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Charity Times - 15/10/2019

FUNDRAISING U-turn on probate fee plans The government has decided not to introduce new probate fee plans that charity bodies including the Institute of Fundraising, Remember A Charity, NCVO and the Institute of Legacy Management had warned could have cost charities as much as £10m. Robert Buckland, the secretary of state for justice, said the plans for a new probate fee regime had been ditched and a broader review of court fees will be carried out. Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity, was among those in the sector who welcomed the government's announcement. He said: “We're hugely relieved to hear that there will be no major increase to probate fees and that that the current structure will be retained, at least for the time being. Charities large and small rely heavily on gifts in wills. Worth around £3bn a year, we simply can’t afford to risk jeopardising such an important income stream or to reverse the trend for growth in legacy giving . . . We’ll continue to work closely with the government to ensure the sector’s views are heard and that the legacy environment is protected.” Civil Society Legacy consideration is on the increase A new league table suggests more people are considering the idea of leaving a legacy. The Legacy Potential Premier League Table 2019-2020 from fastmap and Freestyle Marketing ranks charities on the propensity of their supporters to leave them a gift in their Will. Animal charities take the first five places in the league table, which was compiled by taking into accounts factors including motivations and barriers to giving, and how often supporters consider and reject a charity for legacy giving. Cats Protection retains first place from last year, followed by The Donkey Sanctuary, Battersea, Dogs Trust and Blue Cross. The top ten is rounded out by Breast Cancer Now, Cancer Research UK, RSPCA, Alzheimer’s Research UK, and PDSA. David Cole, fastmap Managing Director, sai d: "Legacy consideration is a window into the future as regards to likely legacy revenue," noting also that “Charities need to create a unique proposition, invest more in marketing, and not be afraid to make changes.” UKFundraising Small charities do well on digital fundraising platforms Charity Digital News takes a look at some of the charity organisations - including smaller ones - that are doing best at raising money on online fundraising platforms such as JustGiving. Charities profiled include SpecialEffect, SWAN UK, Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary, Tribe Freedom Foundation, and Sophie Hayes Foundation. Charity Digital News RISK Charity Fraud Awareness Week is coming A week of campaigning to raise awareness of charity security issues, including advise on combatting cyber-crime, takes place next week. Charity Fraud Awareness Week (October 21st-25th) is being promoted through social media using #CharityFraudOut and brings together security and charity experts to warn of threats and share good practice in tackling fraud, financial crime and other threats. The week has the strapline All Together Now. The Fraud Advisory Panel, one of the bodies involved in the week's activity alongside the Charity Commission for England and Wales and UK Finance, said in a statement: “With reported fraud increasing at an alarming rate it is vital for charities of all shapes and sizes to protect their income and assets by building strong defences . . . Charity Fraud Awareness Week promotes openness and honesty about fraud. It brings together everyone involved in the charity and not-for-profit sectors to raise awareness and share good practice in tackling fraud and financial crime.” Charity Digital News COMMUNICATION Charities must deal with data complaints better, regulator says The Fundraising Regulator has warned that charities need better systems for dealing with data complaints, including requests from members of the public wishing to cease contact. Gerald Oppenheim, the regulator’s chief executive, told attendees at last week's Voluntary Data Conference in London that around a fifth of all complaints it received between 2017-18 related to how supporter data is managed. "It was clear there were some charities that weren’t taking enough – or swift enough – action to deal with requests from supporters wishing not to be contacted,” he said. Mr Oppenheim also noted that charities had responded well to the introduction of EU privacy laws. “There has been a short-term hit on fundraising income as a result of GDPR for some charities, but most are predicting a growth in income over the next three years," he said. The regulator has launched its redrafted Code of Fundraising Practice to make it easier for fundraisers, charities and third-party organisations to understand expected fundraising standards. Organisations are being urged to ensure their fundraising materials, training and policies are brought up to date to reflect the revised standards in the new code. Charity Times Charity silence on big issues risks losing public trust Charity leaders attending NPC’s annual conference have been urged to call out societal problems or risk losing the public's trust. Immy Kaur, co-founder of Impact Hub, said that leaders should “take responsibility for the new narratives” that might come from a “rapidly changing [narrative] ecology” and be “really deliberate on rejecting the narratives that we currently have.” Karl Wilding, chief executive of NCVO, added that he feels “frustrated” that “not only does [government] not recognise the impact that organisations have and what they can achieve by working with them, but too often it actually mitigates against them and it gets in the way of those organisations making a difference.” Charity Commission CEO Helen Stephenson nevertheless observed that charity workers should “think carefully” about what they say because divides in the country “are not necessarily drawn along party political lines.” She cautioned: “Your beneficiaries, your trustees and your volunteers may hold very different worldviews from you, and so when you are speaking up on behalf of your charity, make sure that you are speaking up on behalf of your cause and your beneficiaries, not on your worldview.” Civil Society DIVERSITY Coalition aims to tackle inclusion issues A coalition that seeks to tackle the charity sector's diversity and inclusion issues has been formed by 13 charitable foundations. The diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) coalition says it “will provide a forum for the implementation of frameworks, processes and procedures within foundations and is focused on building a body of practice for themselves and others in the UK sector to learn from.” The 13 foundations include the National Lottery Community Fund, Children in Need, Barrow Cadbury, Lloyds Bank Foundation, and Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Carol Mack, the chief executive of the Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF), said: “Addressing issues of diversity, equity and inclusion is a pressing issue for the foundation sector and the positive response to our report DEI: The pillars of stronger foundation practice, shows th ere is enthusiasm and energy for action. I . . . wholeheartedly welcome the initiative. This is a significant step for the foundation community and we look forward to seeing how it develops and to share learning with our wider membership.” Civil Society Initiative to double number of young charity trustees by 2024 A new movement has launched that seeks to double the number of young charity trustees within five years. The Young Trustees Movement, launched by the Social Change Agency and supported by the Blagrave Trust, Esmee Faribairn Foundation, Co-op Foundation, Zing and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, wants to increase the number of people under the age of 30 on charity boards through the use of practical advice, guidance and a campaign for wider trustee diversity. Kira Lewis, a 19-year-old trustee, said: “With dire statistics such as one in twelve trustees being called either John or David, less than 3 per cent of charity trustees being under 30 and less than 1 per cent being under 25, it’s no secret that board diversity is an issue." Charity Times FINANCE Financial crisis threatens Royal National College for the Blind One of the country's most historic educational centres for young blind people is warning that financial pressures are threatening its survival. The Royal National College for the Blind, which has operated for almost 150 years, says without extra funding it will cease to be sustainable. Lucy Proctor, chief executive of the college's charitable trust, has blamed a squeeze on special-needs budgets. But the government is promising a £700m increase for special needs. Former education secretary Lord Blunkett, who was himself a student at the college, said he was "very concerned" that such a "unique national asset" was at risk. BBC News RETAIL Charity Shops Survey 2019 Civil Society presents the findings of its Charity Shops Survey 2019, which suggests a continuing trend for fewer shops, but higher profits, and a growth in big out-of-town charity 'superstores.' Civil Society LEGAL Aberdeen Council loses legal fight with charity Centric Community Projects Limited has won a legal battle against Aberdeen City Council after the charity was prevented from claiming relief from business rates. A spokeswoman for the council said: “Aberdeen City Council has received the judgement and will consider its position.” Centric Community Projects Limited declined to comment. Meanwhile, Third Force News reports that the Charity Retail Association is urging politicians in Scotland to grant full business rate relief to all charity shops. The association wants the Scottish Government to use the Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill and further reform to recognise the environmental benefits of charity shops. Robin Osterley, the association's chief executive, said: “Business rates reform is an opportunity to recognise the waste reduction activities of charity shops which ultimately, lowers carbon emissions." Evening Express Third Force News CAMPAIGNS Middle-class finances at risk after decade of cheap mortgages Debt charity Stepchange warns that an increasing number of middle-class families are at risk of falling into debt after a decade of low-cost mortgage deals. Stepchange said that wealthier households may struggle to cope with a change in circumstances, such as losing a job, after over-committing themselves financially. The Times Topshop in mental health launch Topshop and Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) have teamed up to mark World Mental Health Day with the launch of a 13-piece collection. Each item is based on the ‘speaking out’ theme. The charity receives £5 from every item sold towards funding its helpline and webchat. Metro ​​​​​​​​Back to Charity Times archive >>

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UK Charitable Giving is on a Steady Decline!

UK charities have faced a number of challenges of late which need addressing. Findings from the Charities Aid Foundation UK Giving 2019 report, released in May, showed that key measures of giving for charities are on a steady decline for the third year in a row and the same report also highlighted that trust in charities has decreased significantly too. The UK is the seventh most giving country in the world, but the not-for-profit sector is witnessing a downward trend in giving behaviours across the globe, including the UK. The CAF's World Giving Index examined data from the past 10 years, surveying more than 1.3 million people and found the recent downward trend in giving - now lower than in the aftermath of the financial crisis. As well as this decline in giving, it is evident that people's trust in charities and not-for-profit organisations is decreasing. Research shows that consumers - particularly of a younger generation - want to know the background and 'ins and outs' of the working of organisations before donating money or paying for services, and are also more likely to work for an organisation with a high level of social responsibility. With both giving and trust in decline, along with an increased emphasis on social responsibility, it is essential for UK charities to ensure they have clear brand transparency and accountability, as well as innovative fundraising strategies. Roles such as stories, content, case studies, digital and customer experience are all trending, and have proven to be key for many charities in showcasing their background and cause, all while building their brand transparency and accountability. Many charities over the past couple of years have also introduced a millennial, or GenY-friendly brand purpose. These generations have placed more emphasis and an increased importance on brand culture and transparency, and with people of this age now entering the workforce, it is important that UK charities recognise this in order to attract talent as well as support. However, it is not just the younger generations who are asking more questions. People typically want to know the full background of a charity and as sector specialist recruitment consultants, we are being asked questions about charities’ accountability from more and more people - whether this is how money going towards certain charities is collected or if a research charity uses animal-testing methods. Storifying answers to these questions that are increasingly being asked of charities can be key. Innovative campaigns that answer these questions in different content forms - whether through storytelling, case studies or digital marketing methods - are instrumental in ensuring that charities are accountable and attract as much support as possible. With giving and trust in decline across the UK charity sector, having dedicated marketing, communications and fundraising teams within your organisation can be of great value. For more information on this article, or help with the recruitment of marketing and fundraising professionals into your organisation, please contact Nicholas Ogden on 020 7269 6338 or nicholas.ogden@pro-recruitment.co.uk.

