Did you know there are many events around the world to celebrate excellence in non-profit financial reporting? The Institutes of Certified Public Accountants of Rwanda and Kenya recently won an honour for their ‘FiRe’ (Financial Reporting) awards programme from the UN Body International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (UNCTAD-ISAR)!
The winner in the charity category of PwC UK’s Building Public Trust award was Age UK whose report was singled out for its innovative question-and-answer format and compelling case studies on how it had supported its beneficiaries. The winner of the New Zealand Charity Reporting Awards (Tier 2) was Zealandia/Karori Sanctuary Trust whose report was simply a pleasure to read.
In Ireland, the Good Governance Awards recognise and encourage good practice by non-profits, including an award for the annual report and financial statements in different categories. The Children’s Rights Alliance was the deserving winner in the €250,000 – €1m bracket.
Here are some top tips if you want your non-profit to be an award winner! The readers of your (ideally audited) financial statements and accompanying narrative report should be able to easily find the answers to these 10 questions about you, your activities and your finances.
Overall, the report needs to tell your story as objectively and compellingly as you can. Aim for your report to be readable, concise and integrated. This doesn’t happen by accident and your auditors can’t do it for you; submitting your accounts for an award is a great way to motivate people within the organisation. Whether you win first time or not, you will receive feedback and learn from others in the sector.
In the for-profit world, high quality financial reporting is codified in the International Financial Reporting Standards. In the absence of an international equivalent that is tailored to the unique needs of non-profit organisations, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy and Humentum have partnered in the IFR4NPO Project, to develop much needed guidance for the sector. So watch this space and subscribe here for free updates.