BULLETIN No. 167: September 2017 My monthly attempt to keep my contacts, friends, friends of friends, etc. in touch with what's going on in the world of charities. A distillation of the many briefings that arrive on my desk, plus whatever I've gleaned ...

 

 
 


 

   

BULLETIN No. 167: September 2017

My monthly attempt to keep my contacts, friends, friends of friends, etc. in touch with what's going on in the world of charities. A distillation of the many briefings that arrive on my desk, plus whatever I've gleaned from charities I'm currently working with. Always glad to get your comments and suggestions;

Daryl Martin

d.martin@afvs.org.uk

What do we have this month?

1. Online Learning
2. Fundraising
3. HSBC Failing Charities
4. Unity Bank
5. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
6. Payment in Lieu of Notice (PILON)
7. Vicarious Liability
8. Twitter Feed
9. Christian Resources Exhibition
10. AFVS Website
11. Training for Trustees and Ops Team Members
12. How can we help you?
13. And Finally...

1. Online Learning
I’m turning the training material I’ve built up over recent years into online learning courses for charity trustees and administrators. I’ve completed 6 courses so far with more to come. The site is due to go live before the end of this month; My first online course is ‘All About Trustees’. It’s in 3 parts. There’s also a small course on Charity Trading. I’m quite pleased with the way this is shaping up. Means I won’t have to do quite so many trips through rain, wind, sleet and snow to the Northern fastnesses to deliver a 3-hour training session. Next year I’ll be able to talk to groups via some sort of video link; step at a time.

 

2. Fundraising
If you need help kick starting your fundraising or if you want someone to run a ruler over the way you do things, or if things have got a bit stale, email us. We have some capability to help make a difference.

 

3. HSBC Failing Charities
I don’t like to name and shame banks, but really HSBC needs to hang its head in shame at the way it’s treating small businesses and charities. After the bank was fined £1.2b for laundering drug money (in the USA), it took fright and has been very heavy handed in the way it’s been treating innocent account holders. I guess they may not all be innocent, but to freeze the accounts of a small charity I’ve been advising which is certainly innocent, and refusing to even answer their calls is a bad way to behave. Over 300 charities have had accounts closed (were they all money laundering?). Banks, please be proportionate and courteous.

 

4. Unity Bank
I visited a charity recently to carry out one of the few independent examinations I still do. Their bank, HSBC, doubtless in their chase for profits to offset money laundering fines, had closed their local branch, and also the next one down the line. They searched around and ended up opening an account with Unity Bank. This bank is especially helpful for charities of all shapes and sizes; they doubtless have appropriate systems to make sure you won’t be laundering for Mexican drug barons, but they do it quietly and kindly. If you need High Street access to pay in, they work with the NatWest, (RBS in Scotland). Best keep a note of this.

 

5. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
We’re currently putting together a questionnaire to enable us to assess what needs to be done for a charity to meet compliance standards. It’s quite long but probably needs to be if it’s to be a good starting point. (The delay is because we’re fighting over how long it needs to be.) We’re keeping a list of charities that have requested support in this area. E-mail us if you’d like to go onto the list. Many small to medium charities will be able to rely on ‘Legitimate Interest’ as a reason for collecting data, so they need to get hold of what this means in practice. The ICO said they were going to put out more information on this point, though a recent ICO blog seemed to contradict this. (It said in effect, ‘you’re big enough and ugly enough to work it out for yourselves.) We’ll keep you posted. Meantime I’m putting together a briefing on Legitimate Interests; email if you’d like a copy.

 

6. Payment in Lieu of Notice (PILON)
I’d never heard of this until we got caught up in some tricky tax calculations for a charity working through some redundancies. Seems that if they’d thought of putting a PILON clause into the employment contracts there would have been less tax to pay. I refer all requests for HR support to our specialist associate (unless they’re very simple), and she advises that employment contracts should have a simple PILON clause. Let me know if you need help on this. (In my research on this it was clear that HMRC is planning to tighten up on redundancy tax issues, but this is an ongoing battle between accountants and HMRC.)