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Moving Tax In-House

More and more businesses are now bringing their tax functions in-house. With the need for more robust risk control frameworks around tax, it is important for tax to partner with the business, meaning that companies are increasingly looking for tax professionals with both technical expertise and strong commercial acumen and understanding. So, what are the benefits of moving your tax function in-house? ​ Economic factors In the current economic climate, the tax outsourcing model is expensive for many businesses. If you don’t have an in-house tax team you will be outsourcing work to a tax practice, most of which charge substantial outsourcing fees which has caused a marked trend across medium to large-sized companies towards bringing parts of their tax function in-house. Internal resources and compliance come at a fixed and predictable cost. It can be economically effective to bring your tax function in-house and pay someone a fixed salary as opposed to paying tax professionals outside your company on an ad-hoc basis, which can be unpredictable. Collaborative working environment Having that ‘go-to’ person or team within your business can really benefit your workplace. Other areas of the business will notice there is a tax function and use it for queries or issues that they may not have raised before, which could potentially save your business money on tax - both outsourcing fees and problems further down the line. Having dedicated tax professionals with real face-time with the business and working in the offices alongside other parts of the business can create a collaborative working environment. An in-house tax team will be solely focused on your company mission and goals which can be beneficial in comparison to someone from a tax practice whose focus is split across multiple clients. They would be fully immersed in your business and therefore able to react quickly to it’s changing needs, and will have a deeper knowledge and shared understanding of your businesses operational and end goals. Accountability One of the biggest benefits of moving your tax function in-house is that your business will have greater control of its tax affairs and tax risk. Under Senior Accounting Officer legislation, the individual responsible (usually the CFO) is required to personally certify that their company’s systems are fit for the purpose of reporting taxes. By moving your tax function in-house, as a business you will be able to oversee and have more control over the tax systems in place. An in-house tax professional would be able to establish strong relationships with HMRC and work towards improving existing systems and controls that generate efficiencies in internal processes. Investors Not only this, but companies with a lot of investors can benefit by bringing tax in-house. Doing this shows to investors - both current and potential - that you are dedicated to saving money while also running your business in an effective, accountable way and could in turn encourage them to invest more. Here at Pro-Tax within our Commerce & Industry team, we have seen a significant rise in the number of tax professionals wanting to move in-house and work within fast-growing, exciting and dynamic businesses. From a career point of view, moving in-house gives you the opportunity to broaden your experience and gain valuable commercial experience. For those organisations who believe that bringing their tax in-house would be beneficial, the talent pool available across industries has diversified and we often find that candidates are actively seeking an in-house opportunity to develop their career. For more information on this article or for help recruiting in-house tax professionals into your organisation, contact Marianne Wills on 020 7269 6319 or marianne.wills@pro-tax.co.uk.

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Charity Times - 08/10/2019

GOVERNANCE Baroness Stowell: Charities not delivering full potential Charity Commission chair Baroness Stowell has said that charities collectively are not delivering their full potential as sources of belonging and cohesion. Speaking at the regulator's annual public meeting, she said: "charities no longer have the public's benefit of the doubt." "We live in a country and in a time marked by division and tension," she said. The Brexit debate has "laid bare fundamental divides that transcend old right and left differences," and charities should be the "force" healing divisions in society. The Baroness claimed, "charities are not just measured in the worthiness of their cause but measured also in the way that cause is furthered by the behaviours and attitudes displayed." Helen Stephenson, CEO of the Charity Commission, said the regulator's role was to hold charities to account on "public expectation." Stowell added its role is to "help the public see whether or not a charity is behaving and thinking in an authentically charitable way, distinct from the attitudes that might prevail in a commercial organisation that is focused on growth and expansion." Civil Society House of Lords celebration for charities’ finance leaders The beginning of Charity Finance Week was marked in the House of Lords yesterday afternoon, with Baroness Pitkeathley, president of NCVO, addressing 120 charity finance professionals at a reception. She noted that it is the second year Civil Society Media has organised a dedicated week to highlight the important role of finance leaders in the sector. Matthew Nolan, chief executive of Civil Society Media, remarked: "Coming from a finance background myself, I know what a vital role you all play in safeguarding and enhancing the fantastic work of your charities. From financial strategy to compliance to risk management to impact measurement, your influence is far-reaching." Meanwhile, this month’s Charity Finance magazine by Civil Society Media features an article from Kate Sayer, visiting fellow at Cass Business School, which includes a new template for annual reports which will focus more on the difference made by charities. Civil Society New charity ambassador for Cancer Support Scotland Cancer Support Scotland has a new ambassador, with STV television presenter Laura Boyd stating: “I am delighted to be an ambassador for Cancer Support Scotland. It’s a charity I have both used and worked with over the years and I know the services they offer mean so much to so many people – me included.” She continued: “It’s nice to be part of something that can help change lives and I look forward to lending my support going forward.” Meanwhile, Rob Murray, the charity’s chief executive commented: “I’m confident Laura representing our charity and speaking about her experiences will play a positive role in letting young women know of the benefits counselling and complementary therapy can have to those affected by cancer.” Third Force News LEGAL Glasgow City Council faces legal action from Shelter Scotland Shelter Scotland has started legal action against Glasgow City Council over what it claims are "failings" in its homelessness services. It follows concerns over "gatekeeping", where a homeless person is denied access to services. The charity claims people have been illegally denied a place in temporary accommodation, and is now seeking a judicial review at the Court of Session, following the council's inability to respond to a pre-action letter, which set a deadline of 30 September. Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: "We are not taking this action lightly. We exist to fight for people's rights to a decent home and to stop homelessness happening. By taking legal action we are trying to stop Glasgow City Council denying hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of people their right to a roof over their head. Rights are not a privilege - they are a legal entitlement enforceable by law and the council should not be allowed to disregard the law with impunity." Shelter Scotland has raised more than £15,000 to fund the action, through a crowdfunding campaign. The Scotsman The Herald STV News FINANCE Refugee charity complains about UK government funding U-turn The Scottish Refugee Council has complained after being informed that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, funding to help refugees settle in the UK will come to an end. The charity claims that assurances were previously given by Westminster that funding from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) would continue to be made available after Britain leaves the European Union, with Sabir Zazai, chief executive of the Scottish Refugee Council stating: "We are shocked and angry about this reversal of assurances given to us by the Home Office last year.” The charity had won a bid last year for £2.2m in funding from the EU’s AMIF funding stream intended to implement activities for the integration of refugees in Scotland, and has now teamed up with fellow recipients the Refugee Council, Refugee Action, Barnet Refugee Service, the Refugee Women’s Association< /strong> and the Refugee Education Training Advice Service to write to Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid. A Home Office spokesperson noted: “We are committed to effective integration… Our focus is on supporting refugees with English language, employment and entrepreneurship, and wellbeing.” Third Force News Simplifying the Statement of Financial Activities Don Bawtree, head of charities at BDO, writes in Civil Society on how a charity’s activities could be given a clearer and more user-friendly portrayal if the statement of financial activities were changed. He notes that charity accounts being too complicated was a theme of the charities SORP governance review published in June, and suggests that some charities have a choice regarding how they prepare their accounts, though "the scope for simplifying the accounting for the vast majority of charities is limited to what can be achieved in practical terms within the boundaries of the existing legislative framework." He also suggests that there is scope to simplify both presentation and some of the accounting policies. He provides an example of what a simplified SoFA form might look like, which "may be seen as offering a way forward in the pursuit of a clearer and more user-friendly presentation that most readers will readily understand." Civil Society Hospice funding call A survey by Hospice UK has revealed that 80% of hospices are planning a deficit budget this financial year. The organisation says funding for Britain’s 200 charitable hospices is under threat, and that care for the dying should rely less on local fundraising and hospice shops. Hospice UK is urging the development of a sustainable solution to meet the increasing demand for this care, with earlier research it carried out showing that over 100,000 people are unable to get the end of life care they require. Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of Hospice UK, commented: “We are gravely concerned about the financial situation of many charitable hospices. This is symptomatic of how the funding model for end of life care as a whole is broken.” She continued: “It no longer reflects the complexity of modern end of life care and what people actually need, nor the immense growing demand for this care.” Hospice Care Week is running this week to celebrate the work of staff and volunteers. Third Force News Into-work charity sees 59 jobs at risk East Lancashire charity Bootstrap Enterprises, which helps unemployed people find work, has gone into administration, with accountants Mazars LLP looking to secure a rescue deal for the organisation. The charity has 59 staff in Blackburn, Burnley, Accrington, Nelson, Clitheroe and Rawtenstall. Cllr Jamie Groves, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s representative on, and chair of, Bootstrap’s board of trustees, remarked: “This is very, very sad news. The charity has done some fantastic work.” Meanwhile, Patrick Lannagan of Mazars LLP said: “Unfortunately the charity has experienced cash flow difficulties which have led the trustees to take the difficult decision to place the company into administration.” He went on: “Our priority is to ensure continuity of service and support for all service users, whilst we work with the company’s committed and experienced staff and contractual partners to find the best solution.” Lancashire Telegraph FUNDRAISING MS Society in £100m fundraising appeal The MS Society’s biggest ever public fundraising appeal has been launched, with a goal of raising £100m to fight multiple sclerosis. An advertising campaign will feature people living with the condition to raise funds over a decade-long period. Nick Moberly, chief executive of the charity, noted: "Research has got us to a critical point, and we can see a future where nobody needs to worry about MS getting worse." He went on: "We believe we can stop MS, and the worldwide research community is coming together to help us achieve our ambitious goal. But we need to act now, and we need help." Publicis Health and Mediacom have worked on the campaign with the charity, with award-winning director James Lawes, who has previously directed films for Cancer Research UK and Age UK, also involved. Publicis Health’s chief creative officer Andrew Spurgeon commented: "Our ambition as a company is to create a world where people are equipped and motivated to take control of their health. The Stop MS campaign is the first of hopefully many meaningful CSR collaborations which really brings this to life." Civil Society PharmaField Climate pledge from fundraisers In a letter to members this week, Institute of Fundraising (IoF) chief executive Peter Lewis has announced a set of actions to tackle the climate emergency. After a roundtable on fundraising and the environment, among other activities, a series of eight commitments were approved by the organisation’s board. These include collaborating with the charity sector for a stronger voice and embedding climate change as a theme in its work. Mr Lewis noted: “We have been reducing the environmental impact of the Institute over the last few years. But we need to do more.” He went on: “As fundraisers, we have specific opportunities to make essential change. Whether it’s in the choices we make on how we fundraise, the donations we accept or refuse, or through the engagement we have with millions of people who support and donate to charities, we can be part of the change that’s needed.” Third Force News Yorkshire schools receive charity boost The Education Foundation of the Archbishop Holgate Hospital in Hemsworth has awarded more than £40,000 in funding to local schools to help improve lessons and facilities for pupils. The grants have been awarded for a variety of purposes, including the purchase of a learning library, musical instruments and ICT equipment. The Education Foundation of Archbishop Holgate runs alongside the main charity, with the object of promoting education to local people under 25 years who are in need of financial assistance. Yorkshire Post SAFEGUARDING Free online safeguarding resources launched by NCVO NCVO has launched free online resources, including a guide for fundraising managers, intended to help voluntary organisations with their safeguarding. They also include steps that organisations can take to prevent beneficiaries, staff and others from harm, harassment, bullying, abuse and neglect, developed in collaboration with an NCVO-led partnership forming part of phase one of the Safeguarding Training Fund announced in March by the National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The NSPCC, the Ann Craft Trust, UK Youth, Protect, Children England, Charities HR Network, the FSI, NAVCA, ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England), Action With Communities, National Adult Safeguarding Network, Third Sector Safeguarding Network and the National Youth Safeguarding Forum are also involved with the initiative. Sarah Atkinson, Director of Policy, Planning and Communications at the Charity Commission for England and Wales, remarked: "Everyone involved in charities has the right to feel safe… Charities should be places where people know the signs and symptoms of harm and what to do when they have concerns, as well as the understanding that they will be heard." Fundraising DIGITAL Essential software for charities An article on how charities can make use of digital focuses on the best deals and discounts available. The Office 365 suite is listed under the Productivity category, while Xero is included in the accounting section, offering a free 30-day trial, with most packages 50% for the first three months. Social media management can be carried out using Hootsuite, Lightful or TweetDeck, while HR systems such as BreatheHR are tailored especially for charities. Finally, it is noted that security products are available as donations for eligible charities, including Bitdefender, Symantec and most recently Avast, from the Charity Digital Exchange. Charity Digital News OTHER Asylum seekers left without hot water The Asylum Seeker Housing Project has claimed that since September 16, when a centralised UK-wide housing repairs line was established, it has been impossible to get repairs carried out at Home Office-provided accommodation. The charity’s current caseload includes two families left without hot water, including a woman with a young baby and a family with four children, one of whom is disabled, while one person being supported by the charity has had no hot water for almost three weeks, and another has been left without a flushing toilet for 11 days. The new system was put in place when the contract for accommodation moved from Serco to Mears Group, but Sheila Arthur from the charity says calls to the line are rarely picked up. The National ​​​​​​​Back to Charity Times archive >>

