Summer seems to go by quicker every year, and it’s hard to believe that the children have already been back at school for a couple of weeks. Now they’re rested they can continue their journey to fulfilling their potential, and it could be the same for your business.
A chance to reflect
If we’re refreshed from a summer break, it’s a good time to reflect on the year that has passed so far.
The Charity Commission has highlighted concerns over the level of fraud and mismanagement in the charity sector.
Trustees have overall responsibility for governance and for safeguarding the charity’s assets. Trustees should therefore be alert to fraud, understand what it is and how it may affect the organisation.
What are internal controls and why are they important?
Trustees have a duty to safeguard charity assets and to make sure resources are used wisely. A good system of internal controls is key to this. Sound internal controls can reduce the risk of loss through theft, fraud, bad decisions or error.
How long has it been since your last review?
In many charities, internal controls are well documented.
At Larking Gowen we have over 300 employees across nine locations and ensuring their mental wellbeing is a very important part of our core values.
We are training managers to support staff and identify any issues that may arise in their day- to-day lives that affect their wellbeing. All of our staff have access to a confidential, free, 24 hour support helpline covering many different services including mental health issues, family issues, gambling, financial pressures, stress, and housing, to mention just a few.
The recent report carried out on Modern Working Practices has seen the Hospitality sector identified as one where a significant proportion of the workforce are on, or close to, the minimum wage.
It is all too easy to inadvertently fall foul of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) rates and with the repercussions for doing so quite severe, including naming and shaming, it is important to review this on a regular basis.
Land, of any sort, is difficult to value. As accountants we are often required to value assets of one sort or another, and various tools have been developed to do so. However, none of these tools is particularly helpful when we look at agricultural land. Rental yield, when you take out some management costs, is miniscule, and there are many uncertainties, of which Brexit is only one.
We have seen some unusual political times over the last few years and these have produced uncertainties for the many small businesses that are the lifeblood of the UK economy. I have written recently about Making Tax Digital (MTD) and how this would have a significant impact for these small businesses, including those with rented properties.
On 11 July, the Taylor report, an independent review of modern working practices, was released. This review considers the implications of new forms of work on worker rights and responsibilities, as well as on employer freedoms and obligations. It sets out seven principles to address the challenges facing the UK labour market.
Following the end of election purdah restrictions, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has issued its annual revision to the Academies Accounts Direction (AAD) 2016 to 2017, which will determine the format of accounts prepared by Academy Trusts for the year to 31 August 2017.
The changes noticed by most trusts will be limited, but there are additional disclosures and clarifications for trusts with specific circumstances.
Communication with the outside world has never been more important. Making sure you successfully communicate what you are doing and the difference you make to your beneficiaries can mean the difference between future funding being awarded or not. You should communicate not just how funds are spent, but the impact it has, that is, the public benefit you deliver.