October Finance Network Meeting – Places still available!

Book your place at the October Finance Network Meeting on Wednesday 20th October! Find out all about the meeting and the guest speakers here.


It’s now less than a week until the next Finance Network Meeting on October 20th from 11:00 – 12:30! The primary topic will be “Business Cases”. Helen Blundell and Jim Clifford, both from MHA McIntyre Hudson, will discuss the ‘What, Why, When, How, and for Whom’ of this simple but very important document. 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 or david.chenery@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 and both presenters below.

We tend to associate Business Cases with the purchase of a significant capital item, or the development of a substantial new initiative, but 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 Blundell Biography

Helen leads the not for profit team in the Birmingham and Leicester offices of MHA MacIntyre Hudson, a Top 12 firm of chartered accountants and business advisors.  She has more than 20 years’ experience specialising in the sector advising a range of clients from small local bodies to large national and regional organisations. 

Her experience includes audit, independent examination, governance training as well advising on corporate structures and charity tax reliefs. Helen’s approach is a practical one of delivering solutions. Helen has first hand experience as a trustee, having served for 6 years as a trustee of Birmingham Cathedral.  She is passionate about making a difference through advising charities and not for profits.

Jim Clifford Biography

Jim leads Sonnet, a social enterprise, registered as a firm of chartered accountants, that brings together experts in finance, governance, corporate finance, economics and research.

Jim is a Chartered Accountant, social researcher and strategic consultant, specialising in helping organisations – charities and social enterprises, private and public sector – research and select the impact they want to deliver, develop the model for doing it, resource it, and measure and improve upon it.

He supports these at all stages of their lives, from inception through growth, through times of change and even insolvency.  He was awarded an OBE in 2013 for services to Social Investment. Experienced as a trustee and in charity management, he also teaches on the Bayes (formerly Cass) Charities and NGO Masters programmes, and has authored academic work, and the recent Demystifying Social Finance, as well as over 150 impact evaluation studies. 

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.

October Finance Network Meeting – Book your place

Book your place at the October Finance Network Meeting on Wednesday 20th October! Find out all about the meeting and the guest speakers here.


The next Finance Network Meeting will take place on October 20th from 11:00 – 12:30 and the primary topic will be “Business Cases”. Helen Blundell and Jim Clifford, both from MHA McIntyre Hudson, will discuss the ‘What, Why, When, How, and for Whom’ of this simple but very important document. 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. You can also find out more about the meeting and both presenters below.

We tend to associate Business Cases with the purchase of a significant capital item, or the development of a substantial new initiative, but 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 Blundell Biography

Helen leads the not for profit team in the Birmingham and Leicester offices of MHA MacIntyre Hudson, a Top 12 firm of chartered accountants and business advisors.  She has more than 20 years’ experience specialising in the sector advising a range of clients from small local bodies to large national and regional organisations. 

Her experience includes audit, independent examination, governance training as well advising on corporate structures and charity tax reliefs. Helen’s approach is a practical one of delivering solutions. Helen has first hand experience as a trustee, having served for 6 years as a trustee of Birmingham Cathedral.  She is passionate about making a difference through advising charities and not for profits.

Jim Clifford Biography

Jim leads Sonnet, a social enterprise, registered as a firm of chartered accountants, that brings together experts in finance, governance, corporate finance, economics and research.

Jim is a Chartered Accountant, social researcher and strategic consultant, specialising in helping organisations – charities and social enterprises, private and public sector – research and select the impact they want to deliver, develop the model for doing it, resource it, and measure and improve upon it.

He supports these at all stages of their lives, from inception through growth, through times of change and even insolvency.  He was awarded an OBE in 2013 for services to Social Investment. Experienced as a trustee and in charity management, he also teaches on the Bayes (formerly Cass) Charities and NGO Masters programmes, and has authored academic work, and the recent Demystifying Social Finance, as well as over 150 impact evaluation studies. 

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.

