New report raises concerns about complacency on financial governance
During Trustees Week 2017 a report from MHA MacIntyre Hudson and Charity Finance Group based on a survey of over 120 trustees has raised concerns about complacency on financial governance within charities. 57% of respondents said that they understood strategic financial governance matters well or very well, with only 12% saying that they had a poor or inadequate understanding. This is very positive and indicates that boards are taking financial matters seriously.
Yet 84% of respondents said that it would be beneficial for their charity to have a better understanding of strategic financial governance matters. This could be linked to the fact that only 16% of respondents always assessed board competency for charity finance skills, with 28% assessing skills sometimes and 30% occasionally. This was compounded by the fact that 47% of respondents never or only occasionally assessed the effectiveness of their financial governance.
Other concerns highlighted included that only 22% of charities indicated that they always made available charity finance training for trustees that needed it, and less than one in five respondents considered that they had the complete skills and knowledge required to fulfil their responsibilities.
The findings of the survey are consistent with a research study on trustee awareness and effectiveness released this month by the Charity Commission entitled Taken on Trust.
To support charities, MHA MacIntyre Hudson and Charity Finance Group have launched a new free guide on Essential Charity Finance for Trustees. The survey and trustee guide are both available free online.