In April 2023, the Charity Commission published their updated guidance on internal financial controls for charities (CC8).

Internal financial controls are important as essential checks and procedures to help trustees:

  • Protect the charity's assets, including money and property.
  • Make informed decisions about the charity’s financial position.
  • Meet their legal duties, for example to manage their charity’s resources responsibly.

The restructured guidance covers issues that were not in existence or as widely relevant to the sector in the previous version, including:

  • Fraud and cybercrime.
  • Donations of cryptoassets.
  • Mobile payment systems such as Google Pay and Apple Pay.

This is welcome news as we see continual technological developments at a rapid pace, something which charities need to keep-up with, and of course have relevant guidance on. We held a not-for-profit webinar at the end of 2022, in which we covered fraud and cybercrime - a recording of the webinar is available to watch. 

The updated guidance has also refreshed advice relating to fundraising and holding public collections, making payments to related parties, operating internationally and there is an additional section on financial controls for hospitality, including gifts.

The Commission expects charities to review their internal financial controls at least once a year to make sure they are still suitable. The guidance is accompanied by a checklist that management and trustees can use to inform this review.

Further details on the full, updated guidance are available.