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.

July Finance Network Meeting – Book your place

A reminder that registration is now open for the next Finance Network Meeting on Wednesday 21st July. The primary topic of this meeting will be “Key Performance Indicators and Dashboards”.

A quick reminder that registration for the next Finance Network Meeting is now open! This virtual meeting will take place on Wednesday 21st July from 11:00 – 12:30 and will cover the topic “Key Performance Indicators and Dashboards”. Please click here to book your place*, and please note that registration will close at 7PM on Tuesday 20th July. If you need to book after this time, please email john.fox@ageuk.org.uk or david.chenery@ageuk.org.uk.

If you are unable to attend on the day but would like to receive a copy of the slides and access to a recording of the meeting , please still book onto the event. We fully appreciate that the timings are not always convenient for colleagues. That way you can ensure you receive them.

Key Performance Indicators and Dashboards – How to measure and present what really matters to your organisation

Mark Salway and Marcus Lees-Millais of Moore Kingston Smith LLP will be asking ‘Are you measuring what really matters to your organisation’?

They will be taking an in-depth look at what drives your organisation and how to present that information in a concise and understandable manner.

KPIs are something that are often talked about, like a buzzword, without ever really being examined in more depth. What are the drivers of your organisation, are you measuring those things that matter, and how do you measure those things? Intelligent use of your data has always been important but getting it right in the Coronavirus environment is critical.

A Dashboard should be a summary of the things that really matter to your organisation. This means blending both finance and impact. All too often we see dashboards and management information that are heavily finance focused without including impact when that is what we all exist for as charities.

This will be an interactive webinar with input and discussion from participants encouraged and will include survey questions to compare your organisation’s practices with those of the other participants.

Please click here to book your place.*

*Please note that you should read the privacy notice that Eventbrite provides. This describes how the your data will be used by the platform.

July Finance Network Meeting – Book your place

Registration is now open for the next Finance Network Meeting on Wednesday 21st July. The primary topic of this meeting will be “Key Performance Indicators and Dashboards”.

Registration for the next Finance Network Meeting is now open! This meeting will take place via Microsoft Teams on Wednesday 21st July from 11:00 – 12:30 and will cover the topic “Key Performance Indicators and Dashboards”. Mark Salway and Marcus Lees-Millais of Moore Kingston Smith LLP will give a presentation titled ‘Are you measuring what really matters to your organisation?’. Please click here to book your place, and please note that registration will close at 7PM on Tuesday 20th July. If you need to book after this time, please email john.fox@ageuk.org.uk or david.chenery@ageuk.org.uk.

If you are unable to attend on the day but would like to receive a copy of the slides and access to a recording of the meeting , please still book onto the event. We fully appreciate that the timings are not always convenient for colleagues. That way you can ensure you receive them.

Since January of this year, we have been delivering a series of Finance Network Meetings designed to support Brand Partners in their planning for the ‘new normal’ world post-pandemic. During our meetings so far, we have featured:

  • VAT arrangements,
  • forecasting and scenario planning,
  • Building Back Better – Opportunities, Risks and considerations for the recovery,
  • Reserves management,
  • Full Cost Recovery,
  • Changes to Audit requirements regards Going Concern assessments.

If you missed any of these meetings or would like to re-watch them, we have stored all the recordings here.

With all that internal focus under our belts, we now need to turn our focus outwards – how well are we telling the story of what we are doing to achieve our objects.

Key Performance Indicators and Dashboards – How to measure and present what really matters to your organisation

Mark Salway and Marcus Lees-Millais of Moore Kingston Smith LLP will be asking ‘Are you measuring what really matters to your organisation’?

They will be taking an in-depth look at what drives your organisation and how to present that information in a concise and understandable manner.

KPIs are something that are often talked about, like a buzzword, without ever really being examined in more depth. What are the drivers of your organisation, are you measuring those things that matter, and how do you measure those things? Intelligent use of your data has always been important but getting it right in the Coronavirus environment is critical.

