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Finance and Legal

Updated 27/9/10

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Titles on financial and legal issues for the voluntary sector.

Links to ordering from Amazon are given where the book should be readily available via that source (last checked Feb 06). Those that could take weeks to come into stock either don't have a link or show this symbol: ~~.

Book prices are generally from publishers - discounts may be available from Amazon and elsewhere.


General, Financial Management

How to manage your money, if you have any, Community Accountancy Project, ISBN 0 9508555 1 0. Written for community organisations, but helpful for any smaller voluntary organisation. Not sure where to obtain this now (assuming it is still in print).

Charity Finance Yearbook Features, reference material, model job descriptions, checklists, legal developments etc, published by CFDG/Charity Finance magazine. Order from Plaza Publishing.

Treasurers HandbookCharity Treasurer's Handbook, Gareth G Morgan; DSC 1st edition 2002. 144 pages, ISBN 1 900360 89 6, £9.95. Buy from Publisher's info: Specially written for charity treasurers and finance workers - particularly those who are new to the role - this new handbook covers topics such as:

Offering practical advice and illustrated with real-life examples, this starter guide will be invaluable for trustees and other charity workers with no formal accounting knowledge, as well as those who have some financial knowledge but are new to the voluntary sector.

VolResource Review

"A short book designed 'to be read in a few hours' can't go into great depth but it does give a thorough overview of issues and is well written. A good example is the useful rundown of the possible types of legal structures for charities, and why many voluntary organisations are in fact caught within the charity definition even if not registered. However, we would disagree with his views on limited liability being of "little help" if you dont understand what wrongful trading means. Suitable references are made to likely changes to Scottish law which otherwise would make the book out of date quite soon.

Our main criticism would be that the book doesn't give a feel for how the finance function can be about more than just doing what is required, and can significantly contribute to effective management and fulfilling the organisation's aims. It is also easy to want to expand on items (e.g. under Checks and Controls, we would have added that they are a way of allaying unfounded suspicions, particularly if staff or trustees fall out with each other). We are pleased that space was found for an area often glossed over - what can be a fraught relationship between fundraising and accounting functions - and a short but useful guide provided.

Certainly a book which should be read by all new charity treasurers, though those with a professional background will then want to go deeper."

Financial ManagementFinancial Management in the Voluntary Sector Paul Palmer and Adrian Randall; Routledge Sept 01. ISBN 0 415 22160 9, £26-99 (hardback also available). Order from

VolResource Short Review "While not a 'how to' book, being part of the Routledge series which is "for students ... as well as the the thinking manager", the professional voluntary sector financial manager will undoubtedly find it of interest. It aims to advance understanding on the topic, contribute to debate and counter the view that the subject is not as complex as that in commercial organisations. It is pretty comprehensive in looking at current tricky and time consuming areas. A definite plus if you want/need to demonstrate that a senior finance position in the sector isn't just about being able to add up. An indepth look at the definition of the voluntary sector, for instance, is part of giving the "public policy context" they consider essential to planning and forecasting."

Financial Reporting for Charities, Croner CCH. First year subscription £162-14. Ring-bound manual, updated every six months.

Financial Stewardship of Charities: Maximising impact in times of uncertainty Adrian Poffley; 256 pages, 1st edition 2002, DSC. ISBN 1 903991 17 X, £19.95. Order from Publisher's info: This comprehensive presentation of an innovative new model for financial management is designed to be accessible to both finance specialists and lay readers. The author draws on his experience as a finance director and treasurer to move away from the traditional annual budget and present flexible solutions to the perennial questions facing charities:

The four parts of the book move from corporate strategy through financial strategy to financial management, finally situating this in a whole organisation context.

Good Financial Management Guide; NCVO, Third edition 2005. ISBN 0 7199 1662 3, £25.00. Order from

Practical Guide to .. series

From Directory of Social Change/Sayer Vincent. Mainly for charity professionals, especially those without finance training.

Charity Accounts

Charity Accounts - A Practical Guide to the Charities SORP Andrew Pianca, Greyham Dawes; Jordans, 3rd edition Feb 2006. ISBN 184661001X, £60-00. Order from Includes CD-rom of the SORP. Previous edition reviewed in Professional Fundraising March 2000: "very much a reference text, ..... each area .... is considered in significant depth. ... This book will interest and test the experienced charity finance director and officer."

ICSA Guide to Charity Accounting Adrian Randall; ICSA June 2001. ISBN 1 86072 138 9, £19-95. Order from

Preparing Charity Accounts Adrian Randall, Anthony Epton, Fiona Young; Croner CCH, August 01. ISBN 1841401560, £60-00. Order from

Tolley's Charity Accountability and Compliance R Greyham Dawes; Nov 99. ISBN 0754502821, £32-95 "A valuable practical (but technically heavy) text for the senior charity finance manager".


