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This record-keeping checklist promotes good record-keeping practice and supports charities in meeting their ACNC obligations. It is intended as a guide and is not meant to be an exhaustive list.

Your charity should take these actions to help meet its record-keeping obligations.


Keep financial and operational records

Does your charity:

  • have a policy about record-keeping that includes which records it keeps, how they are kept securely and who is responsible for doing so?
  • have records that show all of its financial transactions?
  • have records that show charity activities?

Keep records in English, or in a form that can be easily translated into English

Can your charity:

  • quickly translate its records into English if needed?

Have a system or process for record-keeping

Does your charity:

  • have a specific role encompassing responsibility for record-keeping?
  • have other staff, volunteers or board members who have had training on the record-keeping system and process?
  • have a procedure that describes how records (for example: written, print-outs or electronic) are kept and secured, as well as who is responsible for record-keeping?

Keep records in a way that are readily accessible

Does your charity:

  • have a record-keeping policy that describes where its records are kept and who is responsible for them?
  • have a record-keeping procedure that describes its filing system and how its is maintained?

Secure any sensitive records

Does your charity:

  • have a record-keeping policy that describes how sensitive records are kept securely, as well as who is authorised to access those records?

Back up any electronic records

Does your charity:

  • keep a back-up of records at a secure site located separately from its computers?
  • ensure its cloud-based systems and records are secure and backed up?
  • print out only the records it needs to?

Retain and organise paper records

Does your charity:

  • ensure paper copies of important electronic records are retained when appropriate?
  • organise paper records into files, boxes, folders or envelopes?
  • separate different paper records into categories (bank statements, communication, bills, receipts)?
  • separate paper records by reporting periods (financial years)?

Keep all records for seven years

Does your charity:

  • have a record-keeping policy that includes the requirement to keep all records for seven years?
  • have enough storage space (including electronic storage) to keep records for seven years?

Report to other regulatory bodies which have their own record-keeping requirements

Has your charity:

  • ensured its record-keeping policy complies with state or Commonwealth legislation, statutory contracts or accreditation requirements?
  • ensured its board receives at least an annual update of whether it is meeting record-keeping requirements?

If your charity can tick these off, and follows good record-keeping practices, it is likely to meet ACNC record-keeping obligations.