Record keeping is an essential element of project management. It is the foundation of your group’s accountability to its funders and service users.
Not sure what records to keep? Find out here.
Most funders require groups to keep records of expenditure and activities. This is a condition of receiving funding. Many funders also require information about the people participating in and benefitting from the funded activity. To show their money has made a difference they also want to know about what has changed as a result of the activity they have funded (known as impact or outcomes).
Funders want to give money to well organised groups that can show they run activities that make a positive difference. By keeping good financial and activity records you are also helping to build a case for future funding.
It is a legal requirement of every charity and company to maintain accurate records of activities and finances. Remember that even if your group is not registered as a charity it may need to follow Charity Commission rules. Other regulators include the Information Commissioners Office (data protection), Companies House and HM Revenue and Customs. Depending on your activities and legal status, there will probably be more.
Contact the Voluntary Organisation Support Officer in your area. Their help is free.
Community groups in Bradford – email Peter Tate and Chris Barker or telephone 01274 722772
Community groups in Shipley & Bingley – email Sarah Moss or telephone 01274 781222
Community groups in Keighley & Ilkley – email Shaun O’Hare or telephone 01535 665258
If your group receives any income, you should keep records for tax and VAT purposes. If your group doesn’t pay tax, keeping accurate financial and activity records are essential to demonstrate the tax exemption you enjoy.
Bfunded recommends contacting West Yorkshire Community Accountancy Service (WYCAS) for advice on keeping financial records.