When it comes to managing the finances of a small charity, many organizations do not have the luxury of being able to hire a full-time accountant to handle the many financial responsibilities that go along with being a charity. While the field can be difficult to navigate without experience, the good news is that several free and reasonably-priced paid resources can offer guidance and assistance to charities who are looking to be fully compliant. This article looks at just some of the options open to charities in the UK.
Make Use of Free Resources
Managing the finances of a charity can be complicated and people who are not familiar with accounting standards may often find themselves lost amidst the jargon of the financial sector. Luckily, there are several free resources that charities have access to that can assist.
One of the best free resources that charities in the UK have access to is The Charity Commission, a non-ministerial department that assists with the registration and regulation of charities in England and Wales. The commission provides charities with guidance and support relating to both legal and financial matters. The commission has a variety of resources available on its website, including guides relating to managing assets and resources, charity reporting, investment processes, and more.
Another excellent free source of information is the Small Charities Coalition, a network of member organizations that are dedicated to helping small organizations with a social purpose. Aside from giving charity organizations access to financial management templates as well as links to other websites that could be useful, the coalition also gives organizations access to a helpdesk feature where they can request specific help from a volunteer or mentor within the coalition.
Take a Course in Finance Management
Aside from outside assistance, having a member of the charity organization take a course in financial management can be hugely beneficial to charities who are determined to handle their finances. And, while a course that specializes in charity finances would be the best, even just a basic finance management course should be able to put the organization on the right track.
Resources such as OpenLearn, who offer over 1000 courses across eight different subject areas, as well as Alison, who give their members access to over 2000 high-quality courses, offer a great way for charities to upskill their members for little or no cost to the organization.
When Necessary, Consult the Experts
Even with all the free resources in the world at their disposal, sometimes charities need the help of an expert to put them on the right track and ensure they stay there. Aspects of managing a charity’s finances such as adherence to Charity SORP, or Statement of Recommended Practice, can be difficult for people who are not familiar with traditional accounting best practices. In cases where a charity organization needs assistance, firms such as Goodman Jones, who offer charitable organizations support and advice regarding the financial aspects of running their organization, including Charity SORP, are a great resource from which to draw upon.
Managing the finances of any business can be tough, and the finances of a charitable organization even more so given that many charities cannot afford professional assistance. However, thanks to the wealth of information available online, charity organizations are now better equipped than ever to handle their finances. Knowing what resources are available to help is the first step in reaching financial independence.
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