Managing charity money guide - keeping your finances secure

Keeping an eye on your charity’s finances is essential to making sure your charity has access to the resources it needs to do its work. Regularly reviewing your financial position and your charity’s ability to pay for its upcoming debts will help make sure your charity has access to money when it needs it and is not operating while insolvent.

Consider establishing a sub-committee of your board with responsibility for overseeing your charity’s financial performance and controls. This committee could review financial reports in greater detail and provide advice to the board about the organisation’s financial position. You may even consider including one or two people on this committee who are not also board members to provide an extra level of accountability.

Protecting against fraud

Fraud occurs where someone, or a group of people, act in a way that is dishonest or against the law to benefit themselves. People can commit fraud in a variety of ways, including by: making false representations abusing their position failing to disclose information, and using other forms of deception. Theft does happen in charities – it is uncommon, but simple steps can help prevent problems. Ensure that your processes for money-handling are safe and secure to protect against fraud and financial crime.

For more information about financial controls, see our quick tips on basic financial controls at acnc.gov.au/tools and read the ACNC’s guide Protecting your charity from fraud at acnc.gov.au/fraudguide.

Protecting against the risk of terrorism financing

Charities can be potential channels for raising and distributing funds for terrorism financing. Because of this, charities must take all reasonable precautions and exercise due diligence (research and action to reduce the risk, particularly when working with other people and organisations) to ensure that funds are not inadvertently directed towards terrorism. This includes putting in appropriate governance structures. There may be serious consequences for charities if they are used for terrorism financing (even if the charity does not know), including criminal penalties. Strong financial controls and robust governance arrangements can reduce the risk of your charity being used for terrorism financing.

Find out more about protecting your charity from terrorist financing at acnc.gov.au/protecttf

Protecting against other forms of abuse

Compliance with the ACNC governance standards will assist your charity to reduce the risk of all forms of abuse, financial or otherwise. The ACNC governance standards are a set of core, minimum standards that deal with how charities are run (including their processes, activities and relationships) – their governance.