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Charities will need to make radical changes to their accounting procedures over the next few years, and academics at Sheffield Hallam University have organised a conference to highlight the changes and how they should be implemented.

On 12 January 2010 a major conference at Sheffield Hallam will lead the drive to educate charities about the new regulations, by welcoming the UK's leading figures in the world of charity regulation and accounting standards to debate The Future of Charity Accounting.

Conference prices have been kept low, at only £75 per delegate (£65 if booked by 21 December) in order to allow as many organisations as possible to benefit from the advice.

Charity accounting is due to change through the convergence of UK GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Practice) with IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards).

At present all UK charities, other than the very smallest, are required to prepare their published accounts following the Charities SORP (Statement of Recommended Practice on Accounting and Reporting by Charities). 

The modern SORP dates from 1995 and new versions were issued in 2000 and 2005.  The SORP has led to a huge improvement in the accountability of charities, and makes it possible to compare one charity with another.

Professor Gareth Morgan, Professor of Charity Studies at Sheffield Hallam University and organiser of the conference, said: "The changes which may come about through convergence of UK accounting standards with IFRS could lead to the complete replacement of the SORP. 

"This is an issue which needs wide discussion by practitioners interested in charity accounting and by all those involved in research in this field.  This conference shows the important role Sheffield Hallam has to play."

Speakers include Andrew Hind, Chief Executive of the Charity Commission, and Andrew Lennard, Director Research and Chair of Public Benefit Entities at the Accounting Standards Board.

Mr Hind said: "It is vital that charity sector does not underestimate the importance of this consultation. An accounting standard, once developed, would probably set the framework for charity accounting  for a generation."

For press information contact: contact Laurie Harvey on 0114 225 2621 or email