The FRC and the Charity Commission (CC) have taken the first steps towards accepting digital accounts from charities in an effort to reduce administration and make the data more accessible, according to Financial Director.
The two bodies are consulting on conventions for the electronic tagging of charity accounts. The consultation closes on 8 December after which the taxonomy will be finalised.
Currently 70 per cent of companies file digital accounts with Companies House. The commission wants to enable charities to do the same, making it easier and quicker for those charities that have to file with both organisations.
In addition anyone using digital accounts will be able to extract the information that they want and analyse it more efficiently.
Those charities filing tax returns with HMRC will also benefit from having the option of digital filing when submitting supporting accounting information.
“If we can make filing digital accounts possible this will reduce administration for many charities whilst also opening up charity data not just for us but for those with a keen interest in sector trends and data,” said Nigel Davies, head of accountancy services from the Charity Commission.
“The charity taxonomy is a type of digital data dictionary which defines the computer-readable tags that identify individual items of financial data in charity accounts for electronic filing and for other analytical purposes. This could also potentially simplify the submission of the annual return in the future by automatically using the computer readable information contained in the digital filing of tagged accounts.”
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