Charities Act 2009
Duty to keep proper books of account.
47.— (1) The charity trustees of a charitable organisation shall, in relation to that charitable organisation, keep or cause to be kept proper books of account, whether in the form of documents or other record, that—
(a) correctly record and explain the transactions of the organisation,
(b) enable the financial position of the organisation to be determined with reasonable accuracy at any time,
(c) enable the charity trustees to ensure that any statements of account prepared under section 48 are prepared in compliance with regulations made under that section, and
(d) enable the accounts of the organisation to be readily and properly audited.
(2) The books of account of a charitable organisation shall be kept on a continuous and consistent basis, that is to say, the entries therein shall be made in a timely manner and be consistent from one year to the next.
(3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsections (1) and (2), books of account kept pursuant to those subsections shall contain—
(a) entries, from day to day, of all sums of money received and expended by the charitable organisation concerned and the matters in respect of which the receipt and expenditure takes place, and
(b) a record of the assets and liabilities of the charitable organisation.
(4) For the purposes of subsections (1), (2) and (3), proper books of account shall be deemed to be kept if they comply with those subsections and give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the charitable organisation and explain its transactions.
(5) Books of account required by this section to be kept, the annual statement of accounts referred to in section 48 and any account and statement prepared under subsection (3) of that section shall be kept either in written form or in an official language of the State or so as to enable the books of account and the accounts and returns to be readily accessed and readily converted into written form in an official language of the State.
(6) The charity trustees of a charitable organisation shall make the books of account, the annual statement of accounts referred to in section 48 and any account and statement prepared under subsection (3) of that section, of the charitable organisation, available in written form in an official language of the State at all reasonable times for inspection, without charge, by persons entitled pursuant to this Act to inspect the books of account of the organisation.
(7) A record (being a book of account required to be kept under this section), an annual statement of accounts referred to in section 48 or any account and statement prepared under subsection (3) of that section shall be preserved by the charitable organisation concerned for a period of not less than 6 years from the end of the financial year to which it relates.
(8) Where, during the period of 6 years referred to in subsection (7) as it applies to any book of account required to be kept under this section, an annual statement of accounts referred to in section 48 or any account and statement prepared under subsection (3) of that section—
(a) the charitable organisation concerned (being a body corporate or unincorporated body of persons) is dissolved, or
(b) the charitable trust concerned is terminated,
it shall be the duty of the charity trustees holding office immediately before the date of the dissolution or termination, as the case may be, to preserve that book of account or statement of accounts in accordance with the said subsection (7) unless the Authority consents in writing to its being destroyed or its being disposed of in some other manner.
(9) A charity trustee who contravenes this section shall be guilty of an offence.
(10) It shall be a defence to proceedings for an offence consisting of the contravention of this section for the defendant to prove that he or she believed on reasonable grounds that a competent and reliable person (other than the defendant) was duly charged with the duty of ensuring compliance with this section and was in a position to discharge that duty.
(11) This section does not apply to charitable organisations that are companies.