Our checklist covers everything you will need to consider, do and have ready to complete the 2018 Annual Information Statement (AIS).
The checklist also contains tips to make filling out your 2018 AIS easier by helping you avoid common mistakes that charities make when completing their form.
Visit the About the Annual Information Statement page for a wider overview of the AIS process and information on complying with your reporting obligations to the ACNC.
You can view and print a preview of your 2018 AIS before submission, allowing you to double-check the information you have provided before submitting it.
Previous Annual Information Statements
Confirm your charity’s reporting is up to date, and that it has completed past AISs.
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.
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 2018 AIS will be published on your charity’s listing on the ACNC Register.
However, if you want to withhold information from the ACNC 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 handy
Have the following information ready to help you answer the questions in the 2018 AIS.
- Your Charity Portal sign in details.
- Annual reports and project reports. These will help you answer questions in the 2018 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 ACNC 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). This information will help your charity answer questions aimed at streamlining Commonwealth, state and territory reporting requirements.
- 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 People’s declaration about the statements and notes – signed and dated. Download a Responsible People’s 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
Ready to go?
Return to the ACNC website, log into the Charity Portal and follow select the option to complete your 2018 AIS.
Upon completing your AIS, you can view and print a PDF preview of your form prior to submission. Once you are ready to submit, press the Submit button. Once your form is submitted you will receive an email with a PDF document listing your responses. You can keep this document for your records.
1. Ensure your charity has completed previous years’ AISs before starting work on the 2018 form.
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 2018 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 guidance within the form for more information.
6. Remember to provide financial information
In previous years, charities have not correctly completed the financial section of their AIS, or have not provided full financial details as required.
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 2018 AIS is available in the form itself, and in the 2018 AIS Guide. Further resources are available on the ACNC website.
7.Taking up streamlined reporting opportunities
By answering questions in the 2018 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 2018 AIS before you submit it to us.
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.
Instructions on how to review your 2018 AIS are contained in the form itself.
Also, 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).