Why keep records?

Record keeping is an essential element of project management. It is the foundation of your group’s accountability to its funders and service users. 

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).

Not sure what records to keep?

Records are good for future funding

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.

Legal obligations

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. 

Need help with understanding your group’s legal obligations?

Contact the voluntary organisation support officer in your area. Their help is free.

Community groups in Bradford – contact Peter Tate peter@bradfordcvs.org.uk, Chris Barker chrisb@bradfordcvs.org.uk or Clive Whittaker clive@bradfordcvs.org.uk at Bradford CVS 01274 722772

Community groups in Shipley or Bingley – contact Sarah Moss at Shipley & Bingley Voluntary Services (SBVS) 01274 781222 or sarahmoss@sbvs.org.uk

Community groups in Keighley or Ilkley – contact Shaun O’Hare at KIVCA on 01535 665258 or shaun@kivca.org.uk

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.


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