As of 7 May CCA has not been taking on any new clients. Growth in demand is unprecedented at the moment and we cannot create new capacity as fast as this demand is growing.
Usually CCA is taking on about one new client per week. However, enquiries from new clients have numbered 2-3 per week in the last two months, and in the last two weeks since the enrolment stop we had to turn away 8 not-for-profit organisations seeking our help. 285 clients are enrolled with us at the moment, about 60 more than this time last year.
The main driver for this appears to be accountants no longer wanting to do work for charities because of the new rules, leaving many charities without an accountant or auditor. This trend seems to worsen as accountants are gradually catching up with the fact that the rules for charities have changed, and that they are very different to how they usually prepare accounts for clients. Charities Services has advised that more than 60% of newly filed returns appear to be non-compliant, which makes it likely that even more accountants will drop charity clients in future as such non-compliant reports will increasingly get rejected.
CCA is employing more accountants, however we are facing the same problem as everyone else in that new staff are initially not familiar with the new reporting rules or, in fact, the not-for-profit sector in general. This means there is a certain lead-up and training time, and we simply cannot do this fast enough at the moment. We do not expect this enrolment stop to last for more than three months or so.
We still encourage organisations who are in serious danger of not being able to meet their legal reporting requirements with Charities Services or the Societies Register to contact us.