Transitional reporting arrangements

To support charities new to reporting financial information

For some charities, reporting to a regulator annually is a new obligation. We have detailed guidance available to help explain reporting, as well as making arrangements that give charities some time to adjust to reporting. For example, during our first year of operation, the only ACNC reporting obligation was to complete the 2013 Annual Information Statement. This statement did not contain any financial information questions and charities could choose to submit a financial report. There are other current transitional financial reporting arrangements in place.

See below for more information on financial reporting for small charities.

To help reduce the reporting burden on charities that report to other agencies

To work out if any transitional arrangements apply for your charity, find the agency your charity reports to or is regulated by below.

We also have transitional arrangements in place that give us time to work with other government agencies to implement long-term streamlined reporting arrangements.

Attention - Important information!Charities that are incorporated as companies by or registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) have many of their notification and reporting obligations to ASIC replaced by obligations to the ACNC. This is not a transitional arrangement. Read more about ASIC and ACNC obligations.

Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC)

Indigenous corporations registered with ORIC must continue to comply with ORIC reporting obligations unless we notify them of any different requirement. We are working with ORIC, so your corporation can continue to operate and report to ORIC as it has always done, without reporting to the ACNC separately. The information you provide to ORIC is provided to the ACNC so that we can update your charity’s details on the ACNC Register.

Read more about ORIC-registered charities.

State or territory regulators of incorporated associations, cooperatives or charitable fundraisers

If your charity reports to particular state or territory regulators, we may accept these financial reports as meeting our requirements for the 2014, 2015 and 2016 reporting periods, so you can submit the same financial report to the ACNC. We will continue to work with state and territory regulators to streamline the reporting arrangements for charities.

Read more about state and territory reports below.

Department of Education and Training (DET)

If your non-government school submits a financial questionnaire to DET, you do not have to provide financial information to us directly for the 2014, 2015 and 2016 reporting periods. We will accept the financial information lodged with DET as meeting our requirements under the ACNC Act to complete the financial information in the Annual Information Statement (and to lodge a financial report for medium and large charities).

Read more about the obligations of non-government schools.

Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

If your public or private ancilliary fund is required to complete the ancillary fund return for the ATO, the Commissioner has exercised her discretion to defer the time for lodgement of the 2015 Annual Information Statement. For funds reporting on the 1 July to 30 June reporting period, for example, the statement will be due by 28 February 2016. For the 2016 Annual Information Statement, we are working with the ATO to further streamline the reporting process.

Read more about private and public ancillary funds

Financial reporting for small charities

Small charities (with a revenue of less than $250 000) must answer the financial questions in the Annual Information Statement but do not have to submit a financial report.

Medium and large charities – 2014 reporting period

Financial statements complying with the Australian Accounting Standards
Generally, a financial report includes financial statements that comply with accounting standards (‘general purpose financial statements’) or ‘special purpose financial statements’ that meet the minimum accounting standards listed under regulation 60.30 of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Regulation 2013 (Cth).

Whether you can prepare general purpose financial statements or special purpose financial statements will depend upon the circumstances of your charity. Read more about financial statements.

However, your medium or large sized charity will not be required to provide general or special financial statements for the 2014 reporting period if it:

  • was not required, under an Australian law, to prepare a financial report that complied with the Australian Accounting Standards in the 2013 reporting period, and
  • it did not prepare a financial report for the 2013 reporting period that complied (or purported to comply) with accounting standards.

Instead, for the 2014 reporting period, your charity only needs to complete the financial information section within the 2014 Annual Information Statement, but this financial information must be either reviewed or audited (depending on your charity’s size). This information will be your charity’s ‘financial statements’ for the 2014 reporting period.

Attention - Important information!Templates for transitional financial reporting
We have developed transitional financial report templates for medium and large charities. The templates include the financial information questions in the 2014 Annual Information Statement and notes to take to your auditor to either review or audit. You also need to provide a ‘responsible persons' declaration’, which is included in the financial reporting template.Only use these transitional financial reporting templates for the 2014 reporting period. We will not accept them for other reporting periods.

