Charities SORP

Application guidance for charity accounting

SORP annual work plan 2021-22 commentary - June 2021

Rationale for an annual work plan 

The Charities SORP-making body is a non-statutory partnership between the Charity Commission England and Wales (CCEW), the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland (CCNI) and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) with the Charities Regulator - Republic of Ireland as observer. The Charities SORP-making body is advised by the Charities SORP Committee and assisted by the Secretariat to the Charities SORP Committee.

The SORP-making body commissioned a governance review of the SORP process which reported in June 2019. One of the recommendations made was that the ‘SORP-making body publish an annual work plan after seeking the SORP Committee’s advice and input’ (recommendation 12).

The first stage of the new SORP development process concluded at Easter 2021 with 15 topics identified for review. The Committee considered the scheduling of this work at its May 2021 meeting and the annual workplan was agreed for publication. The 15 topics were selected from those proposed by the feedback from the SORP engagement strands.

At the time of first publication in June 2021, a number of Committee dates had yet to be finalised but the workplan will be updated once these are agreed.

Elements of the work plan

In assisting the work of the engagement strands and the Committee a briefing is developed for each topic to assist discussion. Engagement strands can choose which topics they wish to consider. The Committee decided some topics would be considered in a working group discussion first but for all topics the feedback of the engagement strands and the recommendation as to making any changes will be discussed and then a decision made in full Committee.

The work plan runs to January 2022 and ends with the beginning of the drafting of the new SORP. In interpreting the workplan please note each row sets out one element of the workplan. Each column relates to a Committee date and notes the topics being considered.
The elements are as follows:

  • Preparation of briefings by SORP-making body and CIPFA - the date given is the latest date by which the briefing for a topic is issued.
  • Engagement strand work and deadline(s) for feedback on topics - the deadline by which the engagement strands share their feedback
  • Collation of engagement strand input and papers prepared for SORP Committee - the latest date by which the feedback from engagement strands and, where applicable, SORP working group is completed
  • Papers issued to SORP Committee - date by which the papers are issued for the Committee meeting
  • SORP Committee date and expected meeting outcomes - the date when the Committee considers a topic and, where appropriate, working groups convene to consider a topic

The plan is a very full one and concludes with all topics having been considered and  any desired changes arising from the consideration of those topics being identified for the drafting stage.

A further research meeting remains to be agreed. The date for this meeting is likely to be during autumn 2021 and the workplan will be updated once a date is settled. The research meeting will consider new research, including findings from research commissioned by the engagement strands. It is an opportunity to flag up matters not covered in the 15 topics that may merit consideration at the drafting stage.

The work plan for 2022-23

At the end of January 2022 a meeting is planned for the SORP Committee and the Engagement Strand Convenors to meet with the SORP-making body to discuss the approach to be taken to the drafting stage of the SORP. The outcome of this discussion will help shape the work plan for 2022-23.