Charity Accounting and Taxation Buzzacott Charity Team; LexisNexis, fourth edition April 2004, ISBN 0 406 98899 4, £59-95. Order from

Charities and Taxation, ICSA, ISBN 1-872860-77-X, £16-95

Charity Taxation: A Definitive Handbook Stephen Williams and Adrian Randall; Jordans, Jan 01. ISBN 0 85308 635 4, £35. Order from

The Craigmyle Guide to Charitable Giving and Taxation "A practical and easy to use guidance manual for the small and not so small charity. Including: Covenant Administration, Gift Aid, Trusts and Foundations, Trading, VAT etc., geared to the practical needs of charities in the field." Loose leaf manual. For new purchasers, the Guide is available (on approval) for 45.00. Twice yearly bulletin giving details of Budget changes affecting charitable taxation together with replacement pages at an annual cost of 19-50. Craigmyle & Company Ltd. The Grove, Harpenden, Herts, AL5 1AJ, phone 01582 762441, email:

VAT for charities and other voluntary organisations Tolleys/LexisNexis; Nov 03. ISBN 0754521346, £49-95. Order from

VAT for Voluntary Organisations NCVO, May 2005. ISBN 07199 1665 8, £10.00.


The Barry Rose Charity Statutes 'the complete texts of public Acts of Parliament and subsidiary legislation governing charities generally (excluding rates and tax)'. Also has useful notes, but unfortunately in very small type. £75 from Barry Rose Law Publishers, Little London, Chichester, W Sussex, PO19 1PG, phone 01243 783637, email: Order from

Butterworths Charity Law Handbook (Dec 00), ISBN 0 406 91272 6, £69-00. Phone Customer Services on 020 8662 2000.

Charities: The Law and Practice ISBN 0 752 00056 X For practitioners and charity professionals at £185-00, the complete guide to the legal requirements and obligations of charities. At least 2 updates a year. Sweet & Maxwell, 100 Avenue Road, London, NW3 3PF, phone 020 7449 1111. They also publish several other Charity Law titles, including Tudor on Charities, Cracknell on Charities.

Charity Law In Scotland (1996) Edited by Dr. Christine Barker, Robert C. Elliot and Susan R. Moody, published by W. Green. ISBN 0 414 01141 4, £31-50.

Sinclair Taylor & Martin Company Handbook and Registers for Voluntary Sector Companies Limited by Guarantee James Sinclair Taylor & Sandy Adirondack; 1st edition, 1999. Ring-binder, 196 pages, £39-50. Order from Sandy Adirondack, 39 Gabriel House, 10 Odessa Street, London, SE16 7HQ, phone 020 7232 0726. Publisher's info: This comprehensive and easy-to-use publication is suitable for all voluntary sector companies limited by guarantee without a share capital, whether charitable or non-charitable. With regular updates available, it provides:

Data ProtectionData Protection for Voluntary Organisations Paul Ticher; DSC with Bates, Wells & Braithwaite, 2nd edition 2002. ISBN 1 903991 19 6, £14.95. Buy from ~~ Publisher's info: The 1998 Data Protection Act is having far-reaching implications for voluntary organisations which hold personal data on computer or on paper. The second edition of this practical guide has been revised and updated following the implementation of the Act to include more examples, model policies and statements, and decision-making flow charts, as well as authoritative answers to key questions, and a comprehensive index. It sets out clearly:

'A must for those dealing with personal data!' [Charity Talk]

Fundraisers GuideFundraiser's Guide to the Law Bates, Wells & Braithwaite and Centre for Voluntary Sector Development; Directory of Social Change and CAF, 1st edition 2000. ISBN 1 900360 78 0, £16-95. Buy from ~~ Publisher's info: This wide-ranging guide contains all the essential information that you need in order to stay within the law, whatever your chosen method of fundraising. Combining the expertise of authors from a leading charity law firm and a group of experienced fundraising and management consultants, the book:

'Ideal for anyone responsible for fundraising' [NICVA's SCOPE magazine]

The Law and Practice relating to Charities, Hubert Picarda; Butterworths, 3rd Edition Nov 99. ISBN 0 406 92147 4, £230.

Law for Social Workers Hugh Brayne, Gerry Martin; Blackstone Press, Oct 01.

Running a Charity Francesca Quint, Ken McManus, Leonard Freedman; Jordans Sept 97. Regulatory, financial issues. Buy from

Vol not amateurVoluntary but not Amateur: a guide to the law for voluntary organisations and community groups Jacki Reason, Ruth Hayes & Duncan Forbes; LVSC, 6th Edition Oct 00. ISBN 1 872582 71 0, £22-95. Buy from Publisher's info: A basic guide to the law for voluntary and community groups, ideal for new managers and management committee members. This new, expanded edition includes:

Legal HandbookVoluntary Sector Legal Handbook Sandy Adirondack & James Sinclair Taylor, Consulting editors: Sinclair Taylor & Martin, Solicitors; DSC, 2nd edition 2001. 912 pages, ISBN 1 900360 72 1 £42 for voluntary organisations, £60 for others. Publisher's info: Here in one easy-to-use volume is the definitive guide to the law as it affects charities, community groups and other voluntary organisations. The new edition has been comprehensively updated and expanded, to include the many changes in law and practice since the first edition, especially new employment legislation, data protection changes and the Human Rights Act. Alterations and additions since the last edition are clearly indicated throughout. The book covers:

'This is easily the best available publication on voluntary sector law.' [Volunteering magazine]. 'So perfectly crafted that it has become the pre-eminent resource for voluntary organisations.' [Wales Council for Voluntary Action].

Key Haven publish legal titles such as The Charity Law and Practice Review (3 issues a year £59.90 for registered charities, ISSN 0966-4041), Venables and Kessler on the taxation of charities (ISBN 1-901614-18-2, £150).