By Andrew Holt

Finance Count 2013, the sector’s leading financial management benchmarking study, has been launched by Agenda Consulting and Charity Finance Group.

Over 140 organisations of different sizes and sub-sectors have participated over the past three years of the study, which benchmarks each charity’s finance function against a customised group of other participants, as well as the sector as a whole.

This year’s study takes the form of a new, streamlined questionnaire, focusing on key financial management metrics, and aims to enable organisations to pinpoint key improvement opportunities and areas of concern.

Caron Bradshaw, CEO of CFG, said: “Benchmarking is increasingly important in the sector.

"We have worked hard this year with Agenda Consulting to ensure that Finance Count captures the most relevant, meaningful and worthwhile information for charities today, ensuring that it offers a cost-effective opportunity for organisations to explore how their management and performance compares with their peers. This is an invaluable service to any organisation in a period of adaptation.”

A CFG member who recently participated in the study commented: “Benchmarking ourselves against others has given us a better sense of where we are, and where we need to improve.”

Finance Count 2012 provided detailed insight into how charities are reacting to the current economic climate and where they could make efficiency savings. It demonstrated:

Where charities were top performers, such as in the area of credit repayment, leading to significant benefits to these organisations when negotiating costs.
Where there were common issues across the sector, such as balancing income and total costs when delivering public service contracts.

Which areas of the finance function were being prioritised by different organisations seeking to adapt to the changing environment.

Kate Sayer, partner at Sayer Vincent said: “Rather than being part of an admin cost, finance functions should be focussing on how they contribute value to the organisation. This study helps them to identify how they can do more to add value.”

Home     More News

Other stories you may find of interest:

Sector welcomes Nick Hurd's interim response to Lord Hodgson
The sector has welcomed Nick Hurd's interim response to Lord Hodgson’s review of the 2006 Charities Act. In his letter the minister for Civil Society applauds the work of Lord Hodgson, which has also been praised by charities. Hurd has chosen not to accept the controversial proposal to make it easier to pay trustees but all the other proposals he categorises as ‘green’ or ‘amber’.

Lord Hodgson: the sector verdict
The sector has broadly welcomed Lord Hodgson’s Charities Act review report, Trusted and Independent: Giving charity back to charities, and its underlying focus on reducing red tape for the sector while maintaining public trust and confidence in charities. Though the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) suggested that while the report gets it right on most counts there are some ‘jarring notes’.

Charity Commission finds against Needy Children International Foundation
The Charity Commission in its inquiry into the Needy Children International Foundation, a charity set up to rehabilitate young offenders and relieve poverty and sickness abroad, found against the charity, citing that only 21% of the charity’s income was spent on charitable activities. The charity, which has since been wound-up, was connected to a number of individuals previously involved in improper fundraising activities.

Has your investment manager downgraded your service?

February-March 2014: Trustees & CEO Pay

Trustees came under the spotlight last year because of their reluctance to defend
the salaries of their chief executives. The sector has since offered trustees opportunities to learn from the experience. It is an opportunity they must take, argues Andrew Holt

December/January 2013-14: Impact Leadership

Tris Lumley takes the reader on an in-depth journey analysing impact
leadership, arguing that impact starts with leadership

August/September 2013 Cover Story: Revisiting the Big Society

Andrew Holt searches through the maze that is the Big Society for meaning

June/July 2013 Cover Story: Testing times, big opportunities

Contrasting sector evidence suggests the fundraising environment is tougher than it has ever been while other data suggests it is indeed tough but equally ripe with opportunity. Hugh Wilson unravels the debate

This website is a part of Perspective Publishing Limited, registered in England No 2876166.
By using this website you agree to our COOKIE POLICY and PRIVACY POLICY.