The Charities Act 2009 has been on the statute books since 2009 but its material provisions have not yet been commenced. At this time therefore it is not clear exactly what steps must be taken by Charities in order to comply with the Act.
Nevertheless, there are a number of preparatory actions that can be taken to reduce the likely compliance burden once the Act and associated regulations are implemented. This Update sets out a suggested general "to do list" and "review list" to assist in this regard.
TO DO LIST
Identify your "Charity Trustee(s)"* and brief them on the new Charities Act 2009. Identify areas for new record keeping - retention of materials. Monitor developments. 3-12 MONTHS
Review governing documents, assets and "board" / Charity Trustee structure. Discuss with accountants / advisers / board what changes, if any, necessary to financial records. Consider what, if any, changes are likely to be required to fundraising programme. Review protection for assets, Charity Trustees and employees and remuneration arrangements for any charity trustees who are paid. Consider amendments to governing documents / organisational structure regarding the above. 1-3 YEARS
Implement any proposed changes to governing documents and/or organisational structure. Implement any record keeping, governance and fundraising process changes. Align financial reporting with anticipated CRA requirements. REVIEW LIST
IDENTIFYING YOUR CHARITY
Identify Charity Trustees: Do they know their role? Are they properly appointed? Find governing documents: Are they accurate and consistent with what you do? Are revisions required? Revenue consent? Check Revenue and Approved Body status. If multiple CHY numbers, consider whether reorganisation is advisable or necessary. WHAT DOES THE CHARITY OWN?
What does the charity own and who owns it? What properties do you have and do you "operate" from them? Are deeds and custodian / trustee appointments up to date? Are funds reserved for more than 2 years? Why? Revenue consent? WHAT RECORDS ARE KEPT?
Charity Trustee minutes / Executive minutes / other records. Financial records: consider accounting advice and guidelines...