Trustee Reporting


Providing a transparent view of an NfP’s activities, financial performance and impact are all key requirements of an Annual Trustee Report, with the level of detail given dependent on income and/or asset volumes.

You can find detailed guidance on the different levels of detail at

This short guide will focus on the key areas of reporting, not only on what to include, but highlighting some of the techniques and system set-up requirements which will make the whole process come together seamlessly whilst remaining fully SORP compliant. These key areas are:

  • Financial System Chart of Accounts Structure
  • System-based donation recording
  • Give more rather than less information
  • Reporting Tools

The above elements are by no means the complete list, however getting these four elements right will provide you with the best framework and data to meet all your trustee reporting needs.

Financial System Chart of Accounts (CoA) Structure

Although the Annual Trustee Report includes data from all aspects of individual organisations, the majority of information is financial. Within whatever accounting system you are using, be it an ERP system or even on an Excel spreadsheet, a major element in any reporting is to ensure your CoA structure is suitable to your needs.

Ensure that your CoA or any additional “analysis” codes include easy ways to segment transactions by not only Income Statement and Balance Sheet transactions as expected on the face of any financial statement, but also by key SoFA reporting areas such as “Fund Type” and “Area”. Should your organisation be required to report on sources of income, also consider segments such as “Campaign” and “Event”.

Once settled on a structure, try to avoid changing/adding to this on a regular basis to allow for accurate yearly or period-based analysis against prior year or period information.

System-based Donation Recording

Annual Trustee Reports are evolving in their requirements, a simple record of income will suffice for smaller organisations, however for larger NfPs, having the granularity behind all donation income provides additional insight within the overall income number.

Recording every donation type such as “Legacy”, “Gift Aid” and “Public Bodies” will enable the next level of analysis from just income when looking at year-on-year or even seasonal trends.

In addition, having every donor recorded in a system will allow you to include sections within your Annual Trustee Reports such as “New Donors” and any good news stories with regards to increasing your organisational exposure on a geographical level.

Investing in such a system will make your organisation more efficient and, in turn, should increase revenues with automated systems which can flag gift aid claims which otherwise may be missed.

Give More Rather Than Less Information

You may have raised your eyebrow at this statement, but as legislation and regulations are tight within the NfP sector, there really isn’t a lot of information which you don’t make public in one way or another.

Within your Trustee Reports, try to provide as much information as you can, especially when it highlights good performance areas, whether with regard to income, or to a specific impact your grants are having throughout your chosen supported genres.

Following the two recommendations described above will allow organisations to get to the next level of data analysis, so if you have the data – why not use it?

Reporting Tools

For those who have read any previous articles from m-hance which touch on reporting, we can’t stress enough how important using the right reporting tool is to achieving a great reporting output.

A common limitation on reporting capabilities isn’t the user themselves, but the reporting platform they have available to them.

If your organisation has data held in multiple systems, think of a reporting platform which allows for data to be held centrally. Also, if your reports take up a large amount of administrative time, consider systems which allow for automated data refresh – such as Microsoft Power BI.

Whatever tool you choose – make sure it fits your needs not only now but for the short to mid-term. As an NfP, you will receive some great discounted pricing for some top of the range reporting and analytical platforms – so take full advantage.


When contemplating what to include in your Annual Trustee Report, please remember that anyone can search for them via the charity register. Ensuring you have the data within your reports to make your organisation as appealing as possible to potential investors should be your number one priority.

There is no doubting that the compilation of the report can be time-consuming, however following the recommendations above, you should be as efficient as possible in analysing your data to the specific requirements.

Finally, it is important to remember the Trustee Report should be a celebration of the good your organisation is doing… so you should celebrate this as much as you can!

As always, we at mhance are happy to discuss any of the above further with you, please don’t hesitate to get in contact to discuss how we can help you further.

Authored by Daniel Booth

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