Running a charity is a serious undertaking. Every trustee is legally liable for every single penny that passes through the charity.
At the NCCF we made financial controls our priority from day one. Our business partners developed a comprehensive system of checks and balances that ensure every transaction is tracked, authorised, scrutinised and recorded along with its provenance with full records which are maintained so that they can be recalled and audited at any time.
This year we appointed the firm of Newby Castleman as our auditors.
Newby Castleman are Charity Specialists and they currently act for a diverse mix of clients including: Unincorporated Charities, Incorporated Charities, Charitable Incorporated Organisations and Community Interests Companies. Their extensive knowledge of the sector and forward thinking advice means that they provide help and advice with all the financial aspects of running such organisations, as well as assisting with the ever increasing demands on charities and not for profit organisations.
We are pleased to confirm that our financial control systems have been found to be fully compliant with charity legislation and the best practises of financial management with a robust anti fraud policy and financial abuse monitoring system in place, we have every confidence that the monies we manage and spend are completely secure.
When considering applications on the Care Wellbeing and Inclusion Fund, particular focus is made to ensure the support offered addresses an element of suffering that could not be alleviated by any other means, that the ultimate expenditure is essential, within the organisations charitable purpose and is within the need to address the public good.
When paying invoices our system uses an auditable control form which records all details of the transaction and links to records documenting the decisions taken regarding the expenditure and the actual invoice documentation. This is all compiled and presented in a secure electronic format within the charity
by our Office service provider.
The financial movement package is then presented to the initial approver who after checking, certifies approval and passes it to the Treasurer for review and initial payment action, This is then referred to a third Trustee, who acting as the treasurers deputy again reviews the transaction and conducts the secondary approval with the bank. At any stage the people involved in the financial process can raise questions and halt the payment until they are satisfied the expenditure is genuine and correct.
This system has already identified and prevented a major fraud attempt against one of our subcontractors and numerous incidents of suppliers misquoting bank details.
In addition to this robust multi-validation system, financial responsibility extends further into the charity. The NCCF maintains a register of ‘Related Party Transactions’ and a list of all related parties our officials are involved with. This even includes relatives serving as trustees. Subject to regular review a risk assessment is conducted which identifies all these related parties and advocates practical policies and practises to ensure that the risk of potentially inappropriate financial transactions is negated.
As an example: two related trustees may serve on a grant panel considering an application but only where the panel numbers at least three other unrelated trustees and no related trustees may operate in the financial approval chain if their relative is already in the chain.
We often read of horror stories where charities are found to have been paying out monies without any checks and balances, thousands of pounds paid through to relatives or even laundered through a trustees own business coffers! Thankfully because of the robust controls implemented at the NCCF from day one this is a position our charity will never experience.
The NCCF Audited Accounts will be presented to the Charity Commission by the end of January 2021 and made available for public viewing on their website shortly after.