Charity Finance Week: how Liverpool charities are bucking the trend on finance reporting

Maxine Ennis, Chief Executive of The Rotunda

In May this year, Capacity appointed Sarah Morris as its Finance Manager to oversee internal finances as well as to offer an affordable financial function service to local charities and VCSEs, for whom finance is not their area of expertise.

So far, Sarah has worked closely with The Rotunda, a community-led charity that provides alternative education, health and welfare support in the Liverpool City Region and Catalyst Choices, an organisation which provides supported living, specialist community centres and learning support for adults and children with learning disabilities.

At The Rotunda, Sarah conducted a thorough review of their accounting software and financial processes, the result of which have been changes that have increased staff capacity, improved the quality of their financial modelling and reporting and the development of their business model to be more robust in the long-term. Most importantly, it has allowed the organisation to focus on what they do best - delivering impactful community services.

Sarah’s work with The Rotunda is in direct response to their proactive approach to finance. Maxine Ennis, Chief Executive, told us how there were a number of factors which led to bringing Sarah on board, including the publication of reports such as the Charity Commission’s accounts monitoring review last month, the sector’s changing landscape, Brexit and the reputational repercussions from charities such as Kids Company, who were liquidated in 2015. Maxine highlights how smaller charities are now under more scrutiny from regulators, meaning Sarah’s work is particularly crucial in the current climate.

Maxine also said,

“Sarah is an approachable figure who has become part of the Rotunda family. Importantly, she “doesn’t speak Accountancy at us,” instead she works with the team to ensure that everybody fully understands the processes and decisions behind her work.

Sarah reflected on her recent work with The Rotunda and Catalyst Choices,

Having been qualified for over ten years, I have an array of knowledge that I can apply to the third sector. In my work with charities and CICs, I have been able to improve the accuracy of their accounts, remove inefficiencies, improve controls and provide financial modelling, which allows them to focus better on their core objectives.

If Capacity’s financial services are something your organisation could benefit from, please contact development@capacitylab.co.uk for more information.

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