Charities’ financial statement requirements announced

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission has announced the financial aspects of the 2014 Annual Information Statement, which is not due until the end of 2014.

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has this week announced the financial aspects of the 2014 Annual Information Statement (AIS).

While the statement is not due until 31 December 2014, the ACNC said it was announcing the financial aspects now to give charities as much time as possible to prepare relevant information.

The 2014 AIS is the result of consultation with the sector. The ACNC said it received 160 responses by way of online survey responses and written submissions in addition to discussion via face-to-face meetings, teleconferences, information sessions and online via Facebook. 

Acting ACNC Commissioner Murray Baird said the consultation was broad ranging and received responses from a diverse cross section of the NFP sector including large national charities, smaller regional organisations, peak bodies and professional representatives.

”The consultation was generally well received, and the ACNC had made changes based on the feedback obtained,” Mr Baird said.

”We appreciate the sector taking the time to contribute to the consultation, and based on this feedback, we have now finalised the financial reporting requirements for the 2014 AIS.

”Those who provided a submission will notice that following the consultation we have significantly reduced the amount of financial data that charities have to enter in the 2014 AIS, and we have removed questions in relation to business activities, related parties, salary sacrifice expenses and reserves,” he said.

The 2014 AIS will seek different financial information depending on the size of the charity. 

Small charities with annual revenue of less than $250,000 will have fewer questions to respond to than medium ($250,000 to $999,999 annual revenue) and large charities ($1 million and over annual revenue).

Mr Baird said that the ACNC was also working collaboratively to streamline reporting and to support charities in meeting their reporting requirements. 

A practical example of this was the handing over in June this year of the National Standard Chart of Accounts (NSCOA), from the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies at Queensland University of Technology to the ACNC, he said.

”To assist charities in reporting their financial information to the ACNC, we have ensured that the information requested is consistent with the National Standard Chart of Accounts,” Mr Baird said.

”The NSCOA provides access for all organisations to an agreed set of accounting definitions and this will save them time and money, particularly in relation to reporting to government. Many charities are already using NSCOA to help reduce time and costs in financial reporting.”

Charities should consider the impact of the 2014 AIS from 1 July 2013 and note that their 2014 AIS will be pre-populated with the information that they provide in their 2013 AIS, the ACNC suggested.

The ACNC has published a guide which includes information on what is different in the 2014 AIS to the 2013 AIS, timelines for gathering information, guidance for the financial questions and other useful links.

Access the guide here: 2014 Annual Information Statement: Guide to requirements

Read the analysis of the consultation submissions here: Analysis of the 2014 Annual Information Statement Consultation

Charities can contact the ACNC by emailing advice@acnc.gov.au or by calling 13 ACNC (13 2262).

Tags: acnc, charities, financial-statement,

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