Update on the Charities SORP

A single Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) that all charities, regardless of size, will have to abide by will apply for reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2016. The new SORP is based on the FRS 102 Financial Reporting Standard, which has typically been used by larger charities until now. The Financial Reporting Standard for Smaller Entities (FRSSE) will not apply from 1 January 2016.

Charity lotteries

The Government has laid before Parliament a draft order deregulating incidental non-commercial and private society lotteries. An incidental non-commercial lottery is a lottery (eg a raffle) which is incidental to an event like a school fete or social event where the organisers do not retain any part of the money raised for private gain. The amendment would allow incidental lotteries at commercial events (ie those which are not wholly or partly run for a good cause), enabling commercial enterprises such as pubs to hold raffles for good causes, for example (at the moment, the pub in this example would have to give any other revenue collected during an event to the good cause as well). A private society lottery is one which can only be entered by members of the society or guests to the society’s premises. These would be able to be used to fundraise for any charity or good cause, rather than just for the purposes for which the society is conducted. The changes are intended to make it easier for small-scale lotteries to be used to raise money for charities and good causes. If the draft order is made it is anticipated to come into force on 6 April 2016.

Freedom of Information Act may be applied to charities

A Bill which seeks to extend the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to cover private companies, social enterprises and charities contracted to carry out work for public authorities has been scheduled for a second reading in Parliament on 11 March 2016.