As a leading charity accountant, our team has extensive experience of charity accounts, as well as a deep understanding of the legal and accounting framework for the charity sector, meaning we can guide you through what can sometimes seem like a minefield of obligations.

Our services include charity audits, accounts preparation, I.T. support, payroll and tax advice.

Our Approach

With several members of the team acting as trustees of local charities, we’re able to provide an empathetic, knowledgeable, and hands-on approach, which is valued by our clients. By taking the time to get to know your charity, we provide effective support, identifying areas for improvement.

Once your charity audit is completed, we’ll continue to work closely with your team or finance committee, following up on any observations or recommendations. And because we take a proactive approach, we’ll keep up to date with the relevant regulatory changes, ensuring you’re kept in the loop too.

Our Experience

We’ve worked with hundreds of charities across the region, spanning Manchester, Preston, Chester, Blackpool and more; acting for clients in the following areas:

Over the years we’ve supported charities with little to no formal reporting, implementing a formal reporting and communication process, leading to increased transparency for the charity.

Our team is also able to provide in-house support for those organisations needing extra assistance with their finance function.

Adding Value to the Charity Sector

As well as ensuring you meet your financial and legal obligations, we work hard to strengthen your financial position. By taking a hands-on approach, we’ll help to place you in a better position to support your charity’s aims.

Accounting Software for Charities

We work alongside your finance team to ensure your software meets your charity’s needs. We’ll make software recommendations, implement systems and provide training and ongoing support to your team.

Meet the Team

Our charity team have years of experience. Spanning our office network, it is led by:

Sue Harris BA Hons CANTAB ACA – Client Service and Audit Partner (Chester office)

Sue trained and qualified with Ernst & Young in Liverpool and has 20+ years’ experience working with the charity and not for profit sectors.

Sue’s current clients include Claire House Children’s Hospice and the Hammond School in Chester, and she has worked with large national charities such as The Consumer Credit Counselling Service, the Royal Horticultural Society and the North Wales Careers Service.

She specialises in governance and risk management and has overall responsibility for the quality of service we provide.

Debbie Thorn FCA – Director (Blackpool office)

Debbie has 35 years’ experience working for a wide range of clients and sectors. Starting her career with Haworth Moore Chartered Accountants in 1983, Debbie qualified in 1991 and was appointed partner in 1995. She joined Champion in 2007 following its merger with Haworth Moore.

Having been involved with the charity sector for more than 15 years, Debbie maintains a longstanding relationship with many established charities across the North West, including Fylde Coast YMCA and N-Vision. Her experience includes larger charity audits upwards of £10million, as well as supporting smaller charities with a turnover below £100,000.

Andrew Hopwood (Bsc Hons, FCA) – Director (Chester office)

Andrew works in our Chester office and is a specialist in the charity sector, having acted for charities for more than 20 years. Previously working at Allwood Baird Hack, he joined Champion in 2004 following a merger and was appointed director in 2008.

With experience in charity audits and independent examinations, Andrew currently acts for the B.I.R.D charity (The Centre for Brain Injury and Rehabilitation and Development), Barrowmore Limited and Chester Swimming Association Limited, among other charity clients.

He offers expert help and guidance to a diverse portfolio of charities in what is a highly regulated and technically complicated sector including raising funds, managing finances and keeping up to date with changing legislation.

The charities we support come back to Champion year on year. Here’s what they have to say:

Champion are streets ahead of our previous accountants – very thorough and very charity friendly.

Dr Andrew Garman, chair at Platform for Life

When selecting an accountant to work with, it was important to find a company who were proactive, customer focused, and who had both experience of charity accounting and a real empathy for the work of the Charity. Champion Accountants have fulfilled these criteria over the last four years and the support and advice given has been invaluable. The help and support of the team at Champion is greatly appreciated.

Helen Schielke, practice manager at B.I.R.D (Brain Injury Rehabilitation and Development)

Rainbow Family Trust has had a long association with Champion Accountants in their capacity as auditors to the charity.

Our audit is always completed on a timely basis in order to meet the requirements of presenting the financial statements at the AGM, which is usually held within four months of the year end.

The guidance and assistance Champion has given us over the years has proved invaluable and they have always conducted themselves in a professional manner. I would have no hesitation in recommending them to other charitable organisations.

Revd David Ireland, CEO, Francis House Children’s Hospice

Champion has continued to play a vital role in supporting any changes and developments that have taken place with the charity and a good working relationship has been established and maintained over many years.

They have provided the trustees of the charity with crucial advice and support at key points in our development. The services and support they provide are always of the highest quality.

Alison Sharland, trustee at the Sharland Charitable Foundation

We’ve been working with Champion Accountants for a very long time and their level of service has never changed. The team have always supported us, especially during periods of growth.

John Cronin, CEO of Fylde Coast YMCA

Champion is extremely helpful and if we ever have a query, they always explain it to us in a way that is easy to understand.

Not only are they approachable and personable, Champion feel like they’re an extension of our team, which is why our relationship has continued to progress over such a long period of time.

Jill Walker, director of finance at Fylde Coast YMCA

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