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SORP Committee seeks partners to help gather ideas for change

The Charity SORP Committee is looking for engagement partners that will form key stakeholder groups to help gather feedback and ideas for change.

SORP Committee seeks partners to help gather ideas for change
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After setting out plans to change the way the charity accounting framework is developed earlier this year, the Charity Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) Committee is now seeking engagement partners to help it gather feedback and ideas for change.

The SORP is the set of rules that governs charity accounting for charitable companies and larger charities (charities with an income over £250,000). The main purpose of the SORP Committee is to identify potential changes to the SORP and advise the SORP-making body.

According to the Charity Commission, the chosen engagement partners can be individuals or organisations. They will have an interest in charity financial reporting and the work of the sector, and will have the opportunity to work with the SORP Committee to make sure that their views are expressed correctly.

These partners will be put into stakeholder groups based on their main areas of work and will be asked to reflect on the information needs of users of charity annual reports and accounts and how far the SORP needs to change to meet those needs; what information users of the SORP need to prepare for good annual report and accounts; and opportunities to simplify reporting.

“We are committed to helping charities meet public expectations, and so we want to see an accounting framework that best serves the reader of the report and accounts and the wider public interest in the activities of charities. I encourage anyone with an interest to come forward to help develop improvements in reporting for the sector,” said the Charity Commission’s Nigel Davies, joint chair of the SORP Committee.

The SORP-making body is made up of the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, the Charity Commission for England and Wales, and the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).

Changes to the way charity accounting rules under the SORP framework are developed follow a nine-month governance review chaired by Professor Gareth Morgan. The review was instigated by external criticism of the way the SORP was developed, and in particular a perception that it is overly influenced by the views of charities in preparing their accounts and the accounting profession.

The new arrangements, which will also see the size of SORP membership decrease, are due to be in place by March 2020.

The closing date for applications to become an engagement partner is 31 January 2020.

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