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60 Seconds With: Anshita Joshi, Head of Tax at The Investment Association

Anshita Joshi is Head of Tax at the Investment Association (the IA). A former Senior Manager at PWC in the Investment Management Tax team, Anshita has become centrally placed within the asset management tax network. Her remit is broad, strategically focused and involves routinely liaising with ‘Heads of’ and policymakers alike to advising on cutting-edge tax developments for an entire industry. See below Anshita’s recent ’60 seconds’ with Jay Sky, talking on the IA, the challenges of investment management tax, and career advice more generally. ​ For anyone who isn't aware, what is the purpose of the IA, and what's it like working there? The Investment Association is a trade body and an industry voice for the UK's investment management sector. Our members range from large international investment managers to small independent UK investment firms and together manage £7.7 trillion assets under management. We act as their voice to policymakers and regulators and also support members through training and development initiatives. The IA is a relatively small organisation in size, yet sitting at the heart of the industry we have the benefit of working with a large number of member firms, so effectively it's the best of both worlds. Unlike other trade bodies, the IA also runs its own Fintech accelerator, as well as a grassroots careers service, Investment20/20, which aims to increase diversity within the industry. Given everything we do, the atmosphere is constantly abuzz with thoughts and ideas (and lots of cakes!). What does your role actually involve, and what keeps it interesting? Anything and everything to do with tax really. It could be a domestic tax issue or an international initiative, affecting funds, investors or the asset management firms themselves and everything in between. It is this broad range of tax issues that forever keeps me on my toes and makes the role so much more interesting. What's the culture like at the IA, and how might it differ from working in practice or an asset manager? The IA is a very collaborative organisation and we work closely with colleagues making us a very close-knit group of people. The diversity of people working at the IA in all aspects including expertise, background and education makes it a fantastic place to be. The access to and interaction with senior policymakers both domestically and internationally, with support from the incredible expertise of our member firms is something that is unique to the IA. The fact that you can influence policy and work with so many others in the industry to deliver a common purpose is extremely fulfilling and rewarding. The nature of your role means you need to go beyond just 'up to date' - you need to be strategic to champion industry interests and influence policy. So you are in the prime position to tell our readers - what are the cutting-edge issues in investment management tax? I think that most important, above all else, is the need to have a tax regime that is competitive, stable and predictable, particularly in this current period of uncertainty. Any tax initiatives have to be tested against this measure. Looking beyond Brexit, which may seem difficult to do at the moment, focus has to be on the horizon to prepare for the raft of regulatory and tax changes that the industry is facing. What challenges do you think the next generation of in-house tax professionals face in this industry? One of the biggest challenges is keeping up with the constant changes resulting from an increased focus on transparency by the government, regulatory and investors making tax a reputational issue. What events are upcoming with the IA which offer tax professionals the chance to learn more about the industry and develop their commercial knowledge? The Annual Investment Association Tax Conference on 25 November is our flagship event that brings together an influential speaker line up and audience of senior figures from investment management firms, business leaders and tax practitioners. The conference will reflect on the challenges and opportunities for investment management businesses across a number of areas from tax risk governance, tax transparency, VAT and operational taxes to international initiatives such as the OECD's work on digitalisation of the economy. What defining career moments have there been for you so far, and what career advice would you give yourself when you were younger, if you could? There have been a few, with the most recent one being the move to the Investment Association. As for advice for myself or indeed others at an early stage of their career, it'd have to be to embrace new challenges and take a leap of faith to do something outside one’s comfort zone. Your career is very interesting in that you've left the Big 4 at a fairly senior level and gone a step further than just going in-house - you've actually moved right into the very heart of in-house asset management tax with the IA. Where do you see your own development heading from here? At the moment, I am thriving on the challenges of this amazing role that has given me incredible opportunities and exposure to policymakers and members. There couldn't be a better time to be here at the IA at the heart of the industry as you say. With the variety of different issues that the industry faces, I believe that there is so much more to achieve here. What kind of person would you keep an eye out for at the IA, and what advice would you give to someone who wants to be part of your team? Being a diverse and inclusive place to work means that we access a broad talent pool. In addition to recruiting more experienced hires, we also offer unique opportunities to school leavers and graduates looking for traineeship roles at the IA through Investment 20/20. In fact, we have recently hired two extremely bright and talented trainees in our team. As for what we look for, two main attributes are key: strong communication skills and the ability to work collaboratively. Everything else can be learnt on the job. For more information on this article or for assistance on any search needs, please contact Jay Sky on 020 7269 6343 or jay.sky@pro-tax.co.uk. Back to 60 Seconds archive >>

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The Solicitor's Qualifying Exam (SQE): How the Legal Training Environment is Changing