A Dashboard should be a summary of the things that really matter to your organisation. This means blending both finance and impact. All too often we see dashboards and management information that are heavily finance focused without including impact when that is what we all exist for as charities.

This will be an interactive webinar with input and discussion from participants encouraged and will include survey questions to compare your organisation’s practices with those of the other participants.

Please click here to book your place.

July Finance Network Meeting – Save the date

Please save the date of the next Finance Network Meeting on 21st July. The primary topic of this meeting will be “Key Performance Indicators and Dashboards”.

The next Finance Network Meeting will take place on Wednesday 21st July from 11:00 – 12:30, please save the date in your diaries and we will circulate the registration link next week. This meeting will cover the topic “Key Performance Indicators and Dashboards” and will feature a presentation from Mark Salway and Marcus Lees-Millais of Moore Kingston Smith LLP entitled ‘Are you measuring what really matters to your organisation?’ Full details of the upcoming meeting can be found below.

Since January of this year, we have been delivering a series of Finance Network Meetings designed to support Brand Partners in their planning for the ‘new normal’ world post-pandemic. During our meetings so far, we have featured:

  • VAT arrangements,
  • forecasting and scenario planning,
  • Building Back Better – Opportunities, Risks and considerations for the recovery,
  • Reserves management,
  • Full Cost Recovery,
  • Changes to Audit requirements regards Going Concern assessments.

If you missed any of these meetings or would like to re-watch them, we have stored all the recordings here.

With all that internal focus under our belts, we now need to turn our focus outwards – how well are we telling the story of what we are doing to achieve our objects.

Key Performance Indicators and Dashboards – How to measure and present what really matters to your organisation

Mark Salway and Marcus Lees-Millais of Moore Kingston Smith LLP will be asking ‘Are you measuring what really matters to your organisation’?

They will be taking an in-depth look at what drives your organisation and how to present that information in a concise and understandable manner.

KPIs are something that are often talked about, like a buzzword, without ever really being examined in more depth. What are the drivers of your organisation, are you measuring those things that matter, and how do you measure those things? Intelligent use of your data has always been important but getting it right in the Coronavirus environment is critical.

A Dashboard should be a summary of the things that really matter to your organisation. This means blending both finance and impact. All too often we see dashboards and management information that are heavily finance focused without including impact when that is what we all exist for as charities.

This will be an interactive webinar with input and discussion from participants encouraged and will include survey questions to compare your organisation’s practices with those of the other participants.

Please note the date in your calendars – Wednesday 21st July from 11:00 – 12:30. The link to the Eventbrite registration page will be circulated nearer the time.

Reminder: June Finance Network Meeting – Book your place!

Find out all the details of the next Finance Network meeting and book your place.

A quick reminder that registration is now open for the next Finance Network Meeting on Wednesday 23rd June at 11am! The primary topic of this meeting will be ‘Going Concern – Financial Sustainability’. The keynote speaker will be Sudhir Singh, Partner and Head of Not For Profit at MHA MacIntyre Hudson. This topic covers important recent changes to an International Standard on Auditing (ISA 570 – revised 2020) which will apply to all entities for the financial year ended 31st March 2021. Please click here to book your place or read on to find out more.

All trustee boards, CEOs and Finance teams of Brand Partners need to be aware of the change as it will increase the auditor’s work by including expanded risk assessment procedures over going concern, increased scrutiny over management’s going concern and material uncertainty assessment and enhanced reporting requirements in the auditor’s report. It is important to note that this standard applies to all entities, irrespective of whether they are cash-rich and sustainable, or whether they face cashflow and liquidity challenges.

There will also be a shorter secondary topic looking at the need for a fresh approach to how we manage reserves as we all continue to feel our way into an uncertain ‘new normal’. This will build upon the excellent presentation given by Jill Halford on Reserves, at the May meeting.

Please click here to book your place.