The Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) today reminds the country’s charities of the importance of complying with their annual reporting duties.
Every year, every charity registered in Scotland has to provide annual information by:
It is a legal requirement for charities to send us their reports and accounts. Scottish charities have different reporting deadlines throughout the year, depending on where they set their accounting ‘year end’.
Around 10,000 charities in Scotland have a ‘year end’ of 31 March, which is the most common. They are required to submit information within 9 months, meaning that their documentation needs to reach us by 31 December. 403 of these organisations (4%) have still failed to do so as of 08 March 2017, despite frequent communications with the charities in question.
There can be legitimate reasons for a charity not submitting on time. However, when OSCR has contacted many non-submitting charities the underlying reason seems to be that reporting has not been given the requisite level of importance.
If a charity does not provide us with the required information, the following could apply:
Submitting annual information is straightforward thanks to OSCR Online, a secure online system that also provides help on individual questions should anyone need assistance. We are also extremely willing to help charities that are having difficulties filling in their forms and have staff dedicated to this area of work.
OSCR’s Head of Engagement Dr Jude Turbyne said,
“If a Scottish charity does not meet its obligations, it can damage the charity’s reputation and affect public confidence.
“It is vital that charities demonstrate the great work they do and annual reporting allows them to do that. We recognise that the vast majority of organisations use this opportunity to their advantage.
“However, it is disappointing to see that on a specific date where so many charities have a deadline, there has been a large number who have missed it. This is despite OSCR and other bodies being there to help them.
“As regulator, we have powers that can have an impact on charities who do not meet their duties. However, the best solution for the charities in question is to take this responsibility seriously and resolve their non-submitting status quickly.”