PCC Year-end Accounts Guidance

There are lots of helpful resources available to guide a Treasurer through the year-end accounting and reporting process, please refer to the ACAT (Association of Church Accountants & Treasurers) Resources or Parish Resources (part of the Church of England).

For ACAT Resources, The Diocese of Peterborough has a block membership agreement in place for all its churches.

To benefit from this fully, you are welcome to log on to the ACAT website and create your own Username and Password. Details of how to do this can be found here.

The Church of England’s National Stewardship & Resources team also provide a detailed helpful link to ‘Parish Resources’

Does your Parish need to registrar with the Charity Commission?

Registration with the charity commission – Find the latest information below on the following links from Parish Resources or / and ACAT:
Accounting and Reporting - Parish ResourcesParish Resources
Chapter 17: Registration of Charities in England and Wales | ACAT

PCC Accounts Reporting 

Receipts & Payments Accounts

There are two different methods of accounting are permissible, depending on the gross income of the PCC: Receipts & Payments, or Accruals account. If the gross income of your PCC is less than £250,000 you can choose to prepare your accounts on a Receipts and Payments basis. This is a simpler form of accounting which records cash moving in and out of the PCC’s bank accounts during the financial year.  

Accruals Accounts

Parishes with gross incomes greater than £250,000 must produce accounts on the accruals basis, which provides a more accurate view of the PCC’s financial position.

Trustees Annual Report

Alongside each year’s accounts, a PCC must present a Trustees’ Annual Report.  The Charity Commission has issued some rules on what must be covered. There is also guidance on writing the Trustees’ Annual Report available. All PCC members have collective responsibility for the annual report, although typically the PCC Secretary and Treasurer will take a lead in its preparation, with input and support from the Incumbent or Priest-in-Charge.

The annual report and accounts provide an important opportunity for trustees to 'take stock' of what the PCC has achieved over the last year and to demonstrate to supporters, potential funders and the public that the PCC has met its objectives and managed its resources effectively, and explain the difference that it has made to its intended beneficiaries.

Independent Examiner / Letter of appointment

Please find below a link that explains the role and who can be an independent Examiner.
Chapter 11: Independent Examination | ACAT
It is recommended that in order to reduce the chance of any misunderstanding, the independent examiner should write to the PCC detailing its accounting responsibilities and the examiner’s statutory responsibilities. The content of the letter should be agreed with the PCC.

Annual Parish Finance Returns

Each year parish treasurers are asked to complete an annual return summarising their finances over the last year and giving details of regular giving.

The annual return form is available online here.

The Return of Parish Finance should be completed via this system once the year-end accounts have been completed.  The deadline for completion of the Return of Parish Finance is the 31st of May each year. If you've not completed the Return of Parish Finance online before, you may find this guidance helpful.

Should you need a reminder of your login details for the online parish return system, or any help please email us.

Finance Summary - Checklist

There are a few simple steps for a PCC Treasurer to follow at the end of each financial year. These include:
Prepare annual Report & Accounts.

  • Arrange to meet with your Independent Examiner to discuss the Report & Accounts, and provide any supporting documentation requested.

  • Present Report & Accounts at a PCC meeting for approval and signature prior to the APCM.

  • Obtain Independent Examiner's report and signature, and include with Report & Accounts.

  • Display Report & Accounts for at least 7 days prior to APCM.

  • Present Report & Accounts for approval at APCM.

  • Appoint Independent Examiner for the next financial year at APCM.

  • Send a copy of the signed Report & Accounts to the Finance Team at the diocesan office (no later than 31 May).

  • Complete the annual Return of Parish Finance in the Church of England's online parish return system (by 31 May).