o here it is…my review of 2019. Like many others, I thought it would be good to use numbers but without the explanation behind them, you may not understand what they mean to me.
207 New Twitter Followers
Whilst this might not seem like a huge amount for me it was a 119% increase from 2018. Interestingly the majority of this increase came after I attended the Freelance Heroes Day in May 2019 and started participating in the weekly Freelance Heroes twitter chats. What I’ve learnt from this is that you don’t necessarily need to meet people face to face to ‘network’ with them.
7 Sets of Charity Statutory Accounts
Back in the days when I was a Charity Finance Director I only had to prepare one lot of accounts so producing seven sets for vastly different charities has taught me so much. I have had to revisit the Charities SORP (Statement of Recommended Practice) several times to ensure that each charity has the correct disclosures for its activities. It has certainly challenged me but I know that I have become better in my role as a result.
3 Independent Examinations undertaken
All charities that have gross income above £25,000 and below £1 million are required to have an independent examination*. An independent examination is a legal requirement and is intended 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. The trustees of most charities can choose to have an independent examination instead of an audit. Independent examination is a ‘light touch’ scrutiny involving the examiner checking for specific matters only. If you’re unsure if your charity requires an independent examination or not I have produced a handy guide which can be found here.
8 Trustee meeting clerked
Clerking a Trustee meeting is much more than just turning up and taking minutes. It forms part of a charities governance arrangements and accurate minute taking is a must. Part of my role in supporting the Trustees is not only to ensure that meetings are minuted correctly but to ensure that they meet their statutory governance requirements. This includes ensuring that the agenda’s cover the main issues facing the charity including the annual approval of budgets, annual reports and accounts and risk management. I keep trustees informed of any new reports and information from the Charity Commission and explain the impact, if any, on their charity. For more information on the importance of minutes, you can always take a look at my blog ‘Good Governance in Minutes’.
7 New Clients
These clients are all small and medium-sized charities that have come to me through the recommendation of others I have worked with. I have provided a variety of services to these new clients from acting as the Secretary to the Trustees to producing the annual report and accounts. I am pleased that I will be working with all of these clients in 2020 and that I am building long term relationships with them. For me, I like to get to really understand the charities I am working with so I can provide more than just the service asked for, giving the added value of my experience.
30 Volunteer Hours Given
As well as supporting charities with their finance and governance it is also important to give something back and to share my knowledge and experience. That’s why I was delighted to be appointed a Trustee of Wood Street Mission. I give all my time for free and in return, I get an enormous amount of satisfaction.
For me, the most important thing is that I enjoy what I do. In fact, I love it! I believe this shows in the work that I do and is why charities love working with me. I can’t wait for 2020 and all that it brings. Here’s to another great year!
* If your charity has gross income above £250,000 and a balance sheet over £3.26 million then you require an audit
If you’re looking for more than an accountant then why not give Emma an email or a call?
07419 786 943