News & Blog


More than 100 charity trustees and professionals attended our Charity Seminar to gain insights on meeting increasingly stringent regulations facing the sector.

Run by our specialist Charities and Not for Profit Team, the annual seminar is designed to give Thomas Westcott charity clients additional access to our knowledge and expertise. The event, which was held at Westpoint Arena near Exeter on 7th November, included a range of presentations on topics relating to governance, reporting obligations, external examinations and investments.

Steve Cresswell, Partner and Head of the Charities and Not for Profit team, chaired the event. He said: “The charity sector has never been under greater scrutiny. A series of high profile media stories, involving safeguarding issues or financial impropriety, have made the public increasingly cynical about charities. 

“The Charity Commission, the sector’s regulatory body, has responded by introducing new regulations and processes to make the sector more accountable. More information on charities is in the public domain than ever before, so errors in reporting finances can result in serious reputational damage. There is no doubt that the not for profit sector faces more public scrutiny than the corporate sector. This event was designed to provide our clients with the latest information on compliance and financial reporting.”

The morning event began with Director Tom Stuckey sharing practical tips on filing annual returns and related reporting obligations. Directors Cat Williams and Adam Croney explored a number of Charity Commission enquiries, illustrating when things have gone wrong. Alan Sanders, a member of the Audit and Assurance team, explained how an external examination can help a charity and Chartered Financial Planner Simon Lake shared his insights on tracking investments.

Our Charity and Not for Profit team includes several specialists who hold the prestigious Diploma in Charity Accounting qualification. Thomas Westcott has in excess of 400 charity clients, ranging from small local not for profits run entirely by trustees to large regional charities. In addition to our annual Charity Seminar, we also publish a charity newsletter and provide workshops on topical issues to help trustees understand their responsibilities.

Steve Cresswell added: “It was fantastic to have such a great turnout for this event and to have the opportunity to meet so many of our clients – old and new. Here at Thomas Westcott we are committed to the region’s charities and these events are just one way in which we support the not for profit sector.”

For further advice on this matter, please do not hesitate to contact the Charities & Not for Profit Team or your local Thomas Westcott Office.