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Matters of material significance: UK wide consultation
A UK-wide consultation on new matters of material significance, to be reported to the charity regulators by auditors and independent examiners, is now open.
Under the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008, auditors and examiners who become aware of a matter which they believe would be of material significance are under a duty to make a written report on the matter to the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland (“the Commission”). What constitutes matters of material significance are not set out in the legislation and it is instead for the Commission to advise what we expect to be reported to us.
The Charity Commission for England and Wales (CCEW) and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) previously published a single list of matters which applied to England, Wales and Scotland. With the introduction of full annual reporting for registered charities in Northern Ireland, CCEW and OSCR are keen to work with the Commission to develop a revised policy which would apply throughout the UK.
This approach would help ease regulatory burdens on cross-border charities and ensure auditors’ and examiners’ guidance on these matters is common across charity law jurisdictions in the UK.
A public consultation on the revised UK-wide matters of material significance policy opened on Thursday 19 May 2016. This consultation will run for 16 weeks, closing on Sunday 11 September 2016.
The proposed policy drops one of the existing eight reportable matters and adds three new matters. The new matters are areas where charity regulators have an interest and where it has been found that reports are not always made. It is hoped that, by including these extra matters, auditors and independent examiners will be clearer in the areas they should be reporting.
The resulting 10 matters of material significance would be common to all the UK charity regulators.
For further information on this consultation, and to share your views on the proposed policy as it would affect charities in Northern Ireland, please see the consultation document below.
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