Carol Rudge, Partner & Head of Not for Profit (NFP) at HW Fisher provides an update on some of the top reports, news, and events for NFP organisations.
This month has been particularly exciting for our team, as we have confirmed our attendance at two in person events – we can’t wait to attend and meet people face to face again! In this digest we cover the National Audit Office’s (NAO) report on regulating the financial sustainability of higher education providers, which may have been overlooked by many due to the focus on the Augar report. Following this, we examine the long-awaited Charities Bill, which is now official law and known as the Charities Act 2022. We also take a deeper dive into the FRC Audit Committee Chairs research which is relevant to those in Audit Committees of Universities, Charities and Trade Unions. Read more to discover our full month in review.
We are excited to share that HW Fisher are the Lead Sponsor for the CFG: Charity Finance Group Annual Conference this year.
The theme is Purposeful and Empowering which is very appropriate for the current times. There’s no doubt that civil society is needed now more than ever. We all have a purpose to empower our communities and maximise our impact. The CFG conference asks us to think about how we can ensure we’re connecting with our purpose and the role we can play in empowering our communities.
For more information and to sign up, please visit CFG’s webpage. Hopefully we will see you there!
We are looking forward to supporting the Unions 21 Conference on 27th April, where a new report looking at the ‘data challenge’ will be launched. The report will explore how unions can use data to win better deals and build strong, successful operations, as well as how to make best use of existing data and what structures will need to be put in place to do this. To register for the conference, click here. We look forward to seeing you there!
There has been such a flurry of commentary on Augar over the last month that the report from the NAO on regulating the financial sustainability of higher education providers may not have been spotted by all.
It is the NAO’s first report on the Office for Students (OfS)and focuses on their responsibilities to protect student interests from the consequences of financial risk in HE providers.
There are some interesting and potentially worrying key facts:
There has been so much written about the Charities Bill as it wound its way slowly to become the Charities Act 2022. It is hard to believe that it is now law given its origins go back a decade. The aim is to make matters easier for charities through:
The measures will be introduced on a staggered basis over the next 12 to 18 months so charities are “not overburdened by several changes at once”.
Despite the changes not all being introduced immediately, charities should consider the list now so that any benefits are understood and can be factored into future plans.
ESG is an increasingly important topic – organisations are standing up and starting to address this as part of their strategic priorities. One area we haven’t heard much noise about is organisations creating a Chief ESG Officer position. It is clearly a role which will become increasingly common to ensure that ESG is prioritised and embedded within organisations. Watch this space.
The FRC have published some independent research on audit quality looking at Audit Committee Chairs’ views and approach. This was based on interviews with Audit Committee Chairs discussing how they carry out their role. While the survey was predominantly of listed companies, the findings are equally relevant to the NFP world and thus are worth consideration by, for example, the Audit Committees of Universities, Charities and Trade Unions.
The key findings are: