Coronavirus: Regulator updates guidance to include details on finances and reserves

The Charity Commission has updated its advice on coronavirus to include a section about finances and reserves.

The advice, which was initially published by the regulator last week, now tells charities reserves can be spent to help cope with issues caused by the pandemic.

It also states charities should think about whether certain projects, spends or activities should be stopped or delayed in order to focus on ‘essential spending’.
“All decisions on such financial matters should normally be taken collectively, and significant decisions and action points noted in writing,” the regulator said.

It also advised trustees to identify which funds or assets have limits on their use and to re-prioritise where necessary.

The regulator has also urged charities to ‘carefully consider’ the wider and longer-term impacts of accessing or releasing restricted funds on the charity’s financial resilience and donor relationships. It said releasing these funds should only be considered when options such as reserves are not possible.

“We want to assure charities that our approach to regulation during this uncertain period will be as flexible and pragmatic as possible in the public interest, whilst helping trustees to be aware of and think about the wider or longer impact of their decisions on their charity,” the regulator said.

You can read the full advice here.

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