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This presentation on Better annual reports was given by Caron Bradshaw, Gill Gibb and Kate Sayer. …

This presentation on Better annual reports was given by Caron Bradshaw, Gill Gibb and Kate Sayer.

This was given at the Evolve 2013 conference.

Find out more about NCVO events: http://www.ncvo.org.uk/training-and-events/events-listing

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  • With a focus on organisational performance, this workshop will help to get your thinking started about how you can work with colleagues on performance reporting. Starting with internal reporting, we look at success and performance from different perspectives so that we can build a picture of the outcomes we need to manage and the process to get to them. This session provides a taster for a longer training course provided by CFG nationally.
  • The real aim of this course is to help you and your organisation to understand what works. When you know that, you can make better decisions and you can tell the rest of the world about it. You may have to get to that point by a process of trial and error.We are expecting to start from the internal reporting and then moves to external reporting, but there is some overlap in the methods.All the approaches imply a shift to outcomes and thinking about how you will achieve them and how you will know whether you are achieving them
  • Talking about ResultsThe Little Blue Book


  • 1. Better annual reports Caron Bradshaw, Gill Gibb and Kate Sayer
  • 2. Agenda • Scene set - annual report basics • Sharing good practice, avoiding bad! • Compliance; from burden to blessing • Risk, reserves • Impact • Making the most of your messages • Consistency, clarity, conciseness • Tell the story of the numbers
  • 3. Basic structure: • Trustees Report • Independent Auditors Report • Statement of Financial Activities • Balance Sheet • Cash Flow Statement • Notes to the Accounts File with the Charity Commission by 10 months of the financial year end and published on the Charity Commission register. Understanding charity accounts - the basics
  • 4. Statement of Financial Activity (SOFA) • Income and expenditure linked to activities • Expenditure split between charitable activity, governance costs and costs of generating funds • Differentiates between general funds, restricted funds and endowed funds
  • 5. Balance sheet • A snapshot of how funds are held at the year end • Shows long and short term assets and liabilities • Importance of free reserves Balance Sheet(s)
  • 6. What do you want from your annual report?
  • 7. Sharing good practice, avoiding bad Group exercise • Look at the annual reports and compare them • Which ones are the most effective at explaining their impact?
  • 8. Improving your annual report Vision and strategy Mission “what we want to achieve” Problem and need What, scale, impact on those affected Overview and activities Outputs Outcomes Activities to achieve the goals Numbers of people/demand Change achieved “Talking about results” by NPC
  • 9. What should a reserves policy contain? • At a minimum: • reasons why reserves needed • level or range of reserves needed • action to achieve desired level • arrangements for review • SORP requires actual level of reserves in £ at year end
  • 10. What’s the risk? Income Predictable Unreliable Flexible cost base High committed costs Adjust spend to fit income Danger zoneRegularly monitor income Use reserves
  • 11. Making the most of your messages The 3 „C‟s‟ • Consistency • Clarity • Conciseness Tell the story of the numbers • NOT the story you wish they told • Funders, donors, collaborators, potential employees etc notice in today‟s competitive environment
  • 12. Consistency In an ideal world: • Written by one person • Proof read by another – not the whole Board • Same tone throughout • Compliance with brand guidelines • Clear sign-off procedure agreed
  • 13. Clarity In an ideal world: • This is a key marketing tool – don‟t waste the opportunity • Use plain English – don‟t try to use long words for the sake of it • Try tables and graphs to get the point across in a different way • Pictures can paint a thousand words
  • 14. Conciseness In an ideal world: • Determine what your key messages are – and stick to them • Less is more – or your point will be lost (and the reader‟s will to live) • Did you meet the objectives set? • What are your objectives for the next financial year?
  • 15. Tell the story of the numbers • Sounds obvious – funders will compare past years and what you said you were aiming to do • Why are the reserves the reserves? • What‟s the rationale for any designations? • What‟s happening with the restricted funds? • Can you show that you have responded to emerging issues/risks?
  • 16. Tell the story of the numbers...contd • Can you show increased efficiencies year on year? • Has income increased following creative solutions? • Try to be clear about central or administrative costs Overall- are you a going concern worth investing in, working with or working in.
  • 17. Organisations to help www.thinknpc.org www.sroi-uk.org www.neweconomics.org www.ces-vol.org.uk www.outcomesstar.org.uk www.cfg.org.uk www.charitycommission.gov.uk www.sayervincent.co.uk