It is a truth universally acknowledged that most trustees have not read the Charities’ SORP. But trustees have to approve the annual accounts and so how can they do this with confidence? We... Read more
It is a truth universally acknowledged that most trustees have not read the Charities’ SORP. But trustees have to approve the annual accounts and so how can they do this with confidence? We approach our work in a way which is designed to help.
Performance measurement and risk management form the backbone of our audit approach which, from a financial perspective, is exactly what the trustees are focusing on. We believe our approach is refreshing and unique, focusing on the figures in the accounts and the risks associated in their construction, communicated transparently to the trustees through our annual report, delivered in person by the partner. We do not believe that a good audit is simply one where all the boxes have been ticked - a junior auditor can tick 100 checklists, ask any number of ill-informed questions, and achieve very little. By working closely with management, enabling us to get underneath the figures, and sharing this understanding with the trustees, we believe that we deliver a better audit and give confidence to trustees to sign the accounts. Most auditors don’t approach their work in this way.
We aim to help the trustees but, equally importantly, we also work closely in partnership with executive management. By building strong relationships with management, we make sure that the annual process works, with the minimum disruption to the smooth running of the organisation. This is achieved through careful and flexible planning processes, critically establishing who is supposed to be doing what and by when.
As we complete our work and prepare for our meeting with trustees, it is essential that the messages that we are to communicate to trustees are clearly understood by management. There might be occasions when there have been problems which, as auditors, we need to report to trustees, but never without discussing them fully with management. We operate a ‘No Surprises’ policy.