The legal profession is approaching a new era for the training of junior lawyers with what the University of Law (ULaw) has called the 'biggest shake-up in legal education in decades'. The introduction of the Solicitor's Qualifying Exam, or the SQE, is set to change the way all solicitors qualify from 2021. So, what do we know so far? The Solicitor's Regulation Authority have been consulting on reforms to the training of lawyers since 2015, and Kaplan have now been appointed as the examination adjudicator and assessor. One of the biggest changes will be that students no longer have to study a Qualifying Law Degree. You will still need an undergraduate degree or the equivalent experience - and a law degree will give you a solid foundation and help you with your studies - but a QLD will no longer be a formal requirement. Not only this, but the SQE differs from the current legal training framework where students don't start training contracts until they've passed the Legal Practice Course (LPC). The new form of examination is set to replace both the LPC and Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) when it comes into force in September 2021. The SQE will be fundamentally different in that all law students will sit the same set of exams set by Kaplan no matter where or how they are studying, and going forward, the SRA will only use your SQE result to determine whether you have the knowledge and skills to become a solicitor. Michael Castle, UK Managing Partner at Deloitte Legal has said, 'The legal training environment is undergoing significant change to contend with a rapidly evolving legal landscape'. Deloitte Legal has worked closely with ULaw to develop a new, innovative training programme to prepare future trainees for the SQE, ultimately allowing them to be at the forefront of what Michael Castle described as 'an exciting new era in legal education and training'. The challenge for the likes of ULaw will be to come up with a variety of SQE courses and tailor these to meet the needs of different students, as well as law firms' requirements, but they also offer the exciting opportunity to rethink the content and structure of preparation courses to guide students into their careers in the legal profession. The new SQE training contracts will allow law students to take up their place straight out of university, meaning they are able to earn while gaining qualifying legal work experience before sitting their SQE examinations. Professor Andrea Nollent, Vice-Chancellor and CEO of ULaw views these new training contracts as a way for students to experience the real legal world earlier in their career and education. For ULaw, providing a practical, hands-on legal education is hugely important in nurturing the next generation of legal talent. The new and current systems will run alongside each other for some years to allow for a transition period, and the SRA has proposed that anyone who starts their legal training before the SQE is introduced will have the option to choose which route they would like to take - as long as the current process is completed within 11 years. The SQE presents a big change to the legal industry in terms of training and education of lawyers. There is nothing you need to do at this stage - exactly when the SQE will be formally introduced and what it will involve is still uncertain, but this will not be until 2021 at the earliest. The most important thing is keeping up-to-date with developments, and our legal recruitment experts are on hand to share all the information we have and to help ensure you are knowledgeable and informed when talking to potential employers. For more information on this article, or to speak to Aaron Burton about your search needs, contact him on 020 7269 6350 or aaron.burton@pro-legal.co.uk.

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September 2019: Finance Movers and Shakers

Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the finance sector. Here are the key movements in September 2019: Jo Upshall has been promoted to Audit and Business Advisory Partner at Mercer & Hole. Jo is based at this mid-tier firms Rickmansworth and St Albans offices, where she has experience of managing a varied portfolio of business clients. Jo has gained much experience in the manufacturing and construction sectors, as well as in advising UK subsidiaries of overseas companies. Mercerhole.co.uk EY has appointed Markus Salolainen as a Partner in its UK technology, media and telecoms M&A practice. Salolainen joins the team from AGC Partners where he held the position of Head of Europe and will focus on the communications, mobility and cyber sectors. Financemoves.co.uk BTG Advisory has announced the appointment of four new Partners to its London Canary Wharf office. The new Partners include two external appointments, with Anthony Brennan joining from CameronBarney LLP and Paul Davies from Menzies. Financemoves.co.uk Top 20 firm Crowe has promoted Tara Westcott to Partner in its Non-Profits team. Previously a Director at the firm, she was promoted to Partner with effect from 1 September 2019 and will continue to provide external and internal audit, financial reporting and accounting and regulatory compliance services to a wide range of clients. Accountancydaily.co ​ For more information about this article, or to speak to Callum about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696369 or callum.macrae@pro-finance.co.uk. Back to Finance Movers & Shakers Archive >>

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Charity Times - 01/10/2019

WORKFORCE Charity communications professionals aren't representative of demographics A report from CharityComms says the charity sector’s communication and digital roles are overwhelmingly white and educated to graduate level, and people of colour are more likely to experience harassment at work. The 2019 Salary and Organisational Culture Report found that 93% of communications professionals in the sector are white, and people of colour are typically paid less. The survey, which polled 668 sector communication professionals, also found that 92% of people in such roles were educated at least to degree level. Elsewhere, people of colour in charity communicator roles are more than a third (39%) more likely to have experienced workplace harassment than their white peers. Digital consultant Zoe Amar said: “Not only is it harder for charities to attract people of colour, but they are more likely to be unhappy in their roles, and to look outside of the sector for their next job. We canno t afford to lose talent like this.” Meanwhile, #NonGraduatesWelcome, a campaign that is urging charities to look beyond formal qualifications when hiring, has launched its manifesto and website. “In its place we want charities to be clearer with applicants about the skills, abilities, knowledge and experience needed to be successful in the role, empowering applicants to decide how best to demonstrate their suitability,” the manifesto states. Charity Digital News Civil Society UKFundraising STRATEGY Charities fear they lack funds to meet objectives A study by charity investment managers Brewin Dolphin suggests political uncertainty and economic downturn have contributed to charities fearing they can't meet objectives. The Charity Investment: navigating uncertain times report suggests charities aren't confident about their ability to generate the necessary income to meet their charitable targets at a time when they are being asked to achieve more after a decade of austerity. Ruth Murphy, head of charities at Brewin Dolphin, said: "Charities are being asked to take on more every year and cracks are beginning to show, particularly for small and medium-sized charities." She added: "Charities have long relied on their investments to provide much-needed income, but political uncertainty, the volatility in the markets and the threat of a global recession very much preys on trustees’ minds. Third Force News UKFundraising FUNDRAISING Funders must show confidence in small charities A report from the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) says funders should demonstrate confidence in smaller charities, build long-term relationships and create an atmosphere of honesty to help instil resilience. Beth Clarke at CAF said of the How funders can do more to support the resilience of small charities report: “We see the programme as a stepping stone in a wider campaign, one that encourages small charities to have a more prominent voice with funders, charitable trusts and the government.” Five core recommendations for funders are outlined in the report, and Clarke added "In uncertain times, organisational resilience has perhaps never been more crucial for small charities across the UK.” Meanwhile, Small Charities Coalition CEO Rita Chadha said: “This is a vitally important and essential read for both funders and small charities . . . In focusing on resilience, and forcing funders to 'show more confidence' in small charities, the report makes a welcome and vital contribution to helping to level the playing field between big and small charities.” Civil Society Poll reveals popular perceptions of fundraising as a career Institute of Fundraising research on public perceptions of fundraising suggests that more than half (57%) of the UK public would be proud to work in the charity sector but only a quarter would be interested in working in fundraising. The Perceptions of fundraising as a career survey found that the main reasons people would not consider fundraising as a career are because the work doesn’t interest them (cited by 35% of respondents) and because they are happy in their current career (31%). Remuneration was cited as an issue for 22% of respondents, and 28% said they didn't think a career in fundraising offered the potential to earn a good income. UKFundraising Thursday is Gift Aid Awareness Day The second annual Gift Aid Awareness Day, organised by Charity Finance Group, takes place on Thursday (October 3rd). The aim of the day is to help charities encourage more donors to Gift Aid their eligible donations. UKFundraising GOVERNANCE Surge in whistleblowing complaints to the Charity Commission Whistleblowing disclosures to the Charity Commission have surged in the last two years, according to a report from the regulator. A total of 185 whistleblowing reports were received between April 1st 2018 and March 31st 2019, up 83% on the 101 disclosures received in 2017-18. The most-reported issues in 2018-19 were safeguarding, governance, and fraud or money-laundering. Terrorism and charities being set up for improper use were also widespread causes for whistleblower concern. The Commission's report states: “Whilst we cannot be certain, this increase is likely to have been influenced by the high-profile nature of safeguarding incidents emerging from the charity sector this year, which may have encouraged others to come forward with concerns.” Volunteers are now included in a broadened definition of whistleblower. “We have a regulatory interest in encouraging people on the inside of charity to report their serious concerns to us so that we are better able to detect problems in charities. For this reason, during the year we began to treat charity volunteers as well as charity workers as whistleblowers, where appropriate . . . It’s a significant change that extends our ability to identify serious concerns that we need to act on," the report explained. Civil Society Housing charity receives official warning An official warning has been given to Bristol Sheltered Accommodation and Support (BSAS) by the Charity Commission. The regulator said the charity “let down” its residents “over a long period of time.” Five residents have died at a property managed by the charity since 2014. The Charity Commission identified weaknesses in the charity’s records which meant the trustees “could not evidence having discussed and addressed serious safeguarding incidents, including the deaths of residents, appropriately.” Amy Spiller, head of investigations at the Commission, said: “It’s clear from our investigation that this charity was mismanaged over a long period of time, and that its trustees repeatedly disregarded regulatory advice and were receiving unauthorised payments. All charities should be managed with care and probity, and residents of Wick House and their families have been let down. We have held the charity to account for these failings." Civil Society BBC News Guides launched to help tackle trustee conflict A series of guides has been published by the Association of Chairs (AoC) to help charity chairs tackle trustee conflict and manage board relationships more effectively. The Working with trustees guides are in response to feedback from chairs who says their biggest challenges are getting the best out of a “disparate group of individuals” and managing conflict. AoC chief executive Ros Oakley said: “When trustees fail to work together well, governance and the charity suffer. But building really strong working relationships around the board table is challenging, and up to now there has been little help. These new guides fill that gap and are full of practical suggestions and ideas for Chairs. Building strong relationships among board members helps them be more resilient when the going gets tough and in good times helps unleash their potential for bold and creative leadership.” Charity Times DIGITAL App aims to help charities partner with businesses The Fundr app seeks to help charities identify corporate partnership opportunities. The platform allows charities to search around 500 continually updated opportunities and offers filtering by region, key dates, value of the partnership and details about the nature of support being offered. Fundr co-founder Adam McKenzie says: “Fundr has been created specifically for fundraisers and my hope is that it becomes a vital extra tool that supports them to focus their efforts and find their ideal charity partner.” Charity Digital News LEGAL New guidance on campaigning for charities New guidance for charities about campaigning in the run-up to elections and referendums has been published by the Electoral Commission, which has been working on the new guidance since 2018. Charities have previously complained that a lack of clarity on rules has contributed to them feeling silenced during pre-election periods. Douglas Dowell, policy manager from NCVO, has written: "The Electoral Commission’s guidance on what electoral law means for your campaigning in the run-up to an election hasn't been clear or reassuring enough. As a result, it's made lots of charities think the rules are more restrictive than they actually are." Karl Wilding, chief executive of NCVO, observed: "This new guidance provides much greater clarity for charities and should make it clearer that charities can campaign with confidence. Although there are still issues which we believe need changes to the legislation itse lf, we a re very please that the Electoral Commission has taken our feedback on board and done what it can within current electoral law to address many of the concerns charities have expressed about their ability to campaign". Louise Edwards, the Electoral Commission's director of regulation, said: "We understand the challenges faced by organisations which don't regularly engage in political campaigning, and it's an important part of our role to support them in understanding how they can comply with the law. Campaigning is a vital part of the democratic process and we hope this guidance will enable groups to campaign with confidence all year-round". Civil Society Judge questions RSPCA’s future as a prosecutor The RSPCA's future in bringing private prosecutions has been brought into question by a judge after the charity allegedly stoked a hate campaign against a man who failed to properly care for puppies. Mark Burgess, 39, received death threats and was ostracised in his community. The charity was accused by District Judge Justin Barron of issuing emotive, unbalanced and misleading publicity that had worsened the public's reaction, leading the judge to consider "whether the RSPCA should continue to conduct its own prosecutions." The criticism will revive debate over the charity bringing suspects to court rather than handing evidence to the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The RSPCA is regarded as the country's largest private prosecutor with convictions rising to 1,678 last year. The Times ​​​​​​Back to Charity Times archive >>

