Are you making enough money?
As a firm that has enjoyed many years of working with charities, Fitch is recognised as one of the leading firms of charity accountants in Northern Ireland. As such, we understand what trustees look for from their accountant.
First, you need professional advice from experienced accountants who have specific expertise in charities, both from an accounting and strategic point of view. You need advice and help which makes a positive difference to your fund-raising.
Secondly, you need advisers who can "keep you out of trouble" by ensuring that you comply with all the relevant laws and regulations.
To provide such effective service, our partners and staff devote time, commitment and expertise in understanding your charity and the issues which it faces.
As charities operate in an increasingly complex environment, the roles and responsibilities of trustees have become ever more onerous. The burden of complying with legislation and regulations is much greater than in the past, and this ultimately affects the trustees.
Our role, therefore, is to
- advise trustees on issues, especially those arising from audit, and how they can be addressed
- share our views on risks and how they can be mitigated
- act as a sounding board for trustees and executive management.
In addition, we undertake the following specific roles:
Set up, merger and closure of charities
Our experience with charities means that we can offer excellent advice at the point of set up which will help the trustees avoid future problems. We are also experienced with the merger and closure of charities.
As registered auditors, we have the relevant expertise to undertake audits of charities and other Not-For-Profit organisations and ensure they comply with Charities Commission rules. Our audit approach focuses on those areas of greatest risk to the charity. We assess the quality of the controls the charity has over its key systems, and concentrate our detailed testing on areas where controls appear to be weak.
Increasingly, charities need to ensure their governance is beyond reproach and appropriate for their size and nature. We review charities’ governance procedures, including:
- the committee structure and terms of reference – procedures for identifying and managing conflicts of interest and related party transactions
- procedures for recruiting and training trustees, and ensuring the board has the appropriate range of skills
- procedures for assessing the effectiveness of the board
- the relationship between the trustees and the chief executive
Charities' Statutory Accounts
We can prepare and file statutory accounts for charities and Not-For-Profit organisations, ensuring they comply with all the relevant and ever-increasing legislation.
Tax advice for charities, including Gift Aid
Our specialist charities tax team advises charities on how to maximise the benefit of the tax breaks available to charities and how to avoid the pitfalls.
Typical issues on which charities need our advice include:
The use of trading subsidiaries:
Many charities use trading subsidiaries for their non-charitable trading activities. Our experienced Charities team has advised many clients on: non-charitable trading within the charity; the financing of the trading subsidiary by the charity; the allocation of costs to trading subsidiaries; the retention of profits and the effect of the differential between taxable and accounting profits.
Gift Aid is a valuable source of additional income for charities. However, there are strict rules on its application and many charities fail to maximise their full benefits.
Adventure fund-raising events:
We offer advice on how to make sure VAT fund-raising exemptions are met and the income is eligible for Gift Aid.