We produce occasional in depth bulletins and updates for clients who subscribe to the Kubernesis Charity Advice Service and Prof Gareth Morgan is also frequently requested to contribute articles to external publications.  This page includes a range of Kubernesis Bulletins and some other articles which we are pleased to make available.

Different Kinds of Charity Trusteeship In responses to a number of queries from clients about the differences between charity trustees and holding trustees in an unincorporated charity and charity trustees of a CIO, we have produced an explanatory chart which may be helpful. This can be freely used so long as the source is acknowledged. The details are specific to trustees of charities in England and Wales but the principles may also be useful elsewhere.

Charities Bill for England and Wales Our evidence submitted to the House of Lords Special Public Bill Committee on the new Charities Bill follows from the seminar we held in July 2021 with a number of Kubernesis clients.  Arising from this, Prof Gareth Morgan was asked to give oral evidence to the Committee on 19 October 2021: the formal transcript of the session is now available on the Parliament website.

EU Exit and Charity Beneficiaries Kubernesis Bulletin 2020-09 (PDF 2 pages) explains some of the key changes that will arise when Brexit is actually implemented from 1 January 2021, and calls for charities to focus on supporting their beneficiaries/service users.

Charity AGMs and Members’ Meetings during Coronavirus Kubernesis Bulletin 2020-08 (PDF 4 pages) seeks to explain many of the legal issues around holding meetings at this time, including the special 2020 legislation to allow online meetings for companies, CIOs and SCIOs. It includes some specific on holding such meetings on Zoom including voting processes. (Note that the 30 Sept 2020 deadline mentioned in the Bulletin was  extended to 30 Dec 2020 and has now been further extended to 30 March 2021.)

Charity Catering – VAT and more Kubernesis Bulletin 2020-07 (PDF 2 pages). The reduction of the VAT rate to 5% on catering and hospitality from July 2020 (until Jan 2021) and the ‘eat out to help out scheme’ offer extensive opportunities for charity-run cafes and bars, as explained in this Bulletin.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Issues for Charities Kubernesis Bulletin 2020-04 (PDF 3 pages).  Charities who have staff on their payroll who cannot be used during the Covid-19 crisis can potentially place them on ‘furlough’ and reclaim 80% of their salary costs from HMRC (up to a limit). This Bulletin gave an overview of how the scheme works based on our understanding as at 19.4.2020 (the day before the scheme went live for applications).  We included comments on our interpretation of a number of charity-specific issues – but please note that the Government subsequently clarified that an employee on furlough cannot do voluntary work for their employer even where the employer is a charity. However, the example at the end of the Bulletin was about voluntary work with a beneficiary of the charity, rather than volunteering for the charity itself.

Quick approaches to seeking income electronically – for charities normally having substantial income from cash gifts Kubernesis Bulletin 2020-02 (PDF 4 pages). During the Covid-19 Coronavirus crisis, charities normally dependent on significant levels of cash giving on their premises are seeing a big drop income – especially: churches, museums and galleries and many more.  This bulletin looks at why people may still wish to give while the charity’s building is closed, how to commmunicate clearly, and gives some practical suggestions on other methods of giving that can be swiftly established.

The UK Budget 2020 and Coronavirus Kubernesis Bulletin 2020-01 (PDF 3 pages). This bulletin offers some reflections (rather than technical advice) on issues for charities arising from the 2020 UK Budget and the linked issue of the Covid-19 Coronavirus crisis.  On Coronavirus we argue that decisions must follow the core principles of charity governance, and must put beneficiaries at the forefront. (All comments are at the date this was written: Budget day, 11 March 2020.)

Leaving the EU: One year to go – Action for Charities Kubernesis Bulletin 2018-02(PDF 4 pages). From 29 March 2018 it is exactly 12 months until the UK formally leaves the EU.  We believe there are massive issues for charities in terms of the impact on society and hence on beneficiaries/service users.  We suggest this needs to be on the agenda for every trustees meeting and offer 10 key questions to help discussions.

Conversion of charitable companies and CICs to CIOs Kubernesis Bulletin 2017-03 (PDF 4 pages).  From 1 January 2018 it is possible for a charitable company in England & Wales to convert directly to become a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) and from September 2018 it will also be possible for a community interest company (CIC) to convert directly to a CIO.  This Bulletin explains the processes – including the equivalent process for a Scottish charitable company to convert to a SCIO – and how Kubernesis can help.

Leaving the EU: What it means for charities Kubernesis Bulletin 2016-06.   (PDF 4 pages). This Bulletin includes some reflections on the next steps following the outcome of the EU Referendum on 23 June 2016, clarifying the formal stages ahead and some of the specific implications for charities across the UK.  Please note that it was written to be issued less than a week after the referendum: as time goes on the issues and circumstances may change.

The Charities (Protection & Social Investment Act 2016 Kubernesis Bulletin 2016-02 (PDF 3 pages).

A No Nonsense Guide to the New 2015 Charities SORPs Kubernesis Bulletin 2015-06 (PDF 5 pages).

