The Charity Commission and ACCA have signed a data-sharing agreement which “facilitates the referral of concerns about accountancy services provided to charities”.
Following the agreement, the Charity Commission can now refer cases of poor professional practice by accountants and finance professionals to ACCA.
The move comes as part of the regulator’s wider work with the accountancy and audit profession, which aims to “raise the standard of financial reporting by charities and encouraging the highest professional standards amongst practitioners working with the charity sector”.
The agreement will also establish a “process for sharing information that is lawful, safe and secure, and more generally provides a framework for closer working between the two bodies, both at strategic and operational levels”.
The commission will now be able to share details about individual ACCA members with their professional body, while ACCA can “ultimately institute disciplinary proceedings” against a member. The agreement will also allow ACCA to share information with the regulator.
Nigel Davies, head of accountancy services at the Charity Commission, said: “I am delighted that we now have this clear framework in place, which will help both the Commission and ACCA better serve the public interest by promoting high standards of accountancy practice in and for charities.
“We expect finance professionals working for charities to display both probity and high standards of professional expertise and competence.”
He added: “Sadly, some of our recent accountancy reviews indicate that some finance professionals are unaware of important changes to rules on accounting, the requirements for independent examination and some of the reporting duties for those examining or auditing in charities.
“I am confident that by working together, ACCA and the Commission will raise the standards of the profession and the awareness of charity accounting to assist charities to thrive and inspire trust.”
Laura Murphy, standards manager of ACCA, said: “Signing this agreement reaffirms our strong commitment to working with the Charity Commission. The new agreement builds on the firm foundations established between our organisations.
“Through this partnership, ACCA aims to support our members working in the charity sector to uphold the highest of ethical and professional standards, meet their statutory responsibilities and act in the public interest.”