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Haines Watts Darlington Phone icon 01325 254700

Supporting local charities and not-for-profits

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We work with a diverse mix of charities and not-for-profits in Newcastle, Darlington and the surrounding North East area. Our specialist advice in helping non-profit organisations has helped us to become a leading advisor for charities in the region.

Not-for-profit and charity accountants

We work with a diverse mix of charities and not-for-profits in Newcastle, Darlington and the surrounding North East area. Our specialist advice in helping non-profit organisations has helped us to become a leading advisor for charities in the region.

We know first-hand how important finances are to charities. In the current economic climate, charities need more than just good intentions to survive. Our expertise is shaped from years of experience in the third sector, having advised and worked with some of the region’s best known charities.

The legislation and regulatory requirements surrounding charity finance can be a labyrinth for many organisations. We can help you make sense of this maze of regulation, by providing support and advice every step of the way.

The sector is ever evolving with increasing demands from legislation changes that require organisations to remain up to date at all times. It is essential that you have trusted advisors who are on hand to meet with you to run through these changes and also to provide advice or guidance specific to your organisation’s needs, this could be anything from training on the finance system to trustee roles and responsibilities.

We don’t just advise the regions non-profits on financial issues, we’re also directly involved in a number of charities based in Newcastle. As well as our fundraising and charitable work, members of the Haines Watts team are trustees and sit on the board for a number of charities in the North East.

We work with a really diverse mix of non-profit organisations. Our clients come in all shapes and sizes, including:

  • Religious & cultural charities
  • Membership organisations
  • Community interest groups
  • Homeless and supported housing charities
  • Grant-making charities
  • Independent schools and student unions.


Charity audits and independent examinations

All charities with an income over £25,000 need to be audited or independently examined. Generally speaking, charities with gross income between £25,000 but below £1,000,000 are audit exempt and need to be independently examined. If this income is above £250,000, the independent examination must be done by a qualified person such as a chartered accountant.

While many charities are now exempt from requiring an external audit, mid-sized charities should consider the advantages of having an objective view of their financial systems.

As your charity auditor, we would spend a great deal of time understanding your organisation. This will not just be limited to a financial review but will extend to cover all risks and a thorough review of governance procedures.

We’re also on hand to give you advice on areas of improvement in your financial systems. Our annual report to management will include, where appropriate, improvements in:

  • Structure of accounting systems
  • Systems of internal control
  • Accounting policies and practices
  • Non-compliance with legislation

If you opt for an independent examination, we would still look to undertake this work in the first year as it allows us to obtain a better understanding of your organisation.


Not-for-profits and tax

Many people often wrongly assume that charities are tax exempt. However, they are subject to a number of different taxes which, with the help of our specialist tax advisors, can be reduced. We can help you to make your organisation tax efficient, so you retain more cash and extract more value.

As well as assisting with tax compliance matters, our team can assist you in claiming tax relief on donations through the Gift Aid scheme; investment income, trading profits, income from land and property, and Capital Gains Tax.

We can also help you make sense of the increasingly complex rules surrounding charity VAT relief, saving you time and money in the process. Our specialists can provide you with a tailored tax and VAT plan, to ensure you’re organisation remains financially efficient and ultimately retains more money.

Our charity accountants in Newcastle can also help you set up a charitable organisation. From determining your legal structure and dealing with HMRC/Companies House/The Charity Commission to preparing budget and understanding your statutory obligations, we can help you build your charity from the ground up.


Overview of services we offer:

  • Preparation of annual accounts
  • Assurance services; Audit and Independent Examinations
  • Organisation structures and set up
  • Monthly management accounts including setting budgets and providing trustees forecasts
  • Support and training of finance systems and guidance for implementing controls and systems
  • One off projects specific to your organisation’s needs, this could include a review of a specific system and report back to trustees
  • Taxations advice including submission of a corporation tax return, review of trading activities and guidance on reclaiming Gift Aid
  • VAT planning and support
  • Payroll services
  • Grant audits
  • Teacher’s Pension Reports
  • Attendance at board meetings to present year end accounts or other matters as and when required


Haines Watts – Specialist Charity Accountants

Having worked in the North East not-for-profit sector for over 30 years, it’s safe to say that we’re experts in the third sector. As your finance partner we would help support and drive success in your organisation, offering our expertise and providing an external sounding board for your decisions all year round.

As specialist charity accountants, we’re focused on bringing added value to your non-profit organisation. We’re wholeheartedly committed to providing a cost effective and practical service to your meet all your financial needs.

We take time to listen to and understand your needs. That way, we are better equipped to offer bespoke and practical solutions to assist you and your charity.

If you’re looking for financial advice from an experienced charity accountant in Newcastle, Darlington or the surrounding North East region, get in touch with us on 0191 2699960 or contact Gillian Hollier directly on

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