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Independent inspection of your accounts

Having someone independent look over your accounts promotes good practice amongst community groups – promoting transparency and confidence in them, increasing accountability, and building stronger communities.

Have someone independent look over your accounts

We require you to demonstrate that your annual accounts are subject to some form of independent inspection. The purpose of the inspection is to check that your accounts are consistent with your organisation's financial records. The person carrying out the inspection should provide your organisation with a brief statement confirming that this is the case.

What do we mean by an independent inspection?

By inspection, we mean that your accounts and financial records have been looked at by a suitably competent person. This means that the person conducting the inspection should be sufficiently familiar with the financial record keeping of similar complexity. We envisage that, for smaller organisations, a competent individual may be someone such as:

  • The treasurer of another group
  • a bank manager, accountant or someone retired from those professions
  • a community support worker 
  • an individual with appropriate experience of financial record keeping

By independent, we mean that the person inspecting your organisation’s accounts is someone with no connection to the organisation's management committee that would inhibit their ability to undertake an objective and impartial inspection. They should not be:

  • A member of the management committee or anyone else closely involved in the administration of the organisation,
  • A major donor or beneficiary of the organisation,
  • A close relative, spouse, partner, business partner or employee of any of the above.

We will ask you to provide details of the independent person who has inspected your most recent accounts when you complete the grant application form.

Please note that for larger unincorporated organisations without charitable status and with an annual income of £100,000 or more, we would expect a higher degree of external scrutiny to be applied to the accounts, e.g. at least an independent examination by a suitably qualified professional person, such as an accountant.

How will organisations be able to demonstrate that they have complied with the new policy?

  • The accounts submitted with your application must be signed by an independent competent person, with a brief statement from the person undertaking the inspection, confirming that they have inspected the accounts and found them to be consistent with the organisation's financial records.
  • Details of the independent person should be supplied in the application form you complete when applying for the grant.
  • For new organisations that have not yet produced a set of annual accounts, we require that any accounts produced by the organisation in the future will be independently inspected, as per the terms and conditions of any grant award.
  • Once we’ve awarded a grant, we will not accept any further applications for funding from the organisation unless you provide us with a set of accounts that have been independently inspected.

What does the Foundation Scotland expect a statement of independent inspection to look like?

The accounts should be signed by the person inspecting with a brief statement that they have found them to be accurate. Or a signed statement should be attached to the accounts.

Helpful links

Registered Charities (including SCIOs), Companies and Community Interest Companies (CICs) will already be required to subject their accounts to some degree of independent scrutiny. Advice for these organisations can be found on the websites of their regulators as follows:

Additional support and advice may also be available from your local Third Sector Interface.