Top ten tips for reporting financial information

The 2014 reporting period is the first time charities are required to report financial information to the ACNC via the Annual Information Statement.

We have analysed the information reported to us to date to identify the common mistakes charities are making. Below are the top ten tips to help charities avoid making mistakes when they report to us in the future.

Things to know to avoid making mistakes in your Annual Information Statement

Small, medium and large charities need to complete financial information questions in the Annual Information Statement.

  1. Know your charity size
    Make sure you get your size right. Charity size affects reporting obligations.
    Read more at acnc.gov.au/charitysize.
  2. Know your financial report type
    Are you submitting a general purpose or special purpose financial report? Read more about the types of financial statements you can include at acnc.gov.au/financialstatements.
  3. Will you self-assess as a basic religious charity? Know the requirements
    Most charities that are incorporated cannot self-assess as a basic religious charity.
    Read more at acnc.gov.au/basicreligiouscharity.
  4. Check that the financial information you enter is correct
    Don’t mistake cents with dollars or record ‘revenue items’ as ‘other income’. Read more about the financial information at acnc.gov.au/2014AISguide.
  5. Remember to provide financial information
    Don’t forget to provide financial information, even if you did not conduct charitable activities during the year.

    Things to know to avoid making mistakes in your financial report

    Medium charities must submit a financial report that is either reviewed or audited. Large charities must submit a financial report that is audited. The tips below are for medium and large charities.
  6. Remember to submit your financial reports, including the financial statements
    The statement of cash flows, statement of comprehensive income and statement of changes in equity were often omitted. Follow the reporting checklist to make sure you submit everything at acnc.gov.au/2014AISchecklist.
  7. Preparing a special purpose financial statement? Remember the accounting standards.
    You need to comply and state that the statement is prepared in accordance with the six mandatory accounting standards. Read more at acnc.gov.au/financialstatements.
  8. Check you have an accounting policy note and it is correct
    In the notes to the financial statements, there must be an accounting policy note that contains adequate accounting policy disclosures. Read more on policy note requirements in the relevant accounting standard AASB 101 Presentation of Financial Statements.
  9. Preparing a general purpose financial statement? Check the completeness and quality of the related party disclosures
    Make sure you provide sufficient detail of transactions between related parties and key management personnel compensation.
  10. Make sure you attach all required documents
    Remember to attach the audit/review reports and/or responsible persons’ declaration and make sure they are signed. Read more about what you need to submit at acnc.gov.au/2014AISchecklist.

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