At Sowerby, we are experienced with the issues and challenges faced by charity trustees, especially the intense scrutiny to which their finances can be subjected. Charities must keep rigorous records to show that donations are used ethically. Our partners can take the pressure off you with reliable and thorough accountancy services.


We are always happy to advise on any issue that you would like to discuss. Below are the key areas where we can offer expertise.

Legal Structure

A charitable or other not-for-profit organisation may be set up in many different ways.


It is important that the legal structure that is chosen for your organisation is appropriate to its nature, aims and objectives.


We can offer advice if you are thinking of setting up a not-for-profit and would like help in deciding the most suitable legal structure to use.


Gift Aid

Gift Aid is an income tax relief that can be claimed by charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) on monetary donations given by UK-taxpaying individuals.


There are certain requirements in terms of obtaining donor declarations and record-keeping in order for Gift Aid to be claimed properly.


Various guidance can be found from the HMRC website:


We can provide advice and guidance on the practicalities of obtaining declarations, record-keeping, and claiming Gift Aid.  We can also make the Gift Aid claims on your behalf.



Good governance is essential to the success and good reputation of any organisation, while poor governance can result in poor practices leading to high profile adverse events.


At Sowerby, we have a ‘Governance Health Checklist’ tool which can be tailored, and is intended for you to use to assess your effectiveness in running your organisation. This is by no means an exhaustive list of questions that trustees could ask, but it might provide a starting point on which to build and refine, according to your particular circumstances.


Risk Management

It is imperative that trustees take risk management seriously, develop a risk management policy, and review the policy and the identified risks regularly.


An effective risk management approach includes the identification of risks, an assessment of the impact should the event occur, taking steps to reduce the risk of the event’s occurrence, and finally planning how to deal with the consequences should the event occur.


We can advise in developing a tailored approach for your organisation to manage risk and help should any unidentified risk event occur.

The following is a summary of our main services to this sector, but we may be able to provide other services and are happy to discuss bespoke packages.



Preparation of your annual accounts in a format that complies with legislation and recommended practice for your particular type of organisation.


Presentation of those accounts to the trustees or directors, to ensure that they are fully understood.



We can provide a bookkeeping service and prepare monthly or quarterly management accounts so that you are kept up to date with your organisation’s financial performance.



Our payroll bureau provides a comprehensive payroll processing service, including compliance with auto-enrolment legislation.



We can provide various other services to suit your requirements.  These include:


  • Help with applying for grant funding
  • Providing monitoring or other reports for grant funders
  • Cash flow forecasts

We have a large number of clients in this sector, and as such there is a large amount of data at our disposal which allows us to help our clients and their businesses very effectively. We at Sowerby can provide a detailed benchmarking service to review the performance of your business against hundreds of others in the same sector.


Needless to say, benchmarking is carried out without jeopardising confidentiality.


Our Charity and Other Not-For-Profit Organisation Sector Specialists

Whether you are looking for a new accountant or simply would like a second opinion on your business, we offer a free initial meeting consultation on an absolutely no obligation basis with one of our industry specialists.

For further information contact one of our specialists:

Patrick Scargill

Stephen Bootyman

Ruth Phillips

Adrian Allen

Stewart Scargill



If you would like help from the Sowerby team, please fill in the form below and we will be in touch.