It’s been two years since the new reporting standards were introduced.
New Zealand’s Charity Services is pleased with the compliance rates after the second full year or reporting under the new standards, with overall adoption improving from 65% to 82% – which suggests that they are very much still in the “educate and encourage” mode.
Tier 1 and 2 achieved 100% compliance and Tier 3 was close behind with 98%. It’s the under-resourced Tier 4 charities who have the lowest compliance rates (though that’s up from 56% to 72%).
There’s no sign of a big stick being waved about yet. Still, they’re not entirely satisfied.
It’s a work in progress with continuous amendments being rolled out adjusting the process to make it more transparent and hopefully easier on charities.
Tier 3 and Tier 4 Need Improvement
They noted a few common areas of faults with submitted reports. In particular, they noted that some of the Tier 3 and Tier 4 charities were providing a full list of expenses rather than grouping them as required.
It’s a very manual and laborious task grouping different accounts as per specifications. This is where Calxa’s NZ not-for-profit customers gain the most advantage. Using the pre-configured bundle kits with an account tree gets this done easily, year after year.
The other area our bundle kit can help with is the notes, which many organisations are apparently missing – especially the ones on related-party transactions and property, plant and equipment.
This isn’t automated in Calxa as we can’t identify the transactions but we do provide the space (and the reminder) to insert them in the report.
Some Amendments in the Winds
Already Tier 4 charities are required to consolidate entities if their combined annual operating payments exceed $125,000. But there is more coming. The External Reporting Board (XRB) is seeking feedback on proposed changes:
- Aligning definitions between Tier 3 and 4 and Tier 1 and 2
- Authorisation signature requirements on performance reports for Tier 3 and 4
- Annotations on asset value increases if previously written down for Tier 3
There is still time to provide your feedback by 30 May 2018.
The new standards are still taking time to implement in New Zealand but they are already improving transparency in the sector. Potential donors, or anyone curious about the workings of a charity, can now look them up online, read their annual returns and get an understanding of the purpose and activities of the organisation.