With just over a week to go until their consultation closes, Northern Ireland’s charity regulator is urging anyone with an interest in charities to have their say on the draft interim reporting requirements while there is still time.
Frances McCandless, Chief Executive of the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, explained: "At present, charities are not required to submit annual monitoring returns or accounts and reports to the Commission for inspection.
"This will change after registration of charities begins later this month with annual reporting by charities playing an important role in the Commission’s regulation and monitoring work, as well as ensuring the register of charities is up to date.
"In preparation for that, we are running a consultation on our interim reporting proposals and calling on anyone with an interest in charities to share their thoughts with us before the consultation closes on Friday 13 December.
"This is an important opportunity for charities to have a look at the reporting requirements they will have to meet and give us their feedback, helping to shape the final policy while there is still time to do so."
To make the process for regulation and monitoring of charities as accessible and smooth as possible, the reporting requirements for all newly registered charities in Northern Ireland will be introduced on a phased basis.
Under phase one – the interim requirements - registered charities will have to submit an annual return, including their annual accounts and reports in the format they currently prepare them, to the Commission for annual inspection.
Under the second phase, and in accordance with new accounting and reporting regulations expected to come into operation for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2015, registered charities will be required to prepare and review their accounts in line with the new regulations.
The Commission’s consultation is focussed on the interim proposals, with a further consultation by the Department for Social Development on the ‘full’ accounting and reporting regulations anticipated next year.
The Commission’s Charity reporting requirements consultation opened on Monday 23 September 2013 for 12 weeks, closing at 4.30pm on Friday 13 December.
All consultation material, including the consultation document and details on how you can take part in the consultation, are available on the Current Consultations section of the Commission’s website.
For more information please contact Shirley Kernan, Charity Commission for Northern Ireland Communications Officer, on telephone: 028 3832 0169 or email: email@example.com