 

7. Vicarious Liability
Interesting case currently before the courts. A security firm employed a guard who seriously assaulted a woman who lived in the block of flats they guarded. The guard has been jailed for 8 years. The woman issued a writ against the directors of the security firm, who I’m told has admitted liability. I wonder if it’s anything to do with the way they handle their recruitment procedures. That would have to be a factor. The lesson for trustees is not to be over trusting when you take on staff, and always remember you can be held liable for the actions of your staff (and possibly volunteers).

 

8. Twitter Feed
Just been looking through my Twitter feed for the last month to see what I’ve been putting out there. Lots of exciting stuff: Kids’ Company directors and Camilla; the CC wants to ban them to a remote Scottish Island for 6 years. A lady who relieved the British Red Cross of £350k is about to be dealt with similarly. A church which should have known better covered up a paedophile's activities, (hardly news, these days but the way it was handled internally was clearly appalling). An interesting item warning of the dangers of employing freelancers, (remember GDPR), and a well thought article on whether trustees should be remunerated. (Interesting that the members of the Charity Commission board of directors get £350 a day; what’s sauce for the goose. And a lot else besides.

 

9. Christian Resources Exhibition
The CRE is returning to Sandown Park, Esher, Surrey from the 17th to the 19th October, so why not come and visit us at stand S7. This year we are sharing the stand with our VAT Partner Les Howard, so please bring along any VAT questions that you may have for him too!! You can also visit our associate company Independent Examiners (stand S126) to discuss any accountancy, incorporation or book keeping questions. I shall come particularly geared up to talk about GDPR, but also anything else that catches your fancy. Be nice to meet up with old friends and new ones.

 

10. AFVS Website
We’re right on the edge of going live. No date yet, but soon(ish). If you find it missing for a few days, that’s because Tony has to take down the old one and do various things I don’t understand before the new one can be slotted in. When this happens, we shall lock him away with water and a few basic provisions until we’re up and running. If you need anything email Becky.

 

11. Training for Trustees and Ops Team Members
I think I’ve got enough training courses arranged to see me through to the end of the year. Becky disagrees and thinks I’ve too much time on my hands. If you want to see if dates can be found, send her an e-mail. She even has a list of the subjects I cover. There is a possibility of an evening in the Farnham/ Aldershot area she’s trying to sort. Let her know if you want details.

 

12. How can we help you?
The list of our support services gets ever longer:

 

All aspects of accounts, including year end, bookkeeping, including migration to Xero / QuickBooks.
Outsourcing (Book-keeping, virtual FD, Gift Aid etc).
GDPR compliance.
HR support.
Legal advice.
Trading Issues (including charity shops).
Community Halls.
Fundraising: reviewing, advising, mentoring, bid writing.
Training.
General Advice and Consultancy.
Extensive library of briefings and policy templates.

 

Contact us if you need help in any of these areas.

 

13. And Finally...

A prayer to close a week of the storm, and hurricane and ongoing hatred and violence. In the face of such calamities it seems trite to pray, but pray we must:

Lord, may the swirling storm clouds
Remind me that I am a creature, not Creator,
That I am liable to suffer from the changes and chances
of this mortal life.

May the clouds teach me to look always to you,
Whose promise is never to leave us alone in the storm.
May they teach me to maintain joy when life frowns
and to maintain perspective in and out of season.


Go well. Enjoy the sun and the rain. Thank you for your encouraging messages. We look forward to hearing from you with your questions, your suggestions, your requests for help and advice. If you find this bulletin helpful, please take a moment to pass it onto others who might appreciate it.

Daryl Martin

 

 

  

Advice For the Voluntary Sector CIC
Registered in England & Wales No: 7939754
Sovereign Centre, Poplars, Yapton Lane, Walberton, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 0AS
Telephone: 0845 319 8330 - Web: www.afvs.org.uk