Helping charities meet the challenges of statutory compliance
UHY Farrelly Dawe White Limited, with offices in Balbriggan, Dublin city centre and Newry, has over 30 years of experience providing audit and advisory services to not-for-profit organisations
The audit can be more than a statutory compliance activity for charities. Choosing the right auditor can add immense value to the engagement, said Thomas McDonagh, director, UHY Farrelly Dawe White Limited.
“Our charity and not-for-profit specialists are committed to providing a comprehensive range of audit and advisory services tailored to meet the specific needs of charities and not-for-profit organisations.
“It can be a challenge for people in the not-for-profit sector to keep up to date with legislative and compliance requirements when they are focusing on the core charitable activities of their organisations, with the help of our experts, we can ensure that you remain compliant at all times.”
McDonagh said that they are seeing an ever-increasing number of charities applying the Charities SORP financial reporting framework. “Unless you have prior experience in financial reporting, this is not something that every charity and not-for-profit organisation can do on their own, they need the support of experienced professionals.
“We are seeing an increasing move toward providing internal audit services to clients where we do not act as statutory auditors. Directors/trustees are seeking a greater level of assurance over the internal operations of the organisation they are volunteering with. It is worth noting that a director of a charity has the same statutory obligations and responsibilities as the director of any other company.
UHY Farrelly Dawe White Limited has experience of working with a wide range of not-for-profit organisations. “We understand that they need to operate within tightly controlled finances subject to public scrutiny. With increased competition for grant funding and charitable giving and a greater burden of compliance, we help ensure organisations are efficiently managed to deal with the challenges.”
McDonagh said that the best run charities have good diverse boards. “These organisations are increasingly appointing accountants and solicitors or barristers to their boards to help them with the compliance burden. You need suitably experienced directors to adhere to all compliance requirements. The practice of trying to attract professionals as well as people from within the charitable sector to the boards of not for profits can add another level of depth to the workings of the board and ultimately the governance structure of the organisation.
Supporting the charity sector is something that we pride ourselves in, said Sylwia Willis, audit and accounts manager and charity specialist. “We work with around 50 charities ranging from an income of €50,000 to €25 million. The average client we deal with is in the range of €1.0 million to €1.5 million. They include people in the performing arts and theatre sector, family resource centres, addiction support services, bereavement support services, adoption services, larger NGOs with an international reach and some of the household names.”
McDonagh said that it is work that complements what the firm does with their commercially focused clients. “It can be refreshing to work with organisations that have a charitable or altruistic ethos. Accountancy is very much a people business, and we enjoy working with the people in the charity sectors. Their challenges and their stories can be quite different to the profit-motivated business, also you get to see some of the real difference these organisations make to people’s lives. The work the sector does here in Ireland is second to none. It is almost a privilege for us to be able to help.”
Willis said that they provide everything from statutory audit to compliance services. “Our specialists are committed to providing comprehensive charity audit and accounting services which tackle these and many other issues to help you maintain a financially sound organisation.”
“As well as audit, we can provide specialist tax support, corporate compliance services and assist organisations in drafting their policies and procedures manuals to adhere to the governance code. Many funders also require certification of funding and need an independent sign off on expenditure.”
UHY Farrelly Dawe White Limited is headquartered in Dundalk with offices in Balbriggan, Dublin city centre and Newry. The firm is over 30 years in business and is a member of the UHY international network.
McDonagh initially started with the company as a trainee in 2003 and has been in the sector since then. He is a member of the CPA Financial Reporting Sub-Committee, treasurer of Dundalk Chamber of Commerce and promoter for Dundalk Chamber Skillnet.
Sylwia Willis is an audit and accounts manager and charity specialist. She is treasurer of a Credit Union in Co Down and holds a certificate in charity governance from the Law Society of Ireland.
“The people in our not-for-profit teams are passionate about helping you achieve your mission and goals,” said McDonagh.