Canadian charities can learn from UK Guidance “Internal Financial Controls for Charities (CC8)”

July 05, 2010 | By: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Mark Blumberg
Topics: News, Ethics and Canadian Charities, Avoiding 'Charity' Scams

here is a revised version on the UK Charity Commission Guidance Internal Financial Controls for Charities (CC8)

Here is the summary:

A1. What is this guidance about?

Internal financial controls are essential checks and procedures that help charity trustees:

*meet their legal duties to safeguard the charity’s assets;
*administer the charity’s finances and assets in a way that identifies and manages risk; and
*ensure the quality of financial reporting, by keeping adequate accounting records and preparing timely and relevant financial information.

If a charity is to achieve its aims then the trustees need to ensure that assets are properly used, that its funds are spent effectively and its financial affairs are well managed. This guidance looks at various areas of financial activity and provides examples of internal financial controls that are commonly used to reduce the risk of loss.

Internal financial controls reduce, but do not eliminate, the risk of losses through theft and fraud, bad decisions, human error, breaches of controls, management override of controls and unforeseeable circumstances. Internal financial controls should, however, reduce the risk of those things happening. If they do happen then internal financial controls should also help the trustees to find out sooner and take necessary action. Some controls may also help a charity achieve good value for money.

Charities vary considerably in terms of their size, activities and complexity. Where activities or transactions are complex then trustees may need to seek professional advice on appropriate controls in those areas. Section F of this guidance provides reference to more detailed information on internal financial controls and governance more generally. These sources of information will be relevant to those who wish to develop an in-depth understanding of best practice.

Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?


Charity Lawyer Mark Blumberg

Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.
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