Visit our Covid-19 Guidance Hub Click here

Just what every charity and not-for-profit needs. Firmer financial foundations.

Charities and Not-for-Profit

We have been working in the charitable sector since 1933, assisting charities and not-for-profit organisations of all sizes. Working with over 300 not-for-profit organisations, our specialist team has a thorough understanding of the challenges and opportunities you face and is on hand to provide practical and focussed solutions to help you and your organisation.

Our team works with charities both large and small, charitable foundations, cultural, religious and educational organisations, including Independent Schools.

Our clients within the not-for-profit sector include trade unions, pension schemes and trade associations of all types and sizes, ranging from small and domestic, to very complex with branches and overseas operations.

Our expertise is derived from years of advice and in-house experience, and we have the breadth of skills to be able to offer a “one stop shop” for all the services that a charity or not-for-profit might require.

Learn more about how we can help you and find out about our specific expertise.

 



 

 



 

Charities

Our team acts for over 200 charities of all sizes and has first-hand knowledge of the sector from team members who have been closely involved in the running of charities. We know that you want to concentrate your time on running your charity and we are able to offer a one stop shop for all of your charity’s needs. This includes providing the option to outsource many of the services that you are required by statute and regulation to provide, which can be a drain on resources.

Key Services

Financial Planning
CFO Services
Bookkeeping and Payroll
Audit
Independent Examinations
Company Secretarial
Troubleshooting & Crisis Management
Charity Restructuring
VAT
Tax Compliance
Grant Making Foundations
Governance Reviews
Topical Seminars and Bespoke Training

 

Financial Planning

Financial planning, strategy and risk management are key elements for any charity if you are to ensure that you are sustainable in serving your charitable objectives. We can help you budget effectively, manage your cash, ensure your financial planning is robust and work with you to mitigate risk. We bring a commercial focus, enabling you to generate a surplus, build up a financial reserve and go from strength to strength.

CFO Services

A part-time CFO is a cost-effective, agile solution that brings a valuable, independent perspective to charities looking to provide quality and relevant financial information to their trustees.

We are a relationship-driven team who will work with you to identify your needs and tailor our services to suit you. Whether it is a specific project or a more regular assignment, our experienced part-time CFOs will develop the best solution for you. They will work with you to ensure you are able to promptly report on management accounts, budget and reforecast and to ensure regular cashflow forecasts.

Bookkeeping and Payroll

HW Fisher Business Solutions is a specialist provider of accountancy outsourcing solutions, offering cost effective and reliable bookkeeping and payroll, services. Acting for a wide range of charities, our experienced team has established accounting systems and reporting procedures for many charities providing concise and accurate management information which provides reassurance on these more technical areas.

Audit

If your charity has more than £1m in annual turnover or assets with a value in excess of £3.2m, a statutory audit will be required. It can provide credibility to your organisation and comfort and reassurance to donors and service users. Guidance on how charities record their income and expenditure is constantly evolving as regulators scrutinise the sector. Our teams are alert to opportunities to mitigate your risks and improve systems and processes, while ensuring you maintain compliance with regulatory standards.

An audit gives us an opportunity to develop a thorough understanding of your charity. We’ll work closely with you and your business to pre-empt any potential issues and address them early.

Our audit teams are partner-led and we adopt a personal, hands-on approach to our client relationships. All of our audit experts use their sector-specific knowledge to bring value to the process.

We aim to make the audit process as simple and stress-free as possible, so our teams are always thoroughly briefed on your specific circumstances and have in-depth knowledge of your sector. Careful planning and open communication with our clients are key to our streamlined audits.

Independent Examinations

All registered charities must prepare a trustees’ report and annual accounts each year. We can assist with this, no matter what the size of your charity.

There are two forms of external scrutiny for a charity, an audit or an Independent Examination.

If your charity meets the criteria below then it could undertake an Independent Examination:

  • Gross annual income between £25,000 and £1million, or
  • gross annual income over £250,000 and gross assets in excess of £3.26million.

If your gross annual income and gross assets are above this level then an audit will need to be undertaken.

An Independent Examination involves the review of the accounting records and the annual accounts of the charity to consider whether the accounts are supported by the accounting records and show an accurate picture of the financial affairs of the charity. It also shows whether the accounts are prepared in accordance with the law. The purpose of this is to give the charity’s trustees, supporters, beneficiaries and the wider public, some independent assurance that the charity’s money has been properly accounted for and accounting records kept.

An Independent Examination is a lower level of scrutiny and less costly than audit. For many smaller charities this is appropriate as they balance the needs of external scrutiny with the costs.

