These tips will make filling out your 2017 Annual Information Statement easier by helping you avoid common mistakes that charities make when completing their form.
1. Ensure you have completed previous years’ Annual Information Statements before starting your 2017 form
Information entered in previous years’ Annual Information Statements will transfer over to the 2017 document, making it easier to complete.
2. Check your financial year end
Charities should check their financial year end date before they start work on their 2017 Annual Information Statement to ensure they are using the correct reporting period. To do so, go to the ACNC Register and check your charity’s records, this can be found in the ‘About the Charity’ section.
If your financial year end listed in the ACNC Register is not correct, login to the Charity Portal and request a different reporting period. After you submit the request, wait for the ACNC to confirm the different reporting period before beginning work on your Annual Information Statement.
3. It is best to provide a generic charity address as your Address For Service email rather than your personal email
We send important information to this email address. If you are on leave, using a personal address will make it hard for us to contact your charity.
4. Use the Save button
If you are unable to complete your Annual Information Statement in one sitting, you can save your progress by clicking on the Save button. You can return later on to complete your form with your information will be saved, ready for you to resume.
5. Questions marked with a red asterisk (*) are mandatory
You will not be able to move to the next page or other pages in your Annual Information Statement until you have answered all of the mandatory questions in the correct format.
6. Reporting as a Basic Religious Charity? Know the requirements
The Annual Information Statement asks a series of questions to help determine if your charity is a Basic Religious Charity. Basic Religious Charities are charities which have the purpose of ‘advancing religion’, and which comply with five other requirements. Only a small number of charities that have the purpose of advancing religion meet all five requirements. Read more about Basic Religious Charities.
7. Ensure you select the right activities for your charity
Most of your activities will fall within the categories provided in the Annual Information Statement. You should only select ‘other activities’ in exceptional circumstances. Refer to the 2017 Annual Information Statement Guide for more.
8. Remember to provide financial information
Don’t forget to provide financial information, even if you did not conduct charitable activities during the year. Read more on completing the financial questions in the 2017 Annual Information Statement Guide.
9. Review your form before submission
Take the time to review your 2017 Annual Information Statement before submission. You can view and print a PDF preview of your 2017 form prior to submission to ensure you have completed it correctly. To view a preview, click on the Preview button at the end of the online form.
10. Remember to hit the Submit button
Once you have finished your 2017 Annual Information Statement, press the Submit button – if you do not press Submit, we will not receive the information! After you submit, you can save or print a PDF of your Annual Information Statement. We will also send a confirmation that we have received your Annual Information Statement to your charity’s 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 about reviewed and audited financial reports.
The tips below are for medium and large charities.
1. Know your financial report type
Are you submitting a general purpose or special purpose financial report? The notes to the financial statements should clearly state the type of financial report that your charity has prepared. Make sure you have adequate accounting policy disclosures which highlight the type of financial report prepared. Read more about the types of financial statements.
2. Will you provide a consolidated financial report?
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 we accept consolidated financial reports, don’t forget that the financial information questions in the Annual Information Statement are only for the registered charity and not the entire group.
3. Make sure you attach all required documents
For medium and large charities these include:
- 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
- reviewer’s report/auditor’s report – signed and dated (for medium charities) and an auditor’s report – signed and dated (for large charities). Download a reviewers’ report/auditor’s report template.
- a signed and dated responsible persons’ declaration about the statements and notes. Download the template.
4. Preparing a special purpose financial statement? Remember the accounting standards
ou need to comply with the six mandatory accounting standards. Read more about financial statements.
5. Preparing a general purpose financial statement? Check the completeness and quality of the related party disclosures
Make sure you comply with all relevant accounting standards and provide sufficient detail of transactions between related parties and key management personnel.