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September 2019: Legal Movers & Shakers

Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the legal sector. Here are the key movements in September 2019: Three lawyers have been promoted to Counsel in the London office of Shearman & Sterling. Alastair Goldrein (financial restructuring and insolvency), Margaret Ryan (international arbitration and public international law) and Tsegaye Laurendeau (international arbitration). Simmons & Simmons have appointed Paul Baker as the new leadership in its Dispute Resolution team. Paul chaired the London Asset Management Litigation Team and is a member of the firm's Crime, Fraud and Investigations Group, and will now take on the role of Dispute Resolution National Practice Head for the UK. Christina Blacklaws, who served as the Law Society of England and Wales' 174th president and fifth female president, holding office between 2018-19, has joined consulting and technology business Mason & Cook as a Non-Executive Director. City firm Wedlake Bell has appointed William Granger as Partner to help spearhead its Employment team. William previously founded the employment group at law firm Campbell Hooper in 1995 which has merged with two other firms to create what is now Charles Russell Speechlys. KMPG's legal services has welcomed two new Partners, Kate Eades and Usman Wahid, to it's Business Structuring and Transactions group. Kate joins from Greenberg Traurig where she was Partner for almost eight years specialising in corporate law, and Usman comes from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner after fourteen years as a technology and outsourcing Partner. Joining as senior associates, Elizabeth Cookson, Laura Flanagan and Venisha Shah have joined Slater and Gordon's London Family Law team. For more information about this article, or to speak to Tamara about your recruiting needs or Legal jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 02072696368 or tamara.salem@pro-legal.co.uk. Back to Legal Movers & Shakers Archive >>

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September 2019: Tax Movers and Shakers

Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the tax sector. Here are the key movements in September 2019: PRACTICE LONDON Richard Maitland joins MHA Macintyre Hudson as Partner in its Human Capital Advisory team, bringing 18 years of experience in the human capital field. He will lead all work related to employment tax. Anderson Global have continued their expansion by hiring Miles Dean and Zoe Wyatt in the UK. Miles and Zoe previously worked at Milestone and as part of Andersen Tax, they will provide a broad range of international tax services to corporations and private clients, investment funds and real estate investors and developers. Martina Fitzgerald joins Carter Backer Winter (CBW) from Menzies as Private Client Tax Partner, bringing a wealth of experience across a range of private client matters. Blick Rothenberg have appointed Neil Insull as Corporate Tax Partner. Neil joins from Haines Watts and has been advising on business tax for 30 years, across practice and industry. Irfan Butt joins RSM as Partner within the Real Estate tax team. Prior to this, Irfan worked for PwC as a Director in Real Estate Funds. Christopher Williamson, Private Client Tax Lawyer from TLT has joined Price Bailey as Private Client Partner. ESSEX Adela Cebotari has been appointed by RSM as Private Client Associate Tax Director in their Chelmsford office. Adela joins from Price Bailey and brings over 10 years of private client experience.​ MIDLANDS AND THE EAST: Phil Stevens joins Foxley Kingham as Tax Director. Phil has nearly 20 years of experience gained from mid-tier and boutique accounting firms. RSM in Birmingham has hired a new Corporate Tax Director. Rajh Chana joins from PwC where he spent over 13 years specialising in their Private Business team. NORTH EAST: Liz Rothery has been appointed by Baldwins as Associate Tax Director. Liz is a specialist in IHT and Trust planning. With 14 years’ experience in private client tax planning, Liz previously worked for PwC. OTHER: Top 15 firm, MHA Macintyre Hudson has strengthened its VAT offering through the acquisition of Martin Pooley’s accountancy practice in Norwich. COMMERCE & INDUSTRY Michael McCotter has been appointed the Head of Tax at Charterhouse Capital Partners. His practice experience includes stints with Deloitte and Dixon Wilson and Michael spent a little over 18 years in the team at DH Private Equity Partners where he was most recently Head of Tax before making the move. Cognizant have brought in Lawson Rose at a senior level as Transfer Pricing Director. PwC trained, Lawson’s in-house experience has most recently been within the pharmaceutical sector with Shire and Takeda, respectively. Trent Emtage is the new SVP Global Tax at ContourGlobal. Trent’s background is from the Big 4 with PwC and EY and he is vastly experienced within the Oil & Energy sector having held high-level positions with Noble Group and Mercuria Energy Trading previously. For more information about this article, or to speak to Dominic about your recruiting needs or Tax jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696310 or dominic.watt@pro-tax.co.uk. Back to Tax Movers & Shakers Archive >>

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60 Seconds With: Mervyn Skeet, Head of Tax at the Association of British Insurers

