Pleased to support OCAY


In December 2015 I was presented with the opportunity to help out at small local charity called Older Citizens Advocacy York (OCAY). OCAY provides support to local residents by helping them speak up for themselves when there is something they want/need to say, whether it is about people’s rights, helping to provide access to services or providing advice and assistance with general life issues, to name a few services. OCAY relies heavily on volunteers to perform a variety of roles including advocacy services, fundraising and governance.

The role

The role that I perform is that of “Honorary Treasurer”. In this role I have had the opportunity to prepare and review monthly management accounts, present financial reports at management committee meetings, provide advice on the affordability of new projects as well as highlighting areas where the charity is under/overspending. It has been an enjoyable and useful experience and has allowed me to look beyond the reporting of figures, and actually look at what this means to an organisation like OCAY. In addition, it has provided me with more experience of seeing how charities are run and operate, at a time when Garbutt + Elliott are experiencing growth in their portfolio of charity clients, allowing me to apply this insight in my day to day job as an Audit Senior for a number of corporate and charity clients.

Dorothy Hodgkinson (OCAY’s Project Lead) reflects on my time in the role

James has provided OCAY with clarity around the whole accounting process, both by producing reports and accounts in plain English for the non-accountants that we are, and by working with staff in the office to streamline our accounts system.  This has greatly enhanced understanding of how these systems work and is enabling us to extract the information we need for future funding bids and end of project reporting with ease.  James has offered considered advice and guidance to both staff and trustees in a timely and effective manner which has enabled informed decision making, and as such this has reduced the levels of anxiety often present around our ‘accounts’ for those of us far less familiar with them.  At the time of James’ arrival we were in flux in terms of trustees leaving and joining the organisation as well as several staff changes within a relatively short period of time.  James has created a steadying hand on the financial work within OCAY whilst all these changes have been settling down.  James is approachable, has given freely of his own personal time as well as that made available by Garbutt + Elliott, something which we value very highly and are extremely grateful for.”

Garbutt + Elliott have supported me in this role by providing me with the time to deliver some of these services as part of the firm’s Corporate Social Responsibility commitment. Additionally, I have been able to draw on the knowledge of some of the various charity experts that work at Garbutt + Elliott to provide more complex advice to OCAY.


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