About the organisation
The advancement of the Christian religion for the benefit of the public, in accordance with the Rule of the Third Order, Society of Saint Francis (comprising The Principles; The Constitution; and the forms of Profession and Renewal), in particular but not exclusively by supporting the Third Order, Society of Saint Francis and making grants.
About the role
Our income has always been less that £25k, so we do not need independent examination. Our accounts, using accrual accounting, are prepared by the contact person, the Secretary/Treasurer of the Central Fund (CF). The CF has been set up to fund the six-yearly Inter Provincial Third Order Chapter (IPTOC) from all the five world-wide Provinces of TSSF and was separated from the European Province TSSF (Third Order, Society of Saint Francis, Charity number: 1064356) in 2019.
When the charity was set up and registered in April 2019, our first set of accounts to be considered by the Charity Commission (CCEW) were those from 1 June 2019 to 31 May 2020. These were independently examined, which cost us almost £500 for an income of less than £18,000. This did not seem to be responsible use of our income, when the independently examined accounts were not required by CCEW. The independent examiner insisted that we should complete the accounts using the CCEW standard format for accrual accounting, which took the pages of the accounts from about ten to twenty pages, with all the Notes. Most say “Not applicable”! We continue to use that format, but have had subsequent years subject to internal scrutiny by a member of TSSF. As our Scrutineer is now a Trustee of TSSF, she feels she has a conflict of interest between the two charities. She also said, in her latest External Scrutiny Report “I am not entirely confident that the allocation of expenses in 2022/23 follows accruals accounting rules. Any possible misallocation does not appear significant however, I would recommend that in future years the scrutiny is undertaken by someone with better accounting knowledge”.
It was suggested by the European Minister Provincial, on the advice of a family member in the accounting profession, that we approach Charterpath for assistance. We can provide an example of the quality of our annual submission for scrutiny from our 2022-13 accounts, if this would help a financial professional to consider this opportunity.
Our ideal candidate
We collect our income, mostly from the five Provinces of TSSF, annually. Most money is left in the Provinces, to cover their own expenditure appropriate to the CF in local currency. If the balance owed becomes greater than £1,000 GPB, owed either by the Province or to the Province, then international transfers will be made. The CF operates in AUD, GBP, NZD, USD & ZAR, with virtual transfers made on the date the Secretary/Treasurer is informed of a transaction, converted to GBP at that day’s conversion rate. We work on a six year cycle, between IPTOC meetings. The skills and qualities we required are:-
· To understand the nature of our charity and to accept an accounting methodology that has worked for over ten year, before the CF was registered as a separate charity.
· To undertake and report on scrutiny of our accounts for 2023-24, to report back to a meeting of the Trustees scheduled for 2 Sep 2024.
· it would be helpful for the financial professional to have charity accounting skills especially in accruals accounting and knowledge of charity law, accounting and SORP.
· Whilst a full Independent examination is not required, the external scrutiny has in the past used the checklist for IEs. The scrutineer will be required to produce a report of their findings.
· Our previous scrutineer has suggested that in the Time commitment, her experience was It’s more at the 15 hour end than 1 - hence suggesting 15 to 22. But an accountant might be faster!
· The scrutineer does not need to attend any meetings and whilst the report will be presented to the Trustees, the scrutineer will be working and accountable to the Secretary/Treasurer.
· To develop a relationship with CF TSSF to undertake future scrutiny annually.
· To offer advice, suitable to a non-financial professional, as to how the accounts operate. (The current Secretary/Treasurer is a retired civil engineer).
· Anything else of a financial nature thought appropriate by the financial professional.
What’s in it for you
We are a small charity looking after the interests of five separate Provinces of an Anglican Order, TSSF. Our work concentrates on allowing the Ministers Provincial (MinProv) to meet face to face every two years and for three Provincial representative (including each MinProv) to similarly meet every six years at IPTOC. This meeting was held most recently in the UK in September 2023. This six yearly meeting also appoints the new Minister General (MinGen) for the next six year period, who also needs to travel to all Provinces and to convene the work of the other five MinProv. The MinGen will have previously served a six-year term as a MinProv; at the most recent IPTOC, a New Zealander, a previous MinProv for Pacific Province handed over to a South African, the previous MinProv for Africa. The charity is truly performing at an international level.
With an annual income generally averaging below £20k, the charity has funded over the last six years two face to face Ministers meetings in New York and Canberra (approximately £10k each) and IPTOC 2023 at High Leigh Conference Centre, covering international flights costs and accommodation for all delegates. IPTOC 2023 shared the conference space and costs jointly with Joint First Order Chapter for the Society of Saint Francis (SSF). The Central Fund TSSF share of the costs was £42.5k. The joint conference also had a big educational/study element, including six speakers, being international, ecumenical and across both First and Third Orders. Three joint sessions, entitled ‘Listening to Stories’, ‘Needs of World’ and ‘What is ours to do?’ ran over six days and have created a resource to be shared within the life of TSSF and SSF for the future.
The candidate will be making a difference to a charity run by volunteers, consisting of four Trustees and three voluntary operatives, the Secretary/Treasurer, the European Provincial Treasurer and the previous scrutineer, who must act within the rules and regulations of the recently updated Charities Act 2022. The candidate will learn a little more of how the Franciscan Family is operating in the world, for example, our links with Franciscans International , which stands with some of the world’s most marginalized communities, using human rights as a tool to advocate for dignity, peace, and environmental justice. Working with the Central Fund will engage the candidate in new experiences arising from a Franciscan ethos that have been developing over the last eight centuries. We would much appreciate your help!
Completed by John Wotherspoon, Secretary/Treasurer of CF TSSF – 12 Feb 2024
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