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Accounting & Audit Requirements for Group Districts, Counties/Areas & Scottish Regions

Introduction

The Association’s guidance has been revised to be more consistent with the charity regulators. However,
the Association has a few additional rules which apply to Scout Groups, Districts and
Counties/Areas/Regions. These are set out in Appendix 1 and relate to the External Examination of
accounts.

This document reflects the Charity Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP), other guidance, and
forms part of The Scout Association Policy, Organisation & Rules (POR).

The SORP determines how Charities’ accounts are presented. This includes such areas as the layout of
the Statement of Financial Activities and of the Balance Sheet, how to account for charitable activities
undertaken, support costs and governance costs. They also determine the contents of the Trustees’ Annual Report for the year. Related specimen reports and accounts, are available on www.scouts.org.uk.

The regulatory and legislative background slightly difference in England & Wales, Scotland and Northern
Ireland (The Charity Commission for England & Wales, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) and The Charity Commissioner for Northern Ireland). Whilst every effort has been taken to include information from all three regulators, please check the relevant websites for the official regulator guidance documents

England & Wales

Scotland 

Northern Ireland

Note: Whilst it is a requirement in Northern Ireland that all Groups, Districts and Counties are registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, in England & Wales and Scotland Groups, Districts, Counties/Areas/Regions do not need to be registered unless certain criteria, set by the relevant regulator, are met. Whether a registered charity or not, the guidance and rules within this factsheet should still be followed except where there is reference to sending items to the regulator.

Type of Accounts

Subject to the rules in POR, the Trustees of each Group, District or County/Area/Region will also have to
decide whether they prepare accounts on the Receipts and Payments or the Accruals basis. The relevant
rules are included in Appendix 1B and summarised in Appendix 2.

It is important to understand that the law requires accounts to be produced for a charity as a whole and this will be the entire Group, District or County/Area/Region, not individual Sections. The accounts must
consolidate all the activities carried on in the name of the Group, District or County/Area/Region. Ensuring that this is done is the responsibility of the Group, District or County/Area/Region Treasurer who may have to obtain information from other people who may keep financial records for individual Sections. POR requires all bank accounts to be in the name of the Group, District or County/Area/Region and that the Treasurer should be a signatory to the bank/other accounts held (POR and the charity regulators require that a minimum of two persons must sign all cheques). Failure to comply with these requirements could prejudice the position of all Trustees as they have a joint responsibility.