Download:

 

Reporting on an accrual basis
If your medium or large charity has reported on a cash basis in the past, it can provide information to the ACNC on a cash basis for the 2014 reporting period only.

This financial information prepared on a cash basis does not need to comply with the accrual accounting requirements of Australian Accounting Standards and, as such, does not need to present a true and fair view.

If you change from cash to accrual reporting, your charity (and its auditor or reviewer) needs to communicate this due to the potential confusion this change may cause. You can communicate this change by disclosing it in the notes to the financial statements. Read more about cash and accrual accounting.

Reporting to state or territory regulators
Your medium or large charity may currently submit financial reports to the state or territory regulator because it is:

  • an incorporated association
  • a cooperative, or
  • a charitable fundraising organisation.

If so, you can submit the same financial report to the ACNC. We will accept this financial report as meeting our requirements for the 2014, 2015 and 2016 reporting period.

Attention - Important information!Upload the same financial report you previously provided to the state or territory regulator in the financial information section of the Annual Information Statement. Remember to select the state or territory where you submitted that financial report.

The ACNC will accept the financial reports from the types of charities listed* as follows:

State or territory Incorporated associations Co-operatives Charitable fundraising organisations
ACT Yes Yes Yes
NSW Yes Yes Yes
QLD Yes Yes Yes
SA Yes Yes Yes
WA No, as reports not lodged to the WA Government Yes Yes
VIC Yes Yes Yes
NT Yes Yes No, as reports not required in NT
TAS Yes Yes No, as reports not required in TAS

* If your charity is an incorporated association or co-operative AND a charitable fundraising organisation, submit the same report provided to your incorporating regulator (not the fundraising report). However, if your charity is a trust or is unincorporated, you can submit your fundraising report.

Find your state or territory regulator.

Read the Commissioner’s Policy Statement: Accepting other government reports.

Medium and large charities – 2015 reporting period

Ongoing reporting obligations apply

Medium and large charities are required to prepare financial reports under the Australian Accounting Standards that provide a true and fair view. These charities are also required to report on an accrual basis.

Attention - Important information!Do not attach the transitional financial reporting templates for medium and large charities. These templates were only available for the 2014 reporting period and do not meet the ACNC financial reporting requirements from 2015 onwards.

Reporting to state or territory regulators

If your charity reports to particular state or territory regulators, we may accept these financial reports as meeting our requirements for the 2015 reporting period, so you can submit the same financial report to the ACNC. Read more above.

Attention - Important information!Make sure you complete your charity’s 2015 Annual Information Statement, and submit the same financial report you previously provided to the state or territory regulator. Upload the report in the financial information section of the 2015 Annual Information Statement.

Comparative information

If your charity:

you do not need to provide 2014 comparative information in the 2015 financial report.

Your charity (and its auditor or reviewer):

Your auditor or reviewer:

  • must make sure their report is consistent with the basis of accounting as disclosed in the notes to the financial statements, and
  • may determine that it is appropriate to issue an emphasis of matter in respect of the comparative information.

An ‘emphasis of matter’ is a part of an auditor’s/reviewer’s report which draws attention to a note within the financial statements which the auditor/reviewer regards as essential to understanding the statements in full.

Medium and large charities – 2016 reporting period

Ongoing reporting obligations apply

Medium and large charities need to prepare financial reports under the Australian Accounting Standards that provide a true and fair view. These charities also report on an accrual basis and comparative requirements apply.

Reporting to state or territory regulators

If your charity reports to particular state or territory regulators, we may will accept these financial reports as meeting our requirements for the 2016 reporting period, so you can submit the same financial report to the ACNC. Read more above.

Attention - Important information!Upload the same financial report you previously provided to the state or territory regulator in the financial information section of the Annual Information Statement. Remember to select the state or territory where you submitted that financial report and select the reason you submitted your financial report.

More information

Related resources

External resources