This checklist details everything you need to consider, do and have ready to complete the 2019 Annual Information Statement (AIS).
It also includes information to help you avoid some of the more common mistakes charities have made when completing the online form.
Visit the About the Annual Information Statement page for a wider overview of the AIS process, as well as information about complying with your reporting obligations to the ACNC. Also refer to the 2019 AIS Guide as you complete your form for further support.
And remember, you can view and print a preview of your 2019 AIS before submission, allowing you to double-check the information you have provided before submitting it.
Previous Annual Information Statements
Information you need to know
Confirm your reporting period.
If your charity’s reporting period is not the standard 1 July to 30 June financial year, you can request a substitute accounting period by logging into the ACNC Charity Portal and completing Form 4A: Request a substituted accounting period. Find out more about reporting.
Confirm your charity’s size – small, medium or large. Your charity’s AIS questions – and other obligations – vary depending on its size:
- Small charities: annual revenue less than $250,000
- the AIS includes basic financial questions, and
- you can choose to submit a financial report, but this is not required.
- Medium charities: annual revenue between $250,000 and $999,999
- the AIS includes financial questions, and
- you must submit a financial report that is either reviewed or audited.
- Large charities: annual revenue of $1 million or more
- the AIS includes financial questions, and
- you must submit a financial report that is audited.
Ensure the right person signs and submits your charity’s AIS.
Apply for Group Reporting if your charity is part of a group of registered charities, and would like to report together by preparing consolidated financial statements.
Report using Bulk Lodgement if you wish to lodge Annual Information Statements for more than 10 charities on a single form.
Ask the ACNC to withhold your charity’s information (in limited circumstances).
Most - but not all - of the information you provide in the 2019 AIS will be published on your charity’s listing on the ACNC Charity Register.
However, if you want to withhold information from the Charity Register, submit a request to do so through the Charity Portal before you complete your AIS. You can begin your AIS immediately after submitting your request.
Information to have on hand
Have the following information ready to help you answer questions in the 2019 AIS.
- Your Charity Portal sign in details.
- Annual reports and project reports. These will help you answer questions in the 2019 AIS about your charity’s activities, beneficiaries, employees and volunteers. The AIS also asks charities to upload or link to their most recent annual report so it can be displayed on the Charity Register.
- Pay As You Go (PAYG) payment summaries. These will help you answer questions about your charity’s staff numbers.
- Funder/donor/grant acquittal reports. This information will help you answer questions about your charity’s activities and beneficiaries.
- Your charity’s annual report. You may be asked to supply a link to your annual report, or to summarise information it contains when describing your charities activities, beneficiaries and aims.
- Your charity’s Incorporated Association Number, as well as information about your organisation’s annual general meeting, membership and fundraising (including any fundraising licence numbers).
- Balance sheet or statement of financial position, and statement of profit or loss and other comprehensive income for the reporting period.
- Medium and large charities with no transitional reporting arrangements must submit financial statements for the reporting period, including:
- statement of profit or loss and other comprehensive income
- statement of financial position
- statement of changes in equity
- statement of cash flows
- notes to the financial statements
- Responsible Persons’ declaration about the statements and notes – signed and dated. Download a Responsible Persons’ declaration template at acnc.gov.au/templates
- reviewer’s report/auditor’s report – signed and dated. Download a reviewers’ report/auditor’s report template at acnc.gov.au/templates
Return to the ACNC website, log into the Charity Portal and follow select the option to complete your charity's 2019 AIS.
Upon completing your charity's AIS, you can view and print a preview of your form prior to submission. Once you are ready to submit, press the Submit button. When your form is submitted you will receive an email with a PDF document listing your responses. You can keep this document for your records.
And if you realise after submission that you need to correct an error in either your charity’s AIS or financial report, email us at: email@example.com and inform us that you wish to re-submit with corrected information. For small charities, this statement or report is due within 60 days of you identifying the error. For medium and large charities, the statement or report is due within 28 days of you identifying the error.
