County Commissioner Handbook

The Charity Commission

All sections in Girlguiding, from unit level upwards, are considered separate charities. However not all guiding units and areas are obliged to register with the Charity Commission. For further information about when a guiding unit or area must register with the Charity Commission please see this page in The Guiding Manual.

All charities, whether registered with the Charity Commission or not, must prepare accounts which must be made available to the public on request.

Counties act as ‘parent’ charities for Districts and Divisions within their area. Group accounts must be prepared which include the financial information for all Divisions and Districts, however Counties do not need to provide a consolidated group of accounts

Accounting records must be kept for at least six years. Records of Gift Aid payments must be maintained for six years and include details of any individual donors.

Registered charities must prepare an Annual Report, which must be made available to the public on request.

Annual Report

The Annual Report is a review of activities of the charity. It should be prepared by the trustees at the end of each financial year.

Registered charities with a gross yearly income greater than £10,000 must complete and return the online Annual Return form to the Charity Commission. In addition those registered charities whose gross yearly income exceeds £25,000 must also file their accounts with the Charity Commission.

Registered charities will be contacted by the Commission, after the end of their financial year, to complete either an Annual Update form or an Annual Return.

Further guidance on accounts requirements and completing accounts can be found on the Charity Commission website.