Mervyn Skeet is Head of Tax at the Association of British Insurers, Chair of the Global Federation of Insurance Associations and former Global Head of Tax at XL Group. An esteemed senior expert in international tax policy, Mervyn has over 25 years of experience working in tax within the insurance industry. See below Mervyn’s recent interview with Jay Sky, talking on the ABI, the challenges of tax in insurance and career advice for the aspiring Heads of Tax of tomorrow. For anyone who isn’t aware, what is the purpose of the ABI? The ABI is the voice of the UK's world-leading insurance and long-term savings industry. Formed in 1985, the ABI represents members in industry and strives to bring the right people together to inform public debate and policy. We cover a large percentage of the insurance market with around 250 corporate members. One of the key roles and biggest challenges faced by the ABI is engaging with both members and the policymakers who drive how insurance is going to move forward. What’s it like working at the ABI? I like that the ABI is a dynamic place to work, which is not what you might see from the outside looking into what might appear a traditional trade association. It feels to me like a young, vibrant workplace looking to make a real difference to this industry. Not only this, but the people are very committed, work incredibly hard, and understand the way the insurance industry operates which is absolutely key to our members. There are three of us in the tax function at ABI, and we have over 75 years of combined experience which is something you don’t see replicated in other trade associations, inside or outside of insurance. We have a role to play in the wider insurance industry and very few associations have that level of experience in tax to help members. What does your role involve and what makes it interesting? As Head of Tax at the ABI, my job is to make sure we are focused on tax policy - both domestic and international - and at the moment, the international piece is becoming most interesting. In most jurisdictions, tax is a sovereign decision typically made by local government, but bodies such as the OECD and EU play a huge role in tax policy on an international scale. These bodies will make recommendations and influence government - for example, the UK government has been on record recently voicing the need to find international tax solutions as well as domestic solutions - and that’s what makes it interesting. Looking at things that not only impact the UK, but also affect the EU and the rest of the world. How does it compare being at the ABI, as opposed to sitting at the top of the tax team for an insurance conglomerate? As people would expect, very different! Working in a trade association does not come with the same daily pressures as working in industry. In a global organisation you are constantly on the move, constantly challenged and constantly under pressure, whereas here, you have more opportunity to think about policy and ways for the industry to move forward. We support the industry and use our knowledge and experience to make sure the tax directors and finance functions are aware of some of the policy issues they may not have time to think of themselves. So to sum up, the biggest difference really is time. In my last role, I was heavily involved in policy with the OECD, but I still had to do my day job. Now, policy is my day job - that’s the difference. From a corporate perspective, what is the value-add to be involved with the ABI, for insurance organisations and tax professionals alike? Mainly, access to policymakers. Involvement with the ABI means both insurance organisations and tax professionals have the ability to influence as part of an association, as opposed to acting as one individual entity. It is much more powerful going to speak to a Minister, or the Treasury, or HMRC about an industry issue with the backing and support of an association like the ABI. As an organisation, we pride ourselves on being proactive for our members, not just reactive. We have the ability to influence policy before it actually happens, and use our years of expertise to demonstrate why certain things will and won’t work for the insurance industry or for our members. As an organisation, we need to be ahead of policies and constantly look ahead to what might happen going forward. This is a bit of a sifting process - taking everything happening in the tax world, highlighting areas that need to be focused on and articulating to members what is crucial to deal with. This means that insurance organisations and tax professionals involved with the ABI can benefit from our expertise and stay informed of any market or policy changes essential for them to focus on. The nature of your role means you need to be beyond just ‘up to date’ - you need to be strategic to champion industry interests and influence policy. So you are in a prime position to tell our readers - what are the cutting-edge issues for tax in insurance? There are three main domestic issues facing tax in insurance currently, the first being Making Tax Digital which is already in place for VAT, at least for large businesses. The plan for this to be extended to other tax areas and smaller business is certainly a prominent issue, as it is not yet clear when that will be. Secondly, IFRS 17 has brought about huge changes to the way insurances will be accounted for, and therefore has massive tax implications - particularly in the long term savings and life industry. Thirdly, there is the high rate of insurance premium tax that impacts upon the cost of insurance. The next generation will undoubtedly be affected by these issues, but perhaps most significantly, the whole way the international tax framework will operate going forward. This is being driven by the growing focus on digital economies. The OECD released a programme of work in May detailing how the international tax framework ought to be amended for digital companies and as it stands, insurance is in the scope of that programme. Explaining how the insurance industry fits within the digital project whilst looking at changes in the international tax framework and how people will be taxed going forward shows the makings of a challenging project. This programme is expected to be finished by the end of 2020 and is a good example of a problem that’s both short term and will affect the future of the industry going forward. What events are upcoming with the ABI which offer the chance for junior and senior tax professionals to learn and develop? The timing of this is interesting, as we just had our big ABI annual tax convention in Brighton in early September. This is the sixth time we have hosted this convention, and from a tax perspective is always an incredibly successful event. This year, we had a lot more junior members attend, which means they are learning about things now to take forward into their careers. These are the people who will be progressing through the industry ranks in five or ten years time, and continuity is very important - it’s already in the diary for next year for the 7th and 8th September! In between conventions, the senior tax strategy committee meets on a quarterly basis to discuss the issues of the day, as well as other working groups that members can get involved in. The ABI also runs events throughout the year which aren’t necessarily tax-related, and we are holding our wider annual conference in February of next year. When trying to arrange events for junior members of the ABI, the issues I see facing tax departments now is that people are specialising very early in their careers. Whereas in the past you were typically given a wide portfolio and you specialised further down the line, junior tax professionals are now immediately specialising, whether this be in transfer pricing, capital allowances or the likes. The question is - how do you tailor these events for the right group of people while also including as many professionals as possible? This is something I think will prove to be a challenge going forward, both for the ABI and for junior tax professionals looking to round their skillset. What are your thoughts on the challenges facing the next generation of Tax Heads, and how to get there? One of the biggest challenges is knowing how to staff your teams. When I was starting out, you qualified and then decided whether to stay with your firm or to move into industry. You would gain a good overall grounding in the way companies operate before moving into a commercial environment, but I’m not sure that is the case now in quite the same way. People tend to specialise early so often don’t have the same grounding, it seems to me, in general taxation or accounting matters. In my opinion, to be the best tax person you need a solid understanding of how financials work and this is a big challenge facing Heads of Tax now, as you are recruiting people who are specialists in their field already. Another challenge faced by the future Heads of Tax is managing expectations. If you bring someone in as a tax assistant in Transfer Pricing for example, if they are looking to move to a managerial position within a short space of time it’s not very straight-forward. Expectations of moving quickly within an organisation are far greater than they used to be but when you don’t have a large tax function within your business that’s very hard to manage. So how do those experts of today become the Heads of Tax of tomorrow? My number one piece of advice would be to think strategically and look at the big picture. It’s about not just focusing on the area that you’re an expert in, but trying to understand the organisation you’re working for as a whole. Look forward and think about how tax will evolve. If you think about the last ten years, the way the general public sees the payment of taxes has evolved massively, and there is a big focus on the ‘fair’ amount of tax paid. As a general, there is a much larger focus on tax than there has been in the past, which is a challenge in itself, and so looking at the larger picture is essential. Compliance is now key within tax functions. Moving away from tax planning, risk management is now key for most CFOs and Heads of Tax, and so you absolutely need to be strategic and think about how tax fits into the business as a whole. Be technical, be tactical, but also be focused on the strategic goals of your organisation. What career advice would you give yourself when you were younger, and how might this differ to the advice you’d offer a newly qualified tax professional today in this field? Try not to expect things too quickly. Naturally, you will want your career progression to happen immediately but sometimes it’s important to remember to manage expectations. When I came out of university and into the world of work, I thought I knew a lot but it became clear I had a lot to learn about tax still, and this was a realisation that needed to happen! The best advice I can offer is to learn. I still learn something new every day - try to progress your own learning whenever you have the opportunity and don’t think you have all the answers. Of course, be confident and focused, but be open to learning from people around you who have been in the industry for a long time. You have 30 years experience in tax and you’ve progressed to a very senior level within insurance before moving into a representative and policy-level role. What defining moments have there been for you throughout? The best part of my career was spent in two multinational insurance companies, and one defining moment for me was being made Head of Global Tax at XL Group back in 2007. I had been the European Head of Tax for over four years in which I learned a lot about the organisation to take with me into the global role, which really felt like the start of my being able to influence at a higher level. To me, the turning point was the first 100 days. Having to get your team in place, decide who is a good fit and is supporting you in your role, and having to make tough decisions makes you think very carefully about what you need and who you want on your team. Another career-defining moment for me was my appointment as Chair of the Global Federation of Insurance Associations (GFIA), which has allowed me to play a pivotal role beyond just the UK. The GFIA is seen as an association of associations, and my role as Chair means I can interact with people from other associations around their world and get their views on issues and policies. This allows us to play a role on the global stage and influence governments at a national level, which really demonstrates the capabilities we have at the ABI. Being at the centre of the insurance tax industry means you would routinely be approached by those looking to hire and move in this market. What advice would you offer hiring managers and candidates alike today? Well, it’s certainly a challenge, but it’s all about finding the right options. Of course, you want to try and attract the most talented people in the industry, but most importantly you need to think carefully about what you’re looking for. Don’t hire somebody without defining the role properly first. I have always found that you can get a sense quickly if someone is right for the role as long as you know what you are looking for - if you go into an interview blind, it’s much harder that way. Tie your interview strategy into the strategies of both your tax function and the wider organisation. Essentially, it’s about knowing what it is that your tax function is trying to achieve for the organisation as a whole. If you know this, you know what you need in the ideal candidate. For more information on this article or to speak to Jay Sky about your recruiting needs, contact him on 020 7269 6343 or jay.sky@pro-tax.co.uk. Back to 60 Seconds archive >>

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A Night at the British Accountancy Awards 2019

It was a pleasure to host Matt Meadows, Corporate Finance Partner at Moore Kingston Smith, Jim Brown, Outsourcing Partner at Blick Rothenberg, David Cox, Head of Audit & Assurance at haysmacintyre and Roger Weston, Business Advisory Partner at Saffery Champness on our table at the prestigious British Accountancy Awards this year, which took place on Wednesday 25th September at the Grosvenor House Hotel. Pro-Finance was honoured to attend this event and it was a fantastic evening had by all, hosted by comedian Sean Lock, highlighting and celebrating excellence in accountancy and finance. This leading industry event welcomed over 900 guests from practices all over the country and showcased outstanding achievements from across the industry during the last twelve months. Pro-Finance was proud to sponsor the National Firm of the Year Award, recognising firms who have added significant value to their clients and across all service areas, helping clients to achieve specific business goals, increase revenue and satisfy and delight their customers. Well done again to all those nominated for this award and congratulations to MHA Macintyre Hudson who took home the award for National Firm of the Year. There were over 20 awards won throughout the evening and we extend a huge congratulations to all of the nominees and the winners of these fantastic awards - as detailed below - for being recognised for their efforts as distinctive leaders in the accountancy profession. Thanks, British Accountancy Awards for a fantastic evening - we will see you next year! British Accountancy Awards 2019 Winners: - International Firm of the Year - PwC - National Firm of the Year - MHA Macintyre Hudson LLP - Mid-Tier Firm of the Year: Turnover Between £10M - £25M - Crunch Accounting - Mid-Tier Firm of the Year: Turnover Less Than £10M - PKF-FPM Accountants - Independent Firm of the Year: Greater London, England - Flinder - Independent Firm of the Year: Scotland, N. Ireland & North, England - Infinity Partnership - Independent Firm of the Year: South-East, England - Ad Valorem - Independent Firm of the Year: South-West, England - Dunkley's Chartered Accountants - Independent Firm of the Year: Wales & Midlands, England - Inniaccounts - Independent Firm of the Year: East, England - Farnell Clarke - Small Practice Innovation of the Year: Turnover Below £3M - Mazuma - Mid-Tier Innovation of the Year: Turnover Between £3M - £25M - MHA Carpenter Box - Large Firm Innovation of the Year: Turnover Above £25M - Smith and Williamson - Innovation & Transformation of the Year: Accountants in Industry - Futurelink Accountancy Services - Large Firm Graduate and Non-Graduate Programme of the Year - MHA Macintyre Hudson LLP - Small Firm Graduate and Non-Graduate Programme of the Year - Sterling Finance UK - Outstanding Advisory or Client Project of the Year - Infinity Partnership - Tax Team of the Year - MHA Macintyre Hudson LLP - Audit Team of the Year - BHP - Finance Team of the Year - RSA - Rising Star of the Year - Harry Pampiglione, PwC - Partner of the Year - Roger Isaacs, Milsted Langdon - CFO/Finance Director of the Year - Ciaran O'Donell, Virtual FD - Best Employer Award - PKF-FPM Accountants - Outstanding Contribution to Accounting and Finance - Sue Almond, Grant Thornton ​ Click here to view the full shortlist >> For more information about this article, or to speak to Tom Eagle about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 020 7269 6349 or tom.eagle@pro-finance.co.uk.

