Charity receipts and payments accounts guidance - open for comment

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland has published new guidance to support eligible, non-company charities in drafting receipts and payments accounts – and is calling for your comments on the draft guidance.

The announcement follows the launch earlier this year of the first phase of the new annual reporting programme for all charities in Northern Ireland registered with the Commission.

Myles McKeown, Head of Compliance and Enquiries at the Commission, explained: “As of 1 April 2014, it is compulsory for charities registered with the Commission to report annually on their activities, governance and finances.

“As part of our ongoing work to support charities in meeting their legal obligations, we have produced guidance on receipts and payments accounts.

“During this interim reporting phase, the Commission will accept receipts and payments accounts in the format in which they are currently prepared. However, it is best practice to apply the standards outlined in this new guidance.

“The guidance has been published in draft format and is open for comment now. I would encourage as many interested parties as possible to share their views on this guidance to help the Commission ensure the final version is the best it can be.”

To read the Commission’s Receipts and payments accounts: draft introductory notes and provide your feedback please visit the Accounting and reporting: essentials page of

Smaller, non-company charities can prepare receipts and payments accounts, which are simpler than accruals accounts. However, charities which are companies cannot use receipts and payments accounts.

The Commission’s guidance explains the principles underlying receipts and payments accounts and provides advice and tips on when and how to prepare accounts in this format.

In addition to the guidance, eligible charities may also be interested in the Commission’s new Receipts and payments toolkit, which has now been finalised.

The toolkit and an example of receipts and payments accounts, both available on Accounting and reporting essentials page of the Commission’s website, demonstrate the Commission’s recommended format for this type of accounts.

The draft guidance will be open for comment from 4 July 2014 to 31 October 2014. Following this, the Commission will analyse the feedback received and prepare the final version of the introductory notes for publication.


For more information please contact Shirley Kernan, Charity Commission for Northern Ireland Communications Officer, on telephone: 028 3832 0169, mobile: 07827338978 or email:

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