1. Make sure your charity has completed previous years’ AISs before starting work on the 2019 AIS.
2. Check your charity’s financial year end date and ensure you use the correct reporting period.
Charities must check their financial year end date before they start work on their 2019 AIS to ensure they use the correct reporting period. You can check your charity’s financial year end date by referring to your records on the Charity Register.
If your financial year end listed in the Charity Register is not correct, log into the Charity Portal and click on the ‘Request a different reporting period’ link. After submitting the request, wait for the ACNC to confirm your charity’s different reporting period before starting your AIS.
3. Check your charity’s Address For Service email
The ACNC sends important information to this email address. Using a personal email address rather than a generic charity one can make it hard for us to contact your charity.
4. Reporting as a Basic Religious Charity? Know the requirements
The AIS contains a series of questions to help determine if your charity is a Basic Religious Charity (BRC). BRCs are charities that have the purpose of ‘advancing religion’, and that comply with five other requirements.
Only a small number of charities that have the purpose of advancing religion meet all five requirements. Read more at acnc.gov.au/BasicReligiousCharity.
5. Ensure you select the right activities for your charity
When asked about your charity’s activities, be aware that most of them will fall within the categories provided in the 2018 AIS.
This question in the AIS also allows charities to select ‘other categories’. However, you should only make this selection in exceptional circumstances. Refer to the 2019 AIS Guide, as well as to guidance within the form, for more information.
6. Remember to provide financial information
Remember to provide financial information and complete this section of the AIS properly, even if you did not conduct charitable activities during the year.
Extensive guidance on completing financial questions in the 2019 AIS is again available in the form itself, and in the 2019 AIS Guide.
7.Taking up streamlined reporting opportunities
By answering questions in the 2019 AIS relating to fundraising and incorporated association details, many charities will no longer have to double-up and provide the same information to state and territory-based regulators.
Have your charity’s Incorporated Association Number, as well as information about your organisation’s annual general meeting, membership and fundraising, handy so you can answer these questions.
The ACNC will pass on selected information to state and territory regulators so your charity doesn’t experience duplicative reporting and needless red tape.
8. Review your form before submission … and remember to hit the submit button
Take the time to review your 2019 AIS prior to submission.
You can look over your responses to AIS questions at the end of the form, or you can print out and review your AIS before submission to ensure you have completed it correctly.
And remember to press the Submit button. If you do not press Submit, we will not receive your completed AIS.
After you submit, you can save or print a PDF of your responses to the AIS. The ACNC will also send a rundown of your AIS responses to your Address For Service email.
Extra tips for medium and large charities
Medium charities must submit a financial report that is either reviewed or audited. Large charities must submit a financial report that is audited. Learn more here: acnc.gov.au/ReviewOrAudit.
1. Know your financial report type
Are you submitting a general purpose or special purpose financial report? The notes to the financial statements must clearly state the type of financial report your charity has prepared.
Ensure you have adequate accounting policy disclosures that highlight the type of financial report prepared. Read more on our guidance covering at general and special purpose financial statements.
2. Will you provide a consolidated financial statement?
Consolidated financial statements are financial statements of a group in which the assets, liabilities, equity, income, expenses and cash flows of the parent charity and its subsidiaries are presented as a single economic entity.
Although the ACNC accepts consolidated financial reports, don’t forget that the financial information questions in the AIS are only for the registered charity and not the entire group.
3. Attach all required documents
For a full list refer to the checklist above.
4. Preparing a special purpose financial statement? You must comply with mandatory accounting standards
For more information, refer to our guidance covering at general and special purpose financial statements.
5. Preparing a general purpose financial statement? Check the completeness and quality of the related party disclosures
Ensure you comply with all relevant accounting standards and provide sufficient detail of transactions between related parties and key management personnel.
If you have any questions, contact us on 13 22 62 (13 ACNC).