All of our Independent Examiners are qualified Chartered Accountants. Our team can prepare the accounts and give guidance to ensure your trustees’ report is in accordance with the law. If your internal processes need to be more robust, we’ll quickly identify any areas that need improving and make recommendations to ensure they become more effective.

Then as the charity grows, we can undertake the audit as and when needed.

Company Secretarial

Using our company secretarial services takes away the burden of aspects of the charity that would normally fall to a company secretary. Our flexible offering can save you the cost of a full-time resource and keep your resources streamlined.

We undertake all routine company secretarial work, including preparation of minutes, resolutions, updating of statutory registers and filing of forms with the Charity Commission and at Companies House, if required. We also advise on and implement corporate structures.

What sets us apart is that we also deal with more complex matters such as drafting of specialist articles of association, and corporate governance.

We also provide an advisory and compliance service to ensure you’re compliant with all current legislation.

Troubleshooting & Crisis Management

When things fail to run smoothly or if a crisis impacts the charity’s operations, services or management, it can have a destabilising impact on operations, donors and Trustees. Our team has wide experience of dealing with the impact of whistleblower’s reports, and regulatory action by the Charity Commission, as well as financial and fundraising crises. We can work alongside your trustees to guide them through a crisis, whilst helping to maintain business as usual and restoring confidence amongst your stakeholders.

Charity Restructuring

As charities look to maintain financial sustainability in times of economic difficulty, trustees often explore if they can provide their services more efficiently by means of restructuring, joint ventures or mergers with other charities. We have wide experience of corporate finance transactions and the knowledge to be able to apply these principles to the charitable sector in an intuitive and cost-effective manner.

We’ll work with you to make any deal process as smooth as possible, providing clear, effective advice throughout. We offer an experienced, personal, expert service and are dedicated to delivering results. With strong attention to detail and a problem-solving mentality, we focus on speedily resolving any issues as they arrive and are always driven to deliver the best possible outcome for you.

If required, we will undertake the financial due diligence for you, providing a written report on the historic financial information of the other charity and its projections.

VAT

VAT is a very complicated area for charities and it’s easy to get it wrong. We are specialist charity advisers and understand that each organisation has different challenges which require tailored advice.

Donations are a complex area for charities, depending on whether they are freely given or have conditions as to how they should be used. We can ensure you take the correct position on each type of donation.

Some tax breaks are available for buildings that are used for charitable purposes, although the criteria for this is surprisingly narrow. We’ll identify if you qualify for any reliefs and help you take advantage if this is the case.

Tax Compliance

We understand charities and the tax issues that impact upon them. Our expert team works genuinely in partnership with our clients, taking time to understand their businesses and strategies, enabling us to offer proactive, commercial advice in addition to technical tax advice.

Grant-making foundations

Our team is experienced at acting for many grant-making foundations established by high net-worth individuals, providing independent examinations, audit services, cash flow forecasts for grant commitments, VAT, drafting grant agreements and handling tax returns.

We help clients contend with changing regulations and complex tax treatments. With regulators, including the Charity Commission, imposing increasing demands, a specialist and proactive approach to your accounts and finances is vital to ensure that you can concentrate on what is most important; running a successful organisation.

Governance Reviews

The correct governance structure in a charity can free up decision making, encourage creativity, provide robust oversight, and simplify reporting. We can review your current governance to help you to ensure that your structures comply with best practice guidance for charities, is appropriate to your activities and size, and enable your charity to be fit for the future.

Topical Seminars and Bespoke Training

We hold free seminars for our clients on topical issues in the sector to help you keep up-to-date and give guidance in the more complex areas. Past seminars have included risk management, understanding taxation as it applies to charities, Gift Aid and social media. We also offer a brief, accessible introduction to being a trustee, which is an excellent opportunity for your trustees to have any queries resolved.

 


 

Not-for-Profit

We have a thorough understanding of the challenges and opportunities you face in the not-for-profit sector and are here to provide practical solutions.

Our team works with numerous not-for-profit organisations, covering grant making foundations, trade unions, pension schemes and trade associations of all types and sizes, ranging from small and domestic to very complex with branches and overseas operations.

Key Services

Financial Planning
Trade Unions
CFO Services
Bookkeeping and Payroll
Audit
VAT
Tax Compliance
Company Secretarial

 

Financial Planning

Financial planning, strategy and risk management are key for any not-for-profit organisation. We can help you budget effectively, ensure your financial planning is robust and work with you to mitigate risk. We bring a commercial focus to help you generate a surplus to build up a financial reserve and go from strength-to-strength.

