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To maintain public confidence in the work of charities, charity law requires most charities to have an external scrutiny of their accounts. Provided a charity is not required by law or its governing document to have an audit then trustees may choose a simpler and less expensive form of external scrutiny called an Independent Examination.

Trustees may opt for an independent examination instead of an audit provided their charity’s gross income is not more than £1,000,000 (from March 2015), or where gross income exceeds £250,000 its gross asset are not more than £3.26 million.

An independent examination is a simpler form of scrutiny than an audit but it still provides trustees, funders, beneficiaries, stakeholders and the public with an assurance that the accounts of the charity have been reviewed by an independent person.