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CFG’s IT Conference 2013

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April 4, 2013 at 11:25

CFG’s IT Conference 2013 was held at Inmarsat in Old Street on 21st March. Topics covered included: The Cloud, Outsourcing, Cyber-risk, CRM initiatives and Working Remotely. 139 delegates networked with exhibitors on 15 stands including Eduserv and ThankQ. Professor Nigel Shadbolt, from the University of Southampton, gave the Opening Plenary on the challenges of Open Data – the publication of information that organisations, governments and charities hold. When we interviewed him he explained that the importance of publishing it in a way that has three fundamental features: “it is on the web; it is available to re-use for anybody with […]

Delayed reaction: what difference do Budget measures make to charities?

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April 3, 2013 at 11:27

As we toured the country last week, meeting over 200 charities to discuss Budget 2013, we were met by experts and charities that were, on the whole, underwhelmed by the contents of the red box. Top-line concerns stemmed from the macro-economic outlook, with the overarching narrative continuing to be one of austerity and restrained growth.  Fiscal neutrality, government cuts, erosion of real wages, low interest rates, variable inflation, and a shift to unconventional monetary policy tools – unfamiliar concepts five years ago – are now increasingly embedded as part of the ‘new normal’ as the country pushes forward with Plan […]

What we’d like from George tomorrow

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March 19, 2013 at 18:33

Tomorrow the Chancellor has the unenviable task of delivering the budget.  It’s not just the contents of the infamous red box that will be revealed at 12.30, we’ll also hear the Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) prognosis for the economy and the public finances – and their judgement about whether the Government is on course to meet its medium-term fiscal objective. The OBR is expected to further downgrade growth forecasts and a triple-dip recession is a high possibility. With the Chancellor’s justification for his economic programme so far – that it would enable us to keep our stellar AAA credit […]

Why high earners give – evidencing decisions

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March 18, 2013 at 18:58

The question of why people give is much-debated amongst those with an interest in charity funding – is it intrinsic altruism, a connection to a cause, a sense of duty? While personal experience and past successes are often the basis of fundraising decisions, there’s nothing like evidence and insight to provide comfort that a judgement is right. As charities struggle financially, understanding and tapping into people’s reasons for giving, particularly of those who can most afford to do so, can ensure continuity of service to those beneficiaries most in need.  That’s why last week’s research by New Philanthropy Capital into […]

Real Time Information: are you ready for the changes to payroll?

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March 18, 2013 at 11:09

The start of the new tax year will bring with it significant changes to the way PAYE is administered. The big question for employers is – have you been paying attention? Susan Ball, director of the Employers Advisory Group at national tax, audit and advisory firm Crowe Clark Whitehill runs through the changes coming under Real Time Information (RTI) PAYE reporting system.   HMRC wrote to all employers in early 2013 to let them know their RTI migration date. For most this is likely to be the next payment run after 06 April 2013.  What is RTI? RTI is more […]

De-regulation for the sake of it?

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March 14, 2013 at 12:10

The Government’s ‘red tape challenge’ sounds like some sort of physical assault course; conjuring images of hapless workers wading through paperwork, red tape tied round their ankles, tripping over giant copies of the tax code and stumbling into open filing cabinets spilling over with old employment contracts.  Underneath the rhetoric, the implication is that the current state of ‘regulation’ hinders business and innovation; the Government wants us to tell them what bits to scrap.  Unless talking about bankers, the idea that regulation is a catalyst for fair business is all but lost.  This is despite the fact that we have […]

Transforming financial leadership – improving through improvisation

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March 12, 2013 at 15:56

When I tell people what my job is there can be a tendency for their eyes to glaze over a bit, and I can see them imagining a fairly routine (possibly dull) working life.  However  minutes into the conversation I’ve usually got their full attention and lots of questions when  I tell them that I work with fantastic people who are passionate about their causes and who want to make charities as a whole function better, to be more efficient, to make better choices and above all to  make a difference.  So why is it that finance professionals continue to […]

A pensions palaver

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March 7, 2013 at 18:16

Charity pensions have made headlines in numerous guises of late.  Before Christmas we had the story of People Can, a charity that went insolvent under the weight of its pensions deficits. In the new year, Barnardos announced plans to consult on its future pension plans and just this week we had the collapse of the NAVCA and Community Matters merger talks.  The common thread here relates to the long-term affordability of defined benefit  pension schemes. Charities are facing a situation common to all employers with pension obligations. Poor market returns, low gilt yields, creeping regulation and lengthening life expectancy have […]

How hungry are you? Re-thinking your charity’s risk appetite might be a chance worth taking

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February 22, 2013 at 11:56

Does your charity have a fully-functioning ‘risk strategy’? Is it integrated into the decision-making process at all levels throughout your organisation? No? Fear not, for you’re not alone – in fact, you’re far from it.  When a similar question was asked at Crowe Clark Whitehill’s 2013 INGO Conference last week, not a single hand was raised. However, an informative session by Pesh Framjee of CCW and Gaynor Miller of Christian Aid, highlighted why, at a time when charities are having to innovate to survive and the one constant is change, rethinking approach to risk is arguably more important than ever […]

Countdown to Charities Online: Gift Aid – Are your plans in place?

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February 4, 2013 at 15:44

Tania Cohen gives her take on the big changes in Gift Aid due this Spring… The changes From April 2013 a new system for claiming Gift Aid repayments will start replacing the current R68(i) claim process. The “print and post” repayment form will be replaced with three new options for charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs to claim payments, with the options available largely based on the size of the claims. Submitting claims electronically will have a range of benefits. Claims will get processed quicker, while saving postal costs. The new service will be more accurate, with built-in checks that will […]