Trade Unions

Long-term financial stability is crucial for trade unions if they are to survive. We’ll also support you on making positive changes to safeguard your organisation’s future, through advising on financial management, and investment and tax strategy.

As part of the audit process we ensure that the accounts comply with accounting standards and that they can also be understood by the members. Our team also has a thorough understanding of defined benefit pension schemes and the impact they have on trade unions. We can help you develop an effective long-term strategy, working closely with your actuaries to achieve a balanced outcome.

CFO Services

Getting the right financial guidance throughout your company’s lifecycle that complements your mission is essential.

A part-time CFO is a solution that brings a valuable, independent and cost-effective perspective to a not-for-profit organisation.

Our team is relationship-driven and will work with you to identify your needs and tailor our services to suit you. Whether it is a specific project or a more regular assignment, our experienced part-time CFOs will develop the best solution.

Bookkeeping and Payroll

It is important to remember that you always have the option to outsource the majority of tasks that might distract you from providing your services and growing your organisation. You can rely on us handle the back office for you, so you can focus on the growth.

HW Fisher Business Solutions is a co-sourcing finance team that provides a flexible and fully scalable solution for all your back office needs so you can focus on running your business.

Our team is experienced in working with not-for-profits, as well as more mature businesses undergoing a change-management programme. We take the time to understand the needs of each business, and tailor our services to meet your specific needs.

You can stay in touch with progress using our cloud-based accounting solutions. We are a Platinum Partner with Xero, a Certified ProAdvisor with Quickbooks, and are a preferred supplier for Receipt Bank.

We can assist you with all of your bookkeeping and provide a fully outsourced payroll service.

Audit

A statutory audit provides credibility to your not-for-profit organisation. Organisations face constantly evolving risks, uncertainties and stakeholder scepticism in today’s complex commercial environment. Our teams are alert to opportunities to mitigate your risks and improve systems and processes, while ensuring you maintain compliance with regulatory standards.

An audit gives us an opportunity to develop a thorough understanding of your organisation. We’ll work closely with you and your business to pre-empt any potential issues and address them early.

Our audit teams are partner-led and we adopt a personal, hands-on approach to the relationship. All of our audit experts use their sector-specific knowledge to bring value to the process.

We aim to make the audit as simple and stress-free as possible, so our teams are always thoroughly briefed on your specific circumstances and have in-depth knowledge of your industry. Careful planning and open communications with our clients are key to our streamlined audits.

VAT

VAT is a complex area of tax legislation. Our VAT team breaks down these complexities into clear, simple language to help our not-for-profit clients fully understand their position. We deliver straightforward solutions to complex questions.

Our experts trained with HMRC and have a thorough understanding of both the legislation and HMRC’s policies and procedures. This is invaluable when helping you understand the impact on you and your organisation in real terms.

Ensuring that your business is compliant is crucial and our team can help you with areas of compliance such as VAT returns and VAT registration, highlighting the key risks and opportunities.

Tax Compliance

We can provide tax structuring advice tailored to your specific needs and take into consideration all aspects of your business. We’ll ensure that your tax liabilities are minimised, both via the business and when either extracting surpluses for beneficiaries or reinvesting in the business.

We can advise you on the most suitable structure, ranging from limited companies to partnerships, branches and everything in between.

Company Secretarial

Take advantage of HW Fisher’s company secretarial services to remove the burden from your business that would normally be managed by a company secretary. We offer a flexible service to save you the cost of a full-time resource, keeping your business streamlined.

All routine company secretarial work is covered, including preparation of minutes, resolutions, updating of statutory registers and Companies House filing. We also incorporate companies and can arrange for them to be dissolved.

We also deal with more complex matters including capital reconstructions, drafting of specialist articles of association, corporate governance and the reinstatement of companies that have been struck off.

In addition, we provide advisory and compliance services to ensure you are compliant with all up-to-date legislation.

Key contacts

Andrew Rich HW Fisher

Andrew Rich
Managing Partner

020 7380 4988
[javascript protected email address]
Connect with Andrew Rich
Download vCard


Muneeza Baig HW Fisher

Muneeza Baig
Senior Manager - Charities

020 7380 4902
[javascript protected email address]
Connect with Muneeza Baig
Download vCard


Sailesh Mehta HW Fisher

Sailesh Mehta
Partner - Audit

020 7380 4923
[javascript protected email address]
Connect with Sailesh Mehta
Download vCard


Gary Miller HW Fisher

Gary Miller
Partner - Corporate Finance and Audit

020 7380 4938
[javascript protected email address]
Connect with Gary Miller
Download vCard


Contact us

We’d love to hear from you. To book an appointment or to find out more about our services: