As any working parent knows the Summer holidays can fill you with dread as you juggle with childcare and your work. My eldest two boys no longer require childcare, but they do expect me to be their personal taxi service! I was also fortunate that I found an exceptionally great holiday club and that my mother in law helped out having the youngest two boys for a few days at a time.
So, between myself, Mr W, grandparents and holiday clubs we managed, but it required a lot of planning and communication and a spreadsheet (how I love a good spreadsheet!).
A large proportion of my work time in August revolved around preparing statutory accounts and annual reports for my clients. Anyone who has ever been involved in preparing these for a charity knows it can be quite time consuming and also requires a lot of planning (see there is a link). This reminded me of an article I wrote for Quilter Cheviot on Annual Reports and who to involved. Why not have a look?
When revisiting this I reflected on the fact that the charities I have as clients are all very different, therefore their Annual Report and Accounts require a different approach. This is not something I had really considered before. For example, the two grant-giving charities I prepare the Annual Report and Accounts for don’t necessarily require an all singing all dancing report as they are not trying to attract funders. Therefore, for them, a more functional approach is required. For me, this means ensuring that the Annual Report and Accounts cover everything that they are required to but they don’t necessarily need the infographics, images and case studies that charities who are seeking grant funding need.
Contrast this with other clients who rely on attracting funding from external sources they need to demonstrate the impact of their work including facts, figures and perhaps most importantly real human stories. One of my clients, who I don’t prepare the Annual Report and Accounts for, is AgeUK Blackburn with Darwen and I love how they do their report. As well as containing all the statutory gubbins they demonstrate the real impact of their work. I’d recommend you take a peek at last years report.
Along with looking at the actual content of the annual reports I also decided to revisit the charities SORP* to ensure that all the notes to the accounts and disclosures required for each client were present. To help with this I came across a useful checklist which I am now using for all the accounts I prepare. It never hurts to revisit what you think you know to make sure that you really do and to keep adding to your knowledge.
So there it is, August in a nutshell and now we’re into September (one of my favourite months and not just because it’s back to school!)
*Statement of Recommended Practice
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