Trustees' week 2017

Nov 17, 2017
By Níall Fitzgerald, Head of Ethics and Governance, Chartered Accountants Ireland

Members may be aware that this week, 13th to 17th of November 2017, is Trustees' week.  Chartered Accountants Ireland is pleased to join with the Charities Regulatory Authority, the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland and other associations in using this week to highlight the merits of charity trusteeship. This is particularly relevant for our profession, given the number of members involved with charities across the island.  Through Trustees' Week, new and existing resources have been released by the regulator and various organisations to enable and support trustees in performance of their important role. Also congratulations to the winners of and all those involved in the Community, Voluntary and Charitable organisations Good Governance Awards in Republic of Ireland last night and best of luck to all those involved in the upcoming Third Sector Leadership and Good Governance awards in Northern Ireland.

Recognising Trustees

On behalf of the Institute, I would like to join in the appreciation of the work of trustees and volunteers who get involved in good causes. We especially extend our gratitude and admiration to all our members who get involved and acknowledge the valuable contribution they make in applying their professional skills and integrity as individuals and as Chartered Accountants.  Indeed, we at the Institute see Trustees' Week as a fit time to thank and pay tribute to the hundreds of volunteers on committees, societies, special interest groups as well as elected members of council for their commitment to our very own not for profit organisation, Chartered Accountants Ireland.  Without your support we could not function.

Proportionate regulation

There can be no doubting the important role our profession plays from a governance, ethics, financial reporting and auditing perspective to ensure confidence in the charity/not-for-profit sector and support accountability to donors, beneficiaries and other stakeholders. Chartered Accountants Ireland will continue to support initiatives and resources that empower charitable and not for profit organisations to achieve their charitable purpose effectively with integrity, transparency and efficiency. We are supportive of sensible and measured regulation in this sector including guidance and events that facilitate the efficient and effective implementation of suitable (and proportionate) compliance measures for organisations of all sizes in the sector.

Supporting our trustees

Over recent years, the Institute has placed more emphasis on supporting our members involved as trustees / directors of charities / not-for-profits, and have more resources available to help them be as effective as possible.  Relevant initiatives include:

  • The Ethics and Governance Committee in Chartered Accountants Ireland is active in directing a number of projects that will support ethical decision making and good governance across all sectors including charities and not-for-profits. For example, this week the Institute is in Cork, Dublin and Galway to complete the last of our Focus groups on Ethics and Governance in the sector.  I would like to thank all members of boards and executives of charitable and not-for-profit organisations (members and non-members) across the island of Ireland who volunteered to participate and share their insights.
  • The next edition of Accountancy Ireland will have an Ethics and Governance focus with a piece on Charities and not-for-profits.
  • The Trustees of Chartered Accountants Ireland Educational Trust funded research that led to recent production of a book entitled “Charity Accounting and Reporting” by Hyndman et al and published by Chartered Accountants Ireland.
  • The Practice Consulting team in the Institute are very active providing support to Chartered Accountant firms, including production of Procedures for Quality Audit (PQAs) for Charities across the island.Range of CPD events relevant for the sector
    The Chartered Accountants Ireland’s Charity and not–for-profit Group consistently provides support, guidance and advice.

    How you can help

    We would like to further support our members who are involved as trustees/directors on boards of charity and not-for-profit organisations (of all sizes) across the country. We would be delighted to hear from you and if you would join our mailing list please complete your details in the webform here.

    Finally, on behalf of the President of Chartered Accountants Ireland, Council, Chief Executive and staff, we say well done to all involved in Trustees' week and for the great work that takes place in this sector all year round. 

    Níall Fitzgerald,
    Head of Ethics and Governance