Charity SORP Review Launched

Posted on 2 Nov 2020

The Charities Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) convenor responsible for gathering the views of trustees on the charity accounting framework has today begun work with trustees to gain an insight into their understanding of the framework. Trustees in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are being asked to complete a questionnaire which will help to clarify their position.

Louise Thomson, Head of Policy (Not for Profit) at ICSA: The Chartered Governance Institute, who is leading the Charities SORP Trustee Engagement Strand, says:

“Annual reports are important documents as they provide readers with an insight into how a charity has fulfilled its charitable purposes and how it has used its resources. The production and approval of the annual report and accounts is the responsibility of all the charity trustees, not just the trustee with an interest, or expertise, in finance. However, the SORP can be an alien document to many charity trustees: too long, too much jargon, overly technical or unrelatable to the work of the charity. Consequently, some charity annual reports and accounts are non-compliant, of poor quality or otherwise unhelpful to a range of readers.

“The Charities SORP Trustee Engagement Strand has been tasked with helping the SORP-making Committee develop the next SORP, providing insight from the specific perspective of charity trustees. We therefore seek the help of trustees to understand their:

  • Awareness of the SORP;
  • How, if at all, they engage with the development of their charity’s annual report and accounts;
  • What help trustees need to help prepare their annual report and accounts; and
  • What aspects of the charity annual report and accounts are unhelpful or otherwise unnecessary.

“The questionnaire is aimed primarily at existing or recently retired trustees of charities registered or operating in Wales, Scotland, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and England. It shouldn’t take long to complete but the experience of trustees could help to fundamentally change future SORPs to make them fit for purpose for the charities it covers.”

The survey can be completed anonymously here until 7 December 2020.

Further information about the Charities SORP can be found at and about the Trustee Engagement Strand in particular here.