Expert advice for charities at breakfast seminar in Belfast

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After several high profile charity failures in recent months, the time has come for local charities to prove their worth, following new reporting obligations from the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland.

Given that these reports can be easily accessed by the public, it’s even more crucial than ever that charities can tell their story and illustrate their impact on society. For most, this is unchartered territory so it’s crucial that all those involved in the management and strategic direction of charities have a clear understanding of how best to embrace this new era of reporting.

To ensure charities fully understand this new reality, three of Northern Ireland’s most recognized experts in the sector are coming together to host a free event offering their different areas of expertise to form a full picture.

Gauge NI, Edwards and Co and Harbinson Mulholland invite charity management teams and trustees to join them for breakfast at The Mac on Friday, February 5, at 8.30am.

Speaking at the launch of the event, Stephen McGarry, Business Development Manager Gauge NI said: “The introduction of the new charity reporting requirements means that charities must submit an annual report which states their public benefit. We will be discussing how charities can go about measuring the impact of their work and reporting on how this is for the public benefit.”

This practical workshop will also provide the opportunity for charities to discuss issues with each other, in what is a very new and very different way of reporting for most.

The key area of responsibility and reporting lies with all charity trustees and this is an issue which will be covered by Jenny Ebbage, Head of Charities at Edwards and Co.

Jenny, who will be providing a legal update, said: “It’s vital that the people responsible and accountable for charities understand their own responsibilities under the new reporting regime; including the requirement for the trustees annual report, annual return and what to do about reporting serious incidents.”

And of course, in addition to legal responsibilities, comes financial accountability, which isn’t just as simple as submitting accounts and an annual report.

James Fair, Charities Specialist at Harbinson Mulholland, said, “Charities must now ensure that their accounts and annual report accurately reflect each other and help to tell their story:complying with accounts regulations is just the starting point.”

The challenge for charities is to ensure they comply with these obligations, whilst still delivering their core services. You only get one chance to tell your story – make sure it’s a good one!

To view the programme and register for the event please click this link


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