The beginning of the new financial year is the perfect time to reassess your strategy and finances.
Charities can turn all the number crunching that goes with preparing accounts for the past year into an inspiring strategy for the year ahead. And why wouldn't you? Your supporters and beneficiaries will thank you.
Many charities will already have done this but if yours hasn’t, grab this chance and use our recently refreshed financial guidance to help you.
What should you read?
If you’re having trouble getting started, I’d suggest Charity governance, finance and resilience: 15 questions trustees should ask.
We’ve designed it to help trustees examine all the critical areas to your charity’s success for example, are you succeeding in your charity’s aims, is your funding secure, have you got good systems in place and have you got enough funds to sustain the charity?
Talking of which, we also refreshed our guidance on reserves, the funds that a charity can build up to help it meet unexpected challenges or calls on its services. Does your charity need to do this? It’s not every charity that does, but many do.
Whichever camp your charity falls into, you need to have made a considered decision that this is right for the charity and recorded it in your policies. It can be short and snappy or it may need to be a longer piece if that’s best for your charity. Use our practical guide to get the right policy, and look out for what your accounts tell you about reserves levels and whether these fit with your policy.
Finally, if you’re worried about your charity’s financial position, it’s obviously best to act before things get really serious. Managing a charity’s finances can help you spot the warning signs that the accounts and forecasts may reveal, if only you know what to look for.
If you’re not completely content as a trustee that you and your co-trustees have the controls, systems and skills in place to give you the information and assurance that your charity’s finances are performing as you want, use the new financial year to make a resolution to read this guidance and make an action plan. You owe it to yourself and the charity.
As we reach the end of the financial year, it’s an ideal time to reassess what you are doing. So happy new financial year let’s make it a good one.