Charities challenged to take lead on accountability.

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Major charities should set a better example of financial accountability, according to Andrew Hind, chief executive of the Charity Commission, who told a recent CIMA conference that a quarter of the UK's higher-income charities were failing to submit their accounts and annual returns on time.

Hind pointed out that this was in breach of charity law and left 6bn [pounds sterling] of charitable funds unaccounted for. "In a world where it's in everyone's interest to build public confidence and raise standards of transparency, we are not very far off first base," he said. "It needs more urgency, particularly among the leading charities, which I would like to see setting a better example."

According the Hind, 11 of the top 100 charities fail to meet their reporting commitments on time. Of those that manage to file on time, half take eight months or more. The...

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