In the hustle and bustle of central London, the Swedenborg Society offers a distinctive piece of historic harmony. As a publisher, library, bookshop, venue and registered charity, the society trustees sought the experience of an accounting firm that could handle the complexities of their charity audit.
A historic institution with modern purpose
The Swedenborg Society was established in 1810 to translate and publish the work of the late Emmanuel Swedenborg. Just a short walk from the British Museum, the society is housed in its striking Grade II listed building in Bloomsbury, in the heart of Central London. As well as the unique reference library, the society has a well-stocked bookshop and distinctive event space that is hired-out for performances, lectures, conferences and exhibitions.
The society incorporated in 1925 and became a registered educational charity. As it continued to grow, the society sought an accountant with greater experience in working with charities – an accountant that could guide their trustees on strategy, governance and compliance for smooth day-to-day running of the charity. That is when they chose to work with WMT.
Working towards the future
As a registered charity, the Swedenborg Society is required to follow internal financial control processes outlined by The Charity Commission. An annual audit is required of the society’s transactions and processes.
The society is working towards accredited museum status – accreditation that defines good practice for the charity and outlines agreed standards in how the museum is run, how the collections are managed and the experience they provide for users. To gain this status the society must demonstrate financial stability and provide appropriate accounts. It also needs to have reserve funds and reserve policies which the annual accounts should reflect.
A trusted relationship
The society have a long-standing relationship with WMT and have trusted their audit to our experienced team for a number of years.
Aside from their regular audit requirements, they have turned to WMT for trustee training, as well as VAT, payroll and accounting support. The management team keep up to date with charity reporting requirements and changes to the Charity Commission requirements by attending WMT’s charity seminars and reading our regular email updates.
Streamlined processes for achievable ambitions
During the annual audit process WMT identify areas where the society can improve its financial reporting and operational processes. Over the course of their time-honoured relationship with WMT, recommendations for improvement have become few as the trustees have acted to make necessary changes.
As processes become tighter and more efficient the trustees are assured that they are meeting Charity Commission requirements, allowing them to focus on their ambitions for the future.
Stephen McNeilly, Executive Director said:
"We are absolutely delighted with the services provided by WMT. In addition to their highly professional annual audit, they also offer year round support and advice on changes to Charity law and Charitable Governance. Over the years we have benefited greatly from their advice and they are now a vital and reassuring presence for the Society as we adapt, grow and embrace new charitable opportunities.”