When is a qualification a bad thing?

I have noticed that the annual accounts of several Leeds charities are showing as qualified on the Charity Commission website. Good news for Leeds?

women in graduation gown
Great! I hear you proclaim, fully trained up graduates, officially qualified accounts – what greater manifestation of our professional approach than recognition by the Charity Commission?

But hold on – when your accounts are qualified by your independent examiner it is not a good thing.  It shows that the examiner has noticed something which makes him / her believe that the accounting records have not been properly kept, or the accounts do not match up with the records or are not properly presented.  The full reasons for the qualification will be stated in the Examiner’s Report which forms part of your accounts.

So why all the qualifications now?  We at WYCAS suspect that a new box has been added to the Charity Commission return, which you tick if your accounts have been qualified.  A number of charities seem to be ticking this box by mistake.  (It is not asking if you have had your accounts examined – but if they’ve been qualified.) Clearly it presents a bad impression if it looks as though your charity’s accounts were qualified, so please take care when completing your return…. And double check the information for your charity is correct on the Charity Commission website http://apps.charitycommission.gov.uk/showcharity/registerofcharities/RegisterHomePage.aspx
Enter your charity’s name or number on the left hand side of the page.

(And yes, that picture is me receiving my graduation qualification, many moons ago!)

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