The charity and not-for-profit sector has a vital role in providing a range of important services to support local communities. Yet, as demand for services rises and income falls, the sector faces many challenges.
Charities are increasingly examining ways to diversify funding given that the availability of grant funding has reduced, especially from local authorities, and grant making charities have been affected by the fall in asset returns.
Many charities are dealing with pension deficit issues arising from membership of multi-employer defined benefit schemes, whilst charity-registered Housing Associations are dealing with issues arising from benefit reform. Above all, it is crucial that such organisations have strong governance procedures.
The charity and not-for-profit sector typically requires external and internal audit services to ensure compliance with regulations. It may also require assistance with preparation of annual accounts.
How we can help you
French Duncan has over 100 clients in this sector, including several Housing Associations. We have an experienced team which prepares the accounts for charities of various sizes and types and with a wide variety of objectives. We provide audit or independent examination services to most of these clients.
As the sector increases trading and income generating activities, it is important that these do not trigger unexpected tax liabilities. Tax advice should be taken early so that a tax efficient structure is established. Our charity team, with support from our tax specialists, can assist with this process.
The sector may also require assistance with grant applications and payroll processing. Our team can steer you safely through all the regulatory requirements. We have assisted clients with grant applications and we provide an outsourced payroll service through our in-house payroll bureau. To ensure the organisation is operating efficiently, a business review or help with budgeting, cashflow projections and monthly reporting to the Board of Trustees may be needed. We have extensive experience in advising charities of ways to control costs and to transform regular deficits into sustainable surpluses to be reinvested in service delivery.
We have assisted our clients with governance processes to ensure the organisation is well managed and controlled. We have carried out governance reviews, highlighting areas of strength and those areas that may require further review and improvement. We have also provided trustee training to reinforce the responsibilities of the Board and best practice.
Click on the links below for useful information from the Office the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) and the Scottish Housing Association Regulator.
Our work with Scottish Housing Associations
French Duncan have specific experience of working with registered social landlords (RSLs), and currently audit 15 ranging in size from 500 to 3,000 rental properties, with income of up to £13.4 million. In addition to audit services, we also provide Corporate Tax, VAT, Accounts, Payroll and Tax Protection services to our RSL clients.
We have extensive knowledge of how housing associations are structured and controlled, allowing us to ensure compliance with regulations and appropriate governance requirements, including the statement of recommended practice (SORP) and the submission of various documents to the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) and also to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Our specialist RSL team have combined experience of over 80 years and significant sector technical experience used to benefit our clients and contacts.
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0141 221 2984
0141 221 2984
Tony trained and qualified with one of the Big Four and, following his move to French Duncan, was quickly promoted to partner. He has been with the firm for 25 years and has seen the growth of our client base, services and expertise.
Tony’s core skill is in audit and assurance and he provides business advice to a broad range of clients. He is responsible for ensuring our audit services comply with regulations and that audit continues to be useful and relevant for clients. He specialises in the charity, Housing Association and pension sectors.
Tony ensures the services provided remain relevant and advice given is practical and easily understood. He has an indepth knowledge of his clients’ sectors, which means they can use him as a sounding board to discuss issues, share ideas and help shape policies and procedures. Above all, Tony helps clients achieve their objectives and maintain strong financial management.
0141 221 2984
0141 221 2984
Tommy qualified as Chartered Accountant in 1991 with a top national accountancy firm. Having gained broad general practice experience, Tommy joined French Duncan in 2001 and, since then, has progressed to the role of audit Director within the Glasgow office.
Tommy has experience across a number of sectors, working with a range of clients from small and medium sized enterprises and owner-managed businesses to large and listed clients. This includes working with clients operating within the property, manufacturing, hotel and leisure and distribution sectors.
Tommy maintains a close working relationship with his clients, providing practical support and advice and ensuring all statutory reporting requirements are met.
Partner & Head of VAT
0141 221 2984
0141 221 2984
Maria started her career in HMRC some 20 years ago in the Thames Valley, where she was involved in both VAT and Excise and Inland Customs. From there, she returned to Scotland to join a Big Four practice, specialising in VAT. Maria joined PKF in 2000, moving across to BDO following the merger in early 2013 as VAT manager, before joining French Duncan in 2015 and being made a Partner in 2021.
Having spent two decades working in VAT, Maria has a gained extensive experience in dealing with HMRC and assisting clients to understand and manage how VAT applies to their business.
With experience in dealing with businesses across all sectors, Maria has been widely involved in the charity and not for profit sector, manufacturing, leisure industries, international businesses and, more recently, the renewable energy sector. Advice provided to clients includes issues such as: partial exemption; business/non-business calculations; land and property advice; place of supply advice and general business VAT planning as well as the provision of in-depth VAT reviews and bespoke VAT training courses.
Maria likes her clients to know that they are valued and important to her and achieves this by being open and friendly at all times. She adopts a down to earth approach to clients’ VAT issues and aims to keep clients up to date on relevant issues and events of interest.