Detailed guidance

SORP charity accounts and reports: what you need to know

A SORP is a Statement of Recommended Practice. SORPs provide recommendations for accounting and reporting, in particular, how accounting standards should be applied in the context of particular sectors and how to account for sector specific transactions. SORPs aim to provide consistency of accounting treatment within a particular sector.

About the Charities SORP

The Charities SORP applies to charities generally in the UK unless a more specific SORP applies (such as for the Further and Higher Education sector or Registered Social Landlords).

The SORP provides a comprehensive framework of recommended practice for charity accounting and reporting. It provides a mechanism enabling charities to meet the legal requirement for their accounts to give a true and fair view and provides consistency in the sector's interpretation of accounting standards. The SORP also provides recommendations for annual reporting that are relevant to sector and stakeholders needs and are in line with wider developments in reporting.

  • The Charities SORP 2005 - the full text of the SORP, plus our guidance, information sheets and other resources to help practitioners preparing charity accounts.

The requirements of the law and accounting standards exist irrespective of the SORP. The SORP's contribution is to provide a consistent interpretation of these standards and, moreover, one that has been specifically developed for the sector and with sector involvement at each stage of its development.

This podcast guidance from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) includes a discussion of the accounting treatment in the SORP for contract income, grant income and the accrual of multi-year grant commitments.

The ASB has issued a new consultation in 2012 on the future of UK accounting and for more information view the SORP Committee page.

The Framework

If you need to know when you must prepare an annual report and accounts, or the financial thresholds for having the accounts externally audited or examined, or the filing of your report and accounts with the Charity Commission, please refer to:

For the framework in earlier years see our archived guidance.

SORP development

The Statement of Recommended Practice: Accounting and Reporting by Charities is developed by the Charity Commission and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator in collaboration with the SORP Committee. The SORP applies to charities preparing accounts on an accruals basis and does not apply to charities preparing accounts on a receipts and payments basis. A new draft SORP was approved by the FRC in May 2013 for consultation. A SORP micro-site is in development to support this consultation which is anticipated to begin in July 2013 and last for four months.

If you would like to learn about who is serving on that Committee or learn more about the development of the new draft SORP and the issues that the Committee has been considering, including the research programme being undertaken, please see the SORP Committee page.

Other reporting issues and guidance

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