Find out How the ACNC has Improved Annual Reporting

The Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) requires not-for-profit organisations to submit the Annual Information Statement (AIS). The recently released 2017 AIS needs to be lodged by the end of December for charities with a 30 June year end. The purpose of the statement is to provide greater visibility and transparency to members of the public, so that anyone can clearly understand what your organisations does.

So to reduce the red tape burden surrounding your not-for-profit organisation, the ACNC has continued to improve their capabilities for your convenience.

What’s in the AIS?

The main part of the document is focussed on determining who you are and what you do. This includes not just the activities you were involved in but also who the beneficiaries were – are you helping children? Older people?  There’s also a question about how these activities relate to the purpose of the charity – something that is worth stopping to consider.
The statistics on numbers of employees and volunteers provide a valuable resource to the ACNC (and the wider public when the full data is eventually published) and will help you compare your organisation to others in similar functions.

What else do you need to include?

If you’re a medium (income over $250,000) or a large (income over $1m) charity you also need to attach some basic financial reports. There are 4 reports required and you could easily set them up as a Report Bundle in Calxa so that they are easy to repeat next year.  The reports required are:

  • Statement of Profit or Loss
  • Statement of Financial Position (or Balance Sheet)
  • Statement of Changes in Equity
  • Statement of Cash Flows

Preparing these for your reviewer or auditor will make life easier for them. If you want to see a good example for a full set of reports and notes, have a look at the Grant Thornton website.

When does the red tape get cut?

Much of the early promise of the ACNC reporting was that it would eliminate the need to report to multiple state government bodies. There’s been some progress towards this and you’ll find out more in the state-based questions in Section F. Incorporated associations in South Australia and Tasmania no longer have to send an annual report to their Consumer Affairs departments and there are reduced reporting requirements for charities conducting fundraising in South Australia.

We are a long way off cutting out every grant acquittal but there is progress!