Charity accounts will be available on register of charities
Northern Ireland’s growing register of charities – which contains the details of over 3,300 charities – has been given a makeover and is now easier than ever to search for information.
The updated register, available to search here, also now has the capability to display each charity’s annual accounts when they are submitted to the regulator.
Frances McCandless, Commission Chief Executive (pictured), said: “One of the benefits of compulsory charity registration is increased openness and transparency across the charity sector.
“Moving towards that aim, the register is now more accessible and dynamic, making it easier to find information on individual charities or search for charities based on activities, charitable purposes or location.
“For the first time, you will also be able to export information on a charity, or group of charities, unlocking valuable data for use in a wide range of applications and research programmes.
“Accompanying the update, the register itself is also growing, with our casework team working to process thousands of registration applications and add charities to the register on a weekly, often daily, basis.”
One of the biggest changes to the new register is the capability to publish each charity’s annual reporting information as part of their register entry, in keeping with compliance timescales for that charity.
Annual reporting by registered charities is a key element of the Commission’s ongoing regulatory and monitoring work and is essential to keeping the register of charities up to date.
Under the annual reporting programme, registered charities must complete an annual return, using the new online annual return system launched alongside the updated register, and submit their accounts and reports to the Commission.
Charities begin reporting to the Commission with their first full financial period after their registration date, and are allowed ten months after their financial period end to submit annual reporting information.
This means only a small number of charities have submitted accounts and reports to the Commission so far, with accounts published on the Commission’s website as an interim measure while the register was updated.
However, over coming months and years, more charities will be reporting to the Commission annually with the updated register and annual reporting system bringing a number of benefits. This includes charity accounts, when submitted, being made public on the charity’s register entry
Ms McCandless added: “Making information on each charity’s annual accounts available on a public register is a new and important development for charities enabling them to demonstrate their work in an open and transparent manner.
“I am delighted our new look register of charities is now up and running and I hope, as it grows into the definitive directory of all Northern Ireland charities, it will become a vital checking and research tool for all.”
For more information please contact Shirley Kernan, Commission Communications Officer, on telephone: 028 3832 0169, mobile: 07827338978 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is the independent regulator of charities in Northern Ireland, established under the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008.
The Act states that the Commission must keep a publicly accessible register of all charities in Northern Ireland.