ responsibilities here, as well as the decision-making which needs to happen, and the information which should be considered and presented.

November 24th – “Making Difficult Decisions”

David Brown, a volunteer consultant with Cranfield Trust, will present on ‘Making Difficult Decisions’ and I’m really excited by this one! He’ll be exploring the options for SMTs and trustees to consider when faced with a significant deficit budget forecast which, if forecasts for 2022-23 already provided to us by Partners are correct, is likely to be the case for most of the network. As an aside, we’re forecasting a network-wide surplus of around £14m for 2020-21, but the current year (2021-22) could see an adverse swing of £24m to a network deficit of £10m, with 2022-23 not likely to fare any better at the moment.

Many people see just three possible options for a deficit budget: 1) add more income to the forecast – usually a Fundraising line; 2) cut costs – usually staff costs, given that they are the major proportion of the outgoings for a Partner; or 3), do nothing, in the hope that something will turn up – the Micawber approach. David will suggest that there are other ways of addressing this issue and I think we’ll be in for a very interesting session.

December 15th – “Charity Legal Structures”

Nick Vaughan, another Cranfield consultant, will talk about Charity Legal Structures which sounds a bit dry, but it’s important to have a clear understanding of legal and good governance issues surrounding the use of subsidiary trading companies to deliver services / activities.  Issues like non-primary purpose trading, and consideration of a subsidiary’s use for primary purpose trading as well; Risk considerations – the avoidance of risk to charity assets; Independent governance (not all the charity trustees are directors of the subsidiary, and vice versa); Financing aspects – start-up funding; working capital; investment / loans (from the parent charity); Shared premises / staff / facilities – cross-charging / management charges.

If Partners are thinking about a changed business model, this could be a very timely session.

January 19th 2022 – “Guidance for CEOs”

In January, we’ll be giving the focus of attention to CEOs rather than to Finance personnel. Nick Wilkie, our presenter, has an impressive CV.  He has been chief executive of the National Childbirth Trust and London Youth, and UK director at Save the Children. He has also served on the boards of a number of charitable and public institutions and as a policy advisor to the Cabinet Office, HM Treasury and Number 10.

He will be talking around the following points to which every CEO ought to be alive:

  • Making sure everyone in the organisation (or at least in the SMT) knows where true north is, for the organisation
  • Knowing who the beneficiaries really are
  • Reserves – understanding what they are there for
  • In cutting out cost, do you want to salami-slice or cut off a limb?
  • Really understanding the Balance Sheet.

Again, I anticipate a well-subscribed meeting for January!

So I hope that there will be something here for everyone – CEOs, FDs, Chairs and Treasurers, and other trustees. Please note the dates in your diaries and watch out for further details and registration details for each meeting as we progress into the winter.

David Chenery – david.chenery@ageuk.org.uk
National Manager – Financial Governance, Age UK

September Finance Network Meeting – Places still available

There are places still available at the next September Finance Network Meeting September 22nd from 11:00-12:30.


Places are still available for the next Finance Network Meeting on September 22nd from 11:00 – 12:30. The primary topic will be “SORP – what are the current requirements which all charities should be meeting?“. Unfortunately we are unable to use Eventbrite for this meeting, so to book your place, and / or to subsequently receive a copy of the recording of the event and the slides, please email David.Chenery@ageuk.org.uk or 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. You can also find out more about the meeting below.

This latest Finance Network Meeting will include a reminder of the recent changes to the Going Concern assessment (ISA 570) and also a short explanation of the main differences between Charity accounting and ‘For Profit’ accounting as practised in the commercial world.

Some of you may remember that Richard Bowen, from Crowe, presented on this subject at a Finance Network meeting back in July 2019, when he covered Accounts preparation and Trustees’ annual reports preparation (That was when we were meeting in London, in a face-to-face setting which seems a lifetime ago now!). We received very positive feedback following Richard’s presentation and given the much-changed environment in which we must now report, felt that an update, to take in a reminder about changes to the Going Concern assessment, would be helpful. We also recognise that there have been quite a few new CEOs, Finance Directors and Managers, and Trustees, joining local Age UKs in the intervening period.

Presentation from Naziar Hashemi

This meeting, which will again be open to all relevant management and staff in Local Age UKs, and trustees, will be presented by Naziar Hashemi, Partner, National Head of Social Purpose & Non Profit Organisations, Crowe LLP.