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Charity Times - 24/09/2019

FUNDRAISING European charities lag in accepting online donations A new report says around half of the charities in Europe are not using their websites for online donations. The 2019 Global NGP Technology Report found that 56% of charities and NGOs in Europe with a website - about 8% below the global average - are using their online presence to accept web-based donations. In Africa, 64% of third sector groups accept credit card payments on their website. The report from Funraise and Nonprofit Tech for Good nevertheless found that European charities are among the best in the world for digital security: 86% of European charitable organisations have a privacy policy on their website, which is more than any other region. Charity Digital News Charities slammed over premium-rate phone lines Charities that use premium numbers which can charge callers as much as 72p have been criticised by the fair telecoms campaign. A briefing published by the campaign last week said charities earn comparatively little from the calls, with the majority of revenue going to phone companies. Paula Ojok, chief executive at Helplines Partnership, said: “We recognise that many charities face funding difficulties and that a freephone number represents an additional cost for the organisation . . . . However, as the membership body for organisations that provide information, support or advice via phone, email, text or online, we would encourage all helplines to access a freephone or low-cost number such as the Helpline Freephone Range (HFR)." Civil Society Pride computer game raises donations for LGBTQ+ charity Charity Digital News reports on how LGBTQ+ charity Kaleidoscope Trust has partnered with gaming firm Green Man Gaming to receive donations through sales of a computer game where players have to keep their own Pride parade on track and protect it from abuse. Kaleidoscope Trust will gain 10% of sales of the Pride Run game through its deal with Green Man Gaming. Charity Digital News Gift Aid donations hit record Data from the Office for National Statistics show that taxpayers made record-breaking gift-aided donations of more than £5.4bn to charity last year, to which HM Revenue & Customs added £1.35bn. The Times GOVERNANCE Fundraising Regulator publishes ten investigations The Fundraising Regulator has published the names and details of investigations into ten charities and agencies including JustGiving, NSPCC, Salvation Army, Alzheimer’s Society and NDCS. This is a change in approach for the regulator; earlier this year it said it would name those involved in investigations and these are the first reports to be published. Seven out of the 10 investigations were found to involve a breach of the Code of Fundraising. Catherine Orr, head of casework at the Fundraising Regulator, said in a blog: "We think it’s right that we name all the organisations we investigate, so that we promote and support a culture of ethical fundraising, allow the public, donors and potential donors to make informed decisions when they choose to donate to charity, and ensure we are transparent in our investigations process . . . This brings our investigation work in line with that of other regulators such as the Charity Commission which names the organisations that it investigates." Civil Society DIGITAL How Missing People is using digital outdoor advertising Missing People is to use digital outdoor billboards to boost the regional reach of its appeals a week after announcing its link up with an online travel industry network. The digital out of home (OOH) advertising campaign will feature on roadside and city centre locations and detail the missing person’s name, age, photo and the date and location when they went missing. It also features a free number for people to call or text; it has been organised by digital OOH advertising specialist QDOT, which is also using the measurement platform PlayTrack to evaluate the campaign. The weekly Missing People appeals will be used by digital OOH media firms including JCDecaux, Maxx Media, Limited Space and Perfect Fit Media. Charity Digital News Heritage charities embrace digital Heritage and culture organisations are embracing the digital era as funding and skills opportunities open up new pathways into digital transformation, reports Charity Digital News. Initiatives such as National Trust’s Heritage Open Days using the hashtag #HODs demonstrate the enormous value that heritage organisations including museums, collections, historic sites and buildings, conservation charities and history societies can gain from embracing digital media. Charity Digital News COMMUNICATIONS Charity Film Awards 2020 is open for entries Charities can now enter online for the Charity Film Awards 2020 ahead of the mid-October deadline. Charity videos can also be nominated by agencies and members of the public. Last year’s winners include Child Bereavement UK, NSPCC/Childline, RSPCA, Cats Protection and Breast Cancer Care. Simon Burton, founder of the awards, said: “Charity Film Awards continues to grow its impact both in terms of the video views we generate and the numbers of votes from members of the public. Simply taking part can provide a huge boost to a charity no matter what its size or focus.” The winners will be announced at a gala event at a venue in London in Spring 2020. UKFundraising STRATEGY Charities urged to be more involved in climate change debate A new poll from the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) finds that young people want charities to be more involved in climate change debate. The poll indicates that 46% of people agreed charities are an important part of the climate change debate and just over half (51%) disagreed with the statement "charities should not get involved with the climate change debate." Respondents aged between 16 and 24 were most likely to believe charities are an important part of the debate - 59% said they are of this opinion. Susan Pinkney, CAF head of research, said: “Charities like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth often lead the climate conversation, but perhaps the charity sector at large – along with international bodies, governments and businesses – need to get better at expressing how they’re helping to tackle what is emerging as the defining issue of our age.” Charity Times UKFundraising WORKFORCE Guide for charity communication professionals' mental health CharityComms has published guide for charity communications workers offering mental health advice following concerns about social media abuse and the stressful nature of the role. The guide includes case studies from Alzheimer’s Society, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, Sarcoma UK and Time to Change. Kirsty Marrins, the guide's author, said: “The scale of what communications professionals deal with is vast, and it’s important to recognise the daily, ‘business as usual’ situations that communications professionals consistently face, that could be impacting on their mental health. Just because it’s not about them personally, doesn’t mean that it’s not internalised and won’t impact their wellbeing.” Civil Society Charity Digital News PEOPLE A new CEO at the ACO Donal Watkin has been named as the new chief executive of the Association of Charitable Organisations (ACO). He takes over from Dominic Fox on November 1st. Donal Watkin said: “I am delighted to be offered the role of CEO at ACO during a time of change within the organisation. ACO has begun work on exciting projects, such as the One Day Changes Lives initiative to raise awareness of its charity members. I look forward to developing these campaigns, as well as continuing to increase the growth of ACO membership." Charity Times CAMPAIGNS Campaign wants crackdown on ‘horrible bosses’ Citizens Advice Scotland is calling for a new organisation to uphold workers' rights. The charity says its advisors regularly deal with cases where “horrible bosses” exploit their employees, either through underpaying them or breaching workplace rights such as paid holidays or maternity leave. Citizens Advice social justice spokesperson Mhoraig Green said: “It’s clear from clients across Scotland who are contacting Citizens Advice Bureaux that there are employers who are still ripping off workers . . . The creation of a national organisation to enforce employment laws would stamp out illegal work practices and uphold the rights of workers who are simply doing their honest day’s work.” Third Force News Pensioners sell 400 homes a week to fund care New figures compiled by Independent Age have revealed that around 400 pensioners sell their homes each week to fund social care. The charity revealed that 21,120 owners sold up last year, compared with just 11,880 in 2000. The charity said the figures highlight the scale of a crisis in which anyone with more than £23,250 in savings, including their property value, is denied state help. The report also found that only some councils offer “deferred payment agreements” that save people having to sell up before their death. “Even arranging deferred payment agreements – a safety net to prevent people having to sell their homes within their lifetime – is proving to be a postcode lottery and doesn’t address the unacceptable situation where people are still required to spend a catastrophic amount on their care,” commented campaigns manager Morgan Vine. Daily Mail The Times OTHER No-deal could cause medical confusion Aisling Burnand, chief executive of the Association of Medical Research Charities, has warned that patients could face needless anxiety if their daily tablets are switched to a new brand and are a different colour because of supply issues caused by a no-deal Brexit. She claimed that in the case of dementia patients, the confusion could lead to some people not taking the pills at all. Industry leaders say they have been in detailed talks with the government for three years and have stockpiles for six weeks or longer but they do not know how restocking will work out after that. The Guardian INTERNATIONAL France plans to ban luxury brands from dumping unsold stock France could become the first country to ban retailers from destroying unsold goods under legislation going through its parliament. The new law will impose an obligation on manufacturers and retailers to recycle or reuse unsold items, or to give them to charity. Ecology minister Brune Poirson says that goods worth €800m go unsold in France every year; only €140m worth of these goods were given to charities and the rest were destroyed. She singled out the French cosmetics sector, saying that it binned unsold goods worth almost €180m annually. The Times ​​​​​​Back to Charity Times archive >>

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Corporate Charity Partnerships - What are the Benefits?

