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Learning from OSCR’s Inquiries: Financial Management

09 Feb 2024

Part of our work as the Scottish Charity Regulator is to carry out inquiries in response to concerns from the public, charity staff and other sources.

Reflecting on some of the inquiry cases that we have dealt with recently, we have identified several common themes and lessons that charities, and those who work with charities, can learn from to help improve their governance and avoid potential problems.

Over the next few months, we will be sharing a series of reports going into further details about these common themes and lessons. Today we have published the first of these reports, focusing on the topic of financial management.

Our report, Learning from OSCR’s Inquiries: Financial Management, details ten key lessons to support good financial governance.

Every charity needs money to deliver its charitable activities, and poor financial management can stop a charity from achieving its purposes – as well as having more serious consequences.

In some of our recent inquiry cases, financial management issues were a significant part of our inquiries. These issues included:

  • Lack of clarity around financial controls and procedures
  • Poor understanding of how financial decisions were made
  • Trustees keeping financial information to themselves
  • Decision making that was not collective

The aim of our report is to highlight why these issues can cause problems, and what charities can do to improve their financial management, in order to promote good governance and ensure trustees are able to meet their legal duties.

Read the report here.