Take the ACNC compliance test: is your charity complying?

Use these questions to assess how well your charity is meeting its obligations, and whether it is taking the right steps to comply with the ACNC Act.

1. Is your charity working towards its charitable purpose? 

A purpose is the reason your charity was set up – its mission. Charities and their responsible persons (such as board or committee members, or trustees) must work toward this charitable purpose, make information about this purpose available to the public, and be able to show how it is trying to achieve this purpose.

2. Is your charity using its profits and assets only for its charitable purpose? 

A charity must only use its profits and assets to try to achieve its charitable purpose and cannot use these for any other purpose. Consider how you can demonstrate this clearly, for example, through keeping appropriate written records to correctly record your operations.

3. Is your charity meeting its reporting obligations?  

Every charity must lodge an Annual Information Statement. For the 2014 Annual Information Statement, most medium and large charities must also lodge annual financial reports. If your charity has made a material error in its Annual Information Statement or financial report, you must correct it as soon as possible.

Every charity must notify the ACNC of changes to its name, address for service, responsible persons and governing documents, as well as if it has significantly contravened the ACNC Act and may no longer be entitled to registration.  You should also notify the ACNC if you believe your charity has made a false or misleading statement to the ACNC.

4. Is your charity meeting its record-keeping obligations?

Every charity must keep written records that correctly record and explain its operations, transactions and financial position and performance.  In most cases charities must retain these records for seven years. 

5. Is your charity meeting all five governance standards, showing it has met minimum requirements for governance?

Apart from 'basic religious charities' (a category under the ACNC Act), all charities must meet governance standards under the ACNC Act and ACNC Regulations – before applying to register and to maintain registration. These standards set out a principles-based, minimum standard of governance and are designed to help promote public trust and confidence in charities.