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What is the difference between an Audit and an Independent Examination?

The wording of an Independent Examination report is different from an audit:

  • An audit report normally says whether the accounts give a "true and fair view".
  • By contrast an Independent Examiner's report gives a "negative assurance".

If the examination is satisfactory, the Independent Examiner declares that:

  • no evidence was found of a lack of accounting records
  • nor of the accounts failing to comply with the records
  • nor of accounts failing to comply with the Charities Act
  • nor are there other matters that need to be disclosed

However, such a declaration can only be made after following twelve stages of the Charity Commission Directions, so for most smaller charities an Independent Examination provides a very effective scrutiny. It goes much further than the "informal audits" of the past, but can be carried out without needing a registered auditor.

(Taken from the NCVO Website)


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