Naziar joined Crowe in September 2008 from a Big Four Firm as a specialist non profits partner. In addition to providing assurance services Naziar also provides advisory services to a range of charities. These include assignments from risk and finance function reviews, systems, benchmarking and performance measurements and governance reviews.

Naziar leads Crowe’s work on Donor Audits and has knowledge of institutional funding requirements having produced reports for a variety of institutional and governmental donors. She also carries out training for charities and lectures and writes on a range of topics relevant to Trustees and management.

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 David.Chenery@ageuk.org.uk or 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.

September Finance Network Meeting – Book your place

The September Finance Network Meeting will take place on September 22nd from 11:00-12:30. Read on to find out more and please save the date in your diaries!


The next Finance Network Meeting will take place on September 22nd from 11:00 – 12:30 and the primary topic will be “SORP – what are the current requirements which all charities should be meeting?“. Unfortunately we are unable to use Eventbrite for this meeting, so to book your place, and / or to subsequently receive a copy of the recording of the event and the slides, please email David.Chenery@ageuk.org.uk or 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. You can also find out more about the meeting below.

This latest Finance Network Meeting will include a reminder of the recent changes to the Going Concern assessment (ISA 570) and also a short explanation of the main differences between Charity accounting and ‘For Profit’ accounting as practised in the commercial world.

Some of you may remember that Richard Bowen, from Crowe, presented on this subject at a Finance Network meeting back in July 2019, when he covered Accounts preparation and Trustees’ annual reports preparation (That was when we were meeting in London, in a face-to-face setting which seems a lifetime ago now!). We received very positive feedback following Richard’s presentation and given the much-changed environment in which we must now report, felt that an update, to take in a reminder about changes to the Going Concern assessment, would be helpful. We also recognise that there have been quite a few new CEOs, Finance Directors and Managers, and Trustees, joining local Age UKs in the intervening period.

Presentation from Naziar Hashemi

This meeting, which will again be open to all relevant management and staff in Local Age UKs, and trustees, will be presented by Naziar Hashemi, Partner, National Head of Social Purpose & Non Profit Organisations, Crowe LLP.

Naziar joined Crowe in September 2008 from a Big Four Firm as a specialist non profits partner. In addition to providing assurance services Naziar also provides advisory services to a range of charities. These include assignments from risk and finance function reviews, systems, benchmarking and performance measurements and governance reviews.

Naziar leads Crowe’s work on Donor Audits and has knowledge of institutional funding requirements having produced reports for a variety of institutional and governmental donors. She also carries out training for charities and lectures and writes on a range of topics relevant to Trustees and management.

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 David.Chenery@ageuk.org.uk or 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.

September Finance Network Meeting – Save the date

The September Finance Network Meeting will take place on September 22nd from 11:00-12:30. Read on to find out more and please save the date in your diaries!


The next Finance Network Meeting will take place on September 22nd from 11:00 – 12:30 and the primary topic will be “SORP – what are the current requirements which all charities should be meeting?“. The meeting will also include a reminder of the recent changes to the Going Concern assessment (ISA 570) and also a short explanation of the main differences between Charity accounting and ‘For Profit’ accounting as practised in the commercial world. Read on to find out more and please save the date in your diaries – registration details will be published nearer the time.

Some of you may remember that Richard Bowen, from Crowe, presented on this subject at a Finance Network meeting back in July 2019, when he covered Accounts preparation and Trustees’ annual reports preparation (That was when we were meeting in London, in a face-to-face setting which seems a lifetime ago now!). We received very positive feedback following Richard’s presentation and given the much-changed environment in which we must now report, felt that an update, to take in a reminder about changes to the Going Concern assessment, would be helpful. We also recognise that there have been quite a few new CEOs, Finance Directors and Managers, and Trustees, joining local Age UKs in the intervening period.

The session, which will again be open to all relevant management and staff in Local Age UKs, and trustees, will be presented by Naziar Hashemi, Partner, National Head of Social Purpose & Non Profit Organisations, Crowe LLP.

Please reserve the date and time in your diaries – 11:00 until 12:30 on Wednesday, 22nd September. Registration details will be published nearer the time.