End of year accounts

What you need to do at the end of each financial year to make sure your accounts are in order

How to finalise the annual accounts for your unit

Each year, your guiding unit will need to finalise your unit accounts. This will involve:

  • Producing an annual accounts statement
  • Producing a statement of assets and liabilities
  • Having your accounts reviewed independently

Producing an annual accounts statement

An annual accounts statement shows information of your income and expenditure. This can be based on the unit accounts pack – visit our page on managing unit funds for more information and to download a template.

Producing a statement of assets and liabilities 

Your assets and liabilities include:

  • Cash and bank balances – these are the final annual balances in your bank account(s) and petty cash
  • Equipment and other assets – land or buildings, investments and any valuable equipment
  • Any other amounts – which are owed either to the unit or by the unit, at the year-end

All guiding units must produce a statement of assets and liabilities at the end of each year. This is a simple statement to complete, and can be based on the receipts and payments forms which are part of our unit account pack.

This process is not applicable in Scotland – please check with Girlguiding Scotland for more information. 

Conducting an end of year review or examination

All levels must prepare accounts and make them available to view on request. It is also a Girlguiding requirement that the accounts are anually reviewed. The kind of review you need to carry out depends on how much income your unit has received that year:

  • If your unit's income is below £25,000 a year, an independent review of a unit's accounts is required by Girlguiding
  • If your income is above £25,000, it is a legal obligation to obtain a more in-depth examination of the accounts and in some cases you may need to file your accounts with the Charity Commission

What needs to be reviewed or examined?

A log of your receipts and payments – usually in a form of a unit accounts pack  – should be made available to your independent reviewer or examiner. You should also provide:

  • Cash account pages
  • Bank statements
  • Paying-in slips
  • Cheque book stubs
  • Invoices
  • Receipts
  • Attendance registers
  • Subscription records

Plus any other financial documents that are required by the reviewer.

Who is responsible for organising a review or examination?

The Unit Leader is responsible for having the unit accounts independently reviewed annually. However, it is the role of the district commissioner to ensure this is done. In many cases, a district commissioner will appoint someone to review all the accounts across their whole District.

Who can review the accounts?

Any responsible person may review accounts but they must not be:

  • Related to anyone within the unit
  • A member of the unit's leadership team

It is not necessary for this person to be a registered or qualified auditor.

Charity Commission Registration

All levels are charities within their own right. However, most levels are what is known as "excepted charities". This means, in general, that they do not need to register with the Charity Commission. Some levels however do need to do so.  Levels that meet any one or more of the following criteria will need to register with the Charity Commission:

  • Levels whose income is more than £100,000
  • Levels that have a permanent endowment and their income is more than £5,000
  • Levels that own land or buildings and their income is more than £5,000

 If a level is registered in England or Wales as a charity then they may also need to complete an annual return and file their accounts with the Charity Commission. You can find more information on sending a charity's annual return on gov.uk.