The End of Charity?  In December 2015 Gareth Morgan was invited to give a valedictory lecture at Sheffield Hallam University before stepping down as Professor of Charity Studies. He raised eight fundamental issues which, he argued, could lead to the end of charitable status as we know it in England and Wales if not addressed. We are grateful to the University for allowing the booklet of the lecture to be reproduced here. (PDF 1.3Mb 28 pages)

Proposed withdrawal of FRSSE and FRSSE SORP and SORP Update Bulletin Consultation Response. Professor Gareth Morgan responded in September 2015 to the SORP Committee Consultation on the proposed withdrawal (from Jan 2016) of the FRSSE and the FRSSE SORP and the associated Update Bulletin which would extend the FRS102 SORP to smaller charities.  In his he expressed major concerns regarding the impact on smaller charities subject to the SORPs.  (He draws both on his academic work and his work with Kubernesis clients.)

SORP 2015 Now in Force! Kubernesis Bulletin2015-02 (PDF 2 pages)

Proposed Increase in Charity Audit Threshold Kubernesis Bulletin 2015-01 (PDF 1 page)

Cabinet Office’s Consultation on Increasing the Upper Limit for Independent Examination of a Charity’s Accounts to £1M Income Consultation Response Professor Gareth Morgan in his response supported the increase, but also made a strong call for removal of the confusing ‘asset test’ which can sometimes force a charity into audit even though its income is well below the normal audit threshold. (The response is drafted from the perspective of his academic work, but also draws on his extensive experience of acting as an independent examiner (IE) to various Kubernesis clients and advising others who act as IEs.) Note: This increase was implemented for charities in England and Wales for financial years ending on or after 31 March 2015, but the ‘asset test’ was not removed.

End of Year Roundup of Charity Issues – A note at the end of 2014 covering: The 2015 Charities SORPs, the Draft Protection of Charities Bill for England & Wales and some charity-specific observations on the Chancellor’s Autumn StatementKubernesis Bulletin 2014-07 (PDF 3 pages)

Professor Gareth Morgan contributed to the Parliamentary Joint Committee regarding the Draft Protection of Charities Bill. This is his written submission raising broad comments about the Bill.  For a transcript of the session on 25 November 2014 when he was called to give evidence, see the Parliament website (he was questioned alongside Prof Debra Morris of Liverpool University, and following earlier questions by the Committee to Sir Stuart Etherington of NCVO).

Converting a Charitable Trust to a CIO Kubernesis Bulletin 2014-01 (PDF 5 pages)

The Autumn Statement 2013 – Issues for Charities Kubernesis Bulletin 2013-06 (PDF 3 Pages)

SORP Consultation 2013 – In summer/autumn 2013, the Charity Commission and OSCR held a major consultation on the new standard for charity accounting due to take effect from January 2015.  The Kubernesis response to the consultation highlights many key issues for small/medium charities and draws on the opinions expressed at the seminar we held in October 2013. (PDF 9 pages)

New Charities SORP published for comment Kubernesis Bulletin 2013-03 (PDF 4 pages)

We put our faith in UK charities… but now we must sort them out – opinion article by Gareth Morgan published in the Yorkshire Post June 2013 (link to external site).

Budget 2013 Update for Charities Kubernesis Bulletin 2013-01 (PDF 3 pages)

Charitable Incorporated Organisations: The Reality Kubernesis Bulletin 2012-09 (PDF 5 pages)

Charity Regulation Update for England & Wales: Autumn 2012 Kubernesis Bulletin 2012-06 (PDF 5 pages)

Budget 2012 update for charities.  Kubernesis Bulletin 2012-03 (PDF 3 pages)  Note that the Chancellor has now abandoned the proposed limit on Gift Aid donations mentioned in this Bulletin, but other points remain relevant.

Charities Act 2011 – what it means in practice. Kubernesis Bulletin 2012-01 (PDF 2 pages)

Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations (SCIOs) – Implementation confirmed from 1 April 2011. Read Gareth Morgan’s briefing note here (PDF 3 pages 101Kb).

The 2010 Spending Review – What does it mean for charities? Read Gareth Morgan’s article here (PDF 6 pages 135Kb).

The Spirit of Charity – Gareth Morgan’s inaugural professorial lecture at Sheffield Hallam University in April 2008 following his designation as Professor of Charity Studies in July 2007.

Cross-Border Charities – read Gareth Morgan’s article in Charity Finance magazine (April 2007) on the issues for charities registered both with the Charity Commission for England and Wales and with OSCR in Scotland (PDF 1 page).

Analysis of Community Accountancy Services in England and Strategic Implicationsreport of research project (2006) at Sheffield Hallam University, led by Gareth Morgan and colleagues.

Professor Gareth G Morgan has also published much more on charity accounting, regulations and wider issues in connection with his former work as Professor of Charity Studies (and now as a Professor Emeritus) in the Centre for Voluntary Sector Research at Sheffield Hallam University – see his entry on the SHU research database.  For details of his books (which can be ordered from Kubernesis) see the publications page on this site. You can also follow his comments on  Twitter on a wide range of charity issues and events.

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