A good corporate partnership can be mutually beneficial for both charities and sponsors. For charities, these benefits include increased funding, support and visibility, and organisations can benefit from good PR, brand building and the chance to make a difference and support a worthwhile cause. These partnerships are becoming more strategic, often tackling issues that staff care about whilst ensuring that sponsorship has the greatest possible impact. So, what are the main benefits of establishing strong corporate partnerships where the two sides can work together to bring about lasting change? Benefits of Corporate Partnerships for Charities One of the biggest (and most obvious) benefits of corporate partnerships for charities is funding. However, while the giant novelty cheque and one-off donation may have summed up how these partnerships worked in the past, organisations are moving instead towards more long-term strategic partnerships. Data gathered by LBG in 2018, the global standard in measuring and managing corporate community investment, showed that more than 70% gave strategically and less than 20% went in ad-hoc donations - a reverse from that of a decade ago. This shift can only have a positive impact on charities as funds will be raised in a structured manner, providing a longer-term sustainable income for charities, and partnerships will go beyond one-off donations. Another major benefit of corporate partnerships is increased awareness and visibility. Not only do these partnerships allow charities to reach a wide employee base, but they can also reach and engage with the organisations larger network. Communication and marketing plans can be invaluable in the context of a charity’s corporate partnership. The online and offline presence of a charity across a company’s network - whether this be branding on the company website, promotion across social media channels, offline collateral or fundraising activities and challenges which are promoted by an organisation - will increase awareness and engagement with a cause. While corporate partnerships offer benefits for charities themselves, they also offer the opportunity for charities to help a wider group of people by connecting them with teams and individuals who could benefit from the important work the charity does. A charity like CALM, for example, offers mental health training for managers and works with organisations to improve workplace wellbeing and help colleagues to take a proactive approach to looking after each other. Benefits of Corporate Partnerships for Organisations Selecting the right partner charity can prove to be invaluable for organisations. Partnering with a charity which shares an organisation’s core values will invite interest in a cause, invoke passion, and can increase staff engagement at all levels. Connecting with and supporting a charity, particularly one that means something to employees, will only have a positive impact on staff. On another note, businesses are increasingly investing time and money into causes important not only to their employees but also to wider society. CSR is a driving factor behind businesses dedicating time towards supporting charities and helps companies be socially accountable - to itself, its stakeholders and the public. Commitment to corporate partnerships has been driven by customers and employees who want businesses to be seen to be going the right thing, and commercial organisations are taking brand perception more seriously than ever. Corporate partnerships are a big way for organisations to improve their reputation and Dominic Cotton, founder of the CSR consultancy Epiphany found that the majority of consumers - particularly younger ones - will be more attracted to (and pay more) for a service when it comes from a company that is actively seeking to solve social problems. Increased awareness can benefit commercial businesses as well as the charities they are supporting. Implementing a well-thought-out marketing and fundraising plan will increase a charity’s visibility, but will also increase engagement with an organisation’s brand. For example, Peterborough United Football Club recently launched a social media campaign #UnitedWeWalk with Alzheimer’s Society involving short video clips and highlighting the impact of dementia to encourage people to take part in Alzheimer’s Society’s Memory Walk - increasing visibility of, and engagement with both the charity and the football club. Creative projects can help both parties stand out, a prime example of this being the Big Knit Campaign - an imaginative approach taken by Innocent which has raised over £2.65 million for Age UK and has become one of the most recognisable charity corporate partnerships in the UK. Here at Pro, we have partnered with CALM - the Campaign Against Living Miserably, a charity which is close to our company. This charity is leading a movement against suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. We will be working closely with CALM to create campaigns, increase awareness, and offer support through engagement and fundraising events. For more information on how you can support our corporate charity CALM, or for help with the recruitment of Corporate Partnerships professionals into your organisation, contact Ethan Bresnett on 020 7269 6362 or ethan.bresnett@pro-recruitment.co.uk.

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Charity Times - 17/09/2019

GOVERNANCE New SORP-making process announced following governance review The Charities SORP-making body has announced plans to change the way the charity accounting framework is developed so it better serves the public. A governance review of the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) earlier this year made several recommendations for reform, which have all been accepted by the agencies which constitute the SORP-making body: the Charity Commission for England and Wales, OSCR the Scottish Charity Regulator, and the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland. Nigel Davies, joint chair and head of accountancy services at the Charity Commission, said: "We know from our own research that the public care deeply about financial transparency from charities. Charity accounts are an important opportunity for trustees to communicate the difference they are making; today’s announcement reflects our joint commitment to ensure that charity accounts work for those that matter - beneficiaries and the public." Myles McKeown, Joint Chair and Head of Compliance and Enquiries at the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, said: "The recent governance review highlighted some positive aspects of the SORP development process, but it also made some constructive suggestions, particularly that charity reporting and accounting must become more user-focused. The changes we are introducing today will lay important foundations to ensure the SORP can continue to be fit for purpose." OSCR Civil Society Charity Update POLICY Civil society minister details her top priorities Newly-appointed civil society minister Baroness Barran says she has three priorities in her role: a focus on building more resilient communities, noting that "civil society organisations can play [a role] in healing some of the divisions that we can see today, whether those are Brexit-shaped divisions or religious, ethnic, generational, class or whatever they might be;” a “broader” and “more universal” approach by government to young people; and a look at how central and local government can better invest money through commissioning with the voluntary and community sector. On Brexit, she says: “We’re very focused on it. There’s a team here who are dedicated to making sure that the particular issues that relate to civil society are taken into account, and that the general issues that might affect everybody are communicated in a way that ensures civil society organisations see themselves in that communication." But Civil Society notes that she has little to say about what level of funding charities can expect to help them deal with the impact of Brexit or replacements for EU funding. Civil Society STRATEGY NCVO wants stronger links with Europe Outgoing National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) chief executive Sir Stuart Etherington has signed a joint declaration of unity with his counterparts in France and Germany in a move that will see him lead a project designed to strengthen the representative body’s ties with Europe. Sir Stuart's last day at the helm of NCVO was Friday and Karl Wilding has now taken over - but he will remain with NCVO until his official retirement date at the end of the year. In a blog post, Sir Stuart wrote: “I know from my time serving on the European Economic and Social Committee, a group that brings together civil society across Europe to inform policy-making, that there is a great deal charities in different countries can do to learn from and support one another . . . Whatever happens politically, we should ensure we are doing what we can to strengthen these links.” Civil Society WORKFORCE Number of charity leaders on BAME index almost doubles This year’s BAME 100 Business Leaders index includes 20 Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals from civil society organisations - almost twice as many leaders from the charity sector in the 2017 index (11). The ranking of talent was compiled by diversity experts Green Park to “debunk the myth that diverse talent does not exist.” Kai Adams, partner and head of the charities and social enterprise practice at Green Park, said: “Charities must address their talent strategy, processes and suppliers, or risk losing relevance with the communities they serve." He added: “In 2018, our placements across charities and social enterprises were 20% BAME overall and 27% BAME at chair and trustee level despite a sector average of just 6.6% . . . Therefore, the old excuse of not being able to find diverse and suitably qualified talent does not hold water." Charity Update Civil Society RISK Charities must prepare for no-deal Brexit, NCVO warns The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has published new guidance in which the representative body says charities must continue to make "urgent" preparations for a no-deal Brexit. The warning from NCVO comes despite legislation which requires Prime Minister Boris Johnson to delay Brexit if an agreement has not been reached with the European Union. Ben Westerman, NCVO’s Brexit analyst, said: "Reviewing the potential impacts of Brexit for your organisation and your cause is an essential part of good governance. The consequences of a no-deal exit will be different for each charity, but . . . It’s particularly important that you review what you need to do now, don’t simply take a ‘wait and see’ approach, as developments could happen very quickly." He added: "There is still some risk of a no-deal exit on that date given the need for agreement from the EU. In any case, the legislation only moves the deadline back twelve weeks, which means preparation is still urgent." Charity Times Civil Society Supply chain must be front of mind The Charity Retail Association (CRA) says charities must not ignore the operational practices of their supply chain. CRA chief executive Robin Osterley said bad practice by a commercial partner could damage a charity’s reputation. He was speaking at the launch of the association’s kitemark scheme for businesses that sell unsold goods from charity shops. “There is a potential reputational risk for charities who are dealing with unknown quantities in terms of the companies they are selling clothing and other things to . . . It is no longer possible for [charities] to just bury their heads in the sand . . . and say ‘we no longer care what is going on out there,’" he said, citing examples of partner companies engaged in practices that could be described as modern slavery. Civil Society Faith-based charities contend with “challenging climate” The inaugural Faith Charities Forum has heard how faith-based charities work in a “challenging climate” in which they face an "additional level of scrutiny" that is based on "inaccurate" perceptions. Islamic Relief Worldwide’s head of governance Khaleel Desai and head of media and external relations Simona French led a session at the event that considered some of the issues faced by faith charities. Among other advice, the pair recommended that those in governance at the trustee level are “fully engaged in the risks” that come with the challenges. Civil Society Academy trustees disqualified over pupil radicalisation attempts Five trustees who ran an east London academy where a teacher tried to radicalise pupils have been disqualified from any similar roles. The Charity Commission investigated Essex Islamic Academy in Barking after Umar Ahmed Haque was convicted of terrorism offences last year. He was initially recruited as an administrative assistant by the academy but he later began teaching classes unsupervised to about 80-100 children. The commission found the trustees had failed to safeguard pupils as young as 11 who were shown videos created by the Islamic State group. BBC News Civil Society CAMPAIGNS Retailers missing out on revenue by overlooking disabled Disability charity Purple says retailers could be missing out on “millions of pounds in revenue” by failing to take the needs of disabled shoppers into account. Research by Purple found that two-thirds of disabled shoppers in the UK have struggled to make a purchase at some point, with most of these people repeatedly coming up against obstacles. Four-fifths of disabled people surveyed said businesses could do more to be accessible. Purple CEO Mike Adams said: “By turning their backs on disabled shoppers, businesses are losing out on millions of pounds of revenue every year. Small changes can make a big difference.” The I The Scotsman No respite for unpaid carers, warns charity A charity says 4m unpaid carers have likely not had a proper break in five years. Research from Carers UK found that 54% of those looking after loved ones were unable to take a break. Half of the 1,000 people polled by the charity said that if they got a break they would spend it catching up on sleep, whilst a third said they would use it to see a doctor about their own health. Freedom of Information data shows that in the last two years eight in 10 of local councils have cut funding that would allow carers to have a break. Carers UK wants the government to double the money handed to local authorities. Daily Mirror Two-in-five patients don’t have visitors Two-fifths (40%) of patients on UK hospital wards get no visitors, say the NHS nurses who care for them. The Royal Voluntary Service charity commissioned a poll of 200 nurses working in acute hospitals in Britain. As well as being socially isolated, having no visitor to help with the "small" things, such as cutting up food or refilling a water glass, can delay a patient's recovery, the nurses say. They want more people to become volunteer visitors and helpers. BBC News The Daily Telegraph Daily Express Daily Mirror The Sun OTHER Blackpool park is voted UK’s best Just days after being voted the best in England, a Blackpool park has now been named the best in the UK. The Grade II-listed Stanley Park, which opened in 1926, beat 364 parks and green spaces in a public vote organised by the charity Fields in Trust. The win received praise from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who tweeted their congratulations. John Blackledge, director of community and environmental services at Blackpool Council, said it was all down to hard work from staff and volunteers. BBC News ​​​​​Back to Charity Times archive >>

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