Quaker charities annual reporting

Quaker Life produces template checklists to help the trustees of Quaker charities in their annual reporting.

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The checklists

You can now download the checklists from the BYM website. They are available on the pages for trustees and treasurers and I have put direct links to them below. They are in Word format so you can edit them if you wish to.

Why does BYM produce the checklists?

Quaker Stewardship Committee (QSC) began producing checklists for Quaker area meetings to help them know what they are required to put in their Trustees Annual Report and Accounts (TARA) documents. The Charity Commission in England and Wales (CC) and The Office for the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) require charities to report in a broadly similar way. The type and size of charity make a difference in what needs to be reported and to whom. These checklists point to what is required from each regulator. QSC made some additional requests of BYM charities in their reporting and to the structure of the reports.

Since Quaker Life Central Committee (QLCC) was tasked with the responsibilities that had been held by QSC they have continued in the practice of producing the checklists. QLCC has discerned that this year the additional requests made by QSC are no longer required. There have also been other changes, outlined below, to what area meetings are asked to report.

Why does my area meeting have to produce an annual report?

All charities of whatever size must produce an annual report. It is a way for a charity to show the outside world that it is fulfilling its objectives. And that it is looking after the assets of the charity well. Whether your AM is based in Scotland, Wales or England it must do this every year.

Charities have different statuses, usually depending on their size or the types of activity they carry out. These could be any of the following:

  • An Excepted Charity: with income below ¬£100k annually, as a Church charity, excepted from registering with the Charity Commission (England & Wales only).
  • An Unincorporated Registered Charity: in England & Wales or in Scotland. Registered charities are usually unincorporated organisations, meaning that the charity itself is not considered an entity. The trustees hold responsibility as individuals for the charity.
  • An Incorporated Charity: Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIO) or in Scotland SCIO are incorporated bodies which means that the organisation is an entity.
  • A Charitable Company: In a few cases before CIOs existed a Charity and a Company.

Whichever model your AM is you must produce an annual report. Unless you are an Excepted Charity you must also file an annual return with your charity regulator in the timeframe set by the regulator after the end of the financial reporting period.

The checklists help you to identify the things that must be included in your TARA.

Does anything need to be reported to BYM?

As part of the TARA process, BYM requests that each area meeting sends a copy of its TARA. When your TARA is complete please send a copy of it by email to, supportmeetings@quaker.org.uk.

We also ask that trustees complete an annual survey on areas of compliance. 2023/24 is the first year we have brought all the compliance reporting together. BYM asks for one response from each area meeting.

Another new initiative is the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). It is not a report to BYM but a statement from each organisation recognising that we are partner charities and that as such we have responsibilities to each other.

These methods of hearing from area meetings are all ways that help us understand the health of governance across the yearly meeting. We use the data that is gathered in the reports to let Yearly Meeting know how we are all doing.

If you have questions about any of the support that is offered by BYM or any of the ways that we ask for information from you please get in touch via supportmeetings@quaker.org.uk, or by contacting your Development Worker, www.quaker.org.uk/communities/development-work.

See this brief sheet which has much of the information on this page