Monday, October 27, 2008

Football charity’s £440k own goal

This month the Charity Commission have published the results of their inquiry report into the Footballers’ Further Education and Vocational Training Society. An office manager at the training charity made unauthorised cash withdrawals of £444,400 over more than a decade.

The inquiry report should perhaps be required reading for all trustees (and certainly for audit committee members). It concluded:

It is important that trustees should work closely with their senior employees to ensure that their charities’ governance frameworks and internal control systems remain fit for purpose, especially during periods of rapid growth.

The report went on:

The Commission does not expect trustees personally to check every management decision taken, or every financial transaction, but trustees should ensure that there are procedures in place which allow them to monitor performance effectively and, especially, to identify discrepancies and system failures as soon as possible after they occur. It should not be assumed that every lapse will be spotted and put right by the annual audit.

Its worth noting that a civil action was brought by the charity against its external auditor although this was eventually settled out of court.

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