CPAA recognised as a body permitted to act as examiners of charities

Monday, June 22, 2015

We are delighted to confirm that the HM Government last month included the CPAA on the approved list of recognised bodies permitted to act as examiners of Charities in England & Wales. This is a fantastic move for the CPAA and one which sets us apart from other non-chartered associations. It is also great news for our members who may benefit from additional credibility as well as a potential new revenue stream.


Full details of the Statutory Instrument No. 321 will be made available in the near future, but in the meantime we attempt to cover the details you need to be aware of and look at the situation outside of the English & Welsh jurisdictions.

In England & Wales, where a registered charity has a net balance sheet asset value below £3.26 million, the examination thresholds are:

  • Turnover £0 - £250,000. An examination can be carried out by a person or persons appointed by the charity, they do not need to be a qualified accountant.

  • Turnover £250,001 to £1 million. The accounts must be examined by a member of an Approved Examining Body, the CPAA is now an Approved Examining Body.

  • Where turnover exceeds £1 million a full audit must be carried out by a Registered Auditor.

  • In cases where the charity's net assets exceed £3.26 million but turnover does not exceed £250,000 the accounts can be examined by either an unqualified appointed person or a member of an Approved Examining Body. If turnover exceeds £250,000 an audit must be carried out by a Registered Auditor, there is no intermediate band that can be signed off by an AEB member only. 

In Scotland Association members may not act as professional independent examiners for charities below the audit exemption threshold of £500,000. They may however, carry out such examinations where the charity is unincorporated and where the gross income level is below £250,000.

In Northern Ireland Association members may not examine the accounts of a charity with an annual income exceeding £100,000 unless they are also a member of a listed body under section 66 of the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008. In the case of charities under £250,000 they must be a Fellow of the Association of Charities of Independent Examiners.

We hope this helps to inform you of the key matters relating to the auditing of charities in the UK, and look forward to sharing more information in the future via our regional seminars and of course on this website.

If you have any questions in the meantime please don’t hesitate to contact our helpline on 01204 693988, or email us at