The charities, education and not-for-profit sector faces countless financial challenges.

Not only do you have to raise and maintain funding in what is an increasingly difficult economy, but you also have to contend with changing regulations and complex tax treatments. Combine that with the Charity Commission increasingly imposing extra demands, and a specialist and proactive approach to your accounts and finance function is vital to ensure that you can concentrate on what is most important – running a successful organisation.

We have built a strong reputation as accountants to charities, education and not for profit organisations. We look after more than 300 clients in these sectors and as we are ranked nationally as a Top 25 charity audit firm in the Charity Finance league table, you can be reassured that you will be receiving advice from experienced, well-qualified and genuinely well informed charity specialists.

We advise more than 300 public and private foundations, communities, clubs and trusts throughout the region including:

  • Addiction & Rehabilitation Treatment Centres
  • Agricultural, Environmental & Countryside Preservation Associations & Shows
  • Animal Sanctuaries & Shelters
  • Arts, Cultural, Theatre & Sports Academies & Centres
  • Community Interest Groups
  • Educational establishments such as schools, colleges, academies & universities

  • Grant Making Organisations
  • High Profile Heritage Attractions/Sites
  • Hospices & Treatment Centres
  • Hostels & Associations for the Homeless
  • Medical Research Foundations
  • Membership Trade Organisations
  • Religious Groups, Convents & Diocesan Board of Finance
  • Search & Rescue / Lifesaving Services & Teams

Our specialist Charities and Not For Profit Team


Services to the Charities and Not-For-Profit Sector

Audit & Accounts

At Bishop Fleming, we don’t like to think of the audit as just a necessity – for us it’s a way to increase our understanding of your charity, to identify potential weaknesses and to determine how we can help, providing increased security for you and your beneficiaries. We take a risk-based approach to auditing which means we focus on areas of most risk to your organisation.

VAT & Tax

One of the major issues for VAT registered organisation is calculating how much VAT can be reclaimed from HM Revenue and Customs. Many organisations have multiple income streams that may be taxable, exempt from VAT or outside the scope of VAT altogether, add to this other areas which require specialist tax advice such as gift aid, sponsorship, governance, mergers, reviewing budgets and investment management procedures and it’s easy to see why this is of the most complex areas charity, education and not-for-profit organisations have to face. Bishop Fleming is unique amongst regional accountants in having a dedicated VAT Director with a keen personal interest in the sector who has saved and retrieved huge sums for charity, education and not-for-profit clients.

Charitable trading subsidiaries and corporate tax

It may be that creating a trading subsidiary for your charity is the best way to mitigate your exposure – but corporate tax is a very complex area and if you’re not careful, this can easily backfire. Many of our prize-winning tax team members directly advise our charities department, so you can be sure that your organisation is always getting the very best tax advice.

Ad-hoc technical queries

We recognise that every organisation is different, and can offer assistance with any and all of the peculiar and unusual situations that may affect your organisation, providing help with everything from Charity Commission Recoupment Orders, linked charities and registration in Scotland to accounting for heritage assets and more.

Strategic planning

We have a great deal of experience in business planning, not only in our work with charitable organisations like yours, but also in successfully running a successful accountancy firm for over 90 years. Our team can help you, your trustees and Chief Executive plan for the future, advising on the tough decisions in conjunction with your reported objectives.

Charity Accounts Software

You’re probably already using an accounting software system like Sage, Kashflow or QuickBooks for your organisation. This is the right way to go, but we’ve found that not all charities are using these systems to their full capabilities. With a dedicated accounting systems expert in each of our offices, we’ll be able to help you make the most of whatever software you have. Alternatively, if you are interested in changing your software, our dedicated software team can advise you on a range of options from cost, to installation and on-going support and advice.


Bishop Fleming has over 25 years of payroll experience and as the first South West based provider to become ISO 9001-2008 registered, you can be confident that Bishop Fleming is one of the best payroll suppliers in the country. In 2004, we achieved the BACSTEL-IP approved bureau status so we can provide you with fast and secure transactions unmatched by any other service or system.

Creating a reserves policy

Many organisations can find it difficult to settle on the necessary level of funds to support their organisation in lean times. We’ve helped many clients decide upon a policy that’s suitable and justifiable, with the right balance of reserved and unreserved funds.

Attending AGMs

We’ll always be happy to attend your charity’s AGM on request, to present our accounts to the Trustees and to discuss any matters arising in the sector that may impact upon your organisation. In the first year that we work with you, we’ll gladly do this free of charge.


Charities and Not For Profit News


Cyber Threat to Hospice Sector

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Fraudsters have scored a hat-trick of cyber-attacks against hospices resulting in calls for the third sector to be extra vigilant. Recent months have witnessed a succession of attempted, and in some cases, successful frauds in […]

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Resonance – Funding for Social Enterprises

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Access to finance is the oil in the engine for every organisation, particularly for charities and social enterprises. Resonance is a Social Impact Investment Company that specialises in connecting capital with social enterprises. Working with […]

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