All charities - except ones that are registered with Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) - must submit an Annual Information Statement.

The Annual Information Statement requires charities to provide information about their finances.

In addition, medium and large charities - those with total annual revenue of $250,000 or more - must submit an annual financial report as part of their Annual Information Statement.

For small charities, submitting an annual financial report is optional, but we encourage them to do so. And if a small charity's own governing document requires it to submit financial statements, it must do so.

Charities that are a members of an approved reporting group are not required to submit individual Annual Information Statements. Instead, they their Annual Information Statement is submitted via Group Reporting as part of a larger group.

What is an annual financial report?

An annual financial report provides the public with extra information and an additional level of assurance about a charity's operations and financial affairs throughout a reporting period.

Providing an annual financial report helps registered charities meet their legislative requirements as set out in the ACNC Act, and is also an indication of good governance.

Unless your charity is taking part in transitional reporting arrangements, financial statements must be prepared as required by the ACNC Act and ACNC Regulations and in accordance with the Australian Accounting Standards set by the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB).

Large charities must have their annual financial report audited. Medium charities can have their annual financial report either audited or reviewed.

As a minimum, medium and large charities must provide the ACNC with the following information when submitting their annual financial report:

  • a statement of profit or loss and other comprehensive income
  • a statement of financial position
  • a statement of changes in equity
  • a statement of cash flows
  • notes to the financial statements
  • a signed and dated Responsible Persons’ declaration about the statements and notes (we have a template declaration available)
  • for medium charities, a signed and dated reviewer's report or auditor's report; for large charities, a signed and dated auditor's report (we have templates for reviewer's and auditor's reports).

A charity's financial statements must be either General Purpose Financial Statements (GPFS) or Special Purpose Financial Statements (SPFS). The type of financial statements a charity must prepare depends on on whether it is classed as a reporting entity or not.

Read more about General Purpose Financial Statements, Special Purpose Financial Statements and reporting entities.

alert icon There are requirements for auditors when considering the financial reporting framework adopted by a charity, and those responsibilities span different stages of the audit process.

Read more about auditing requirements.

alert icon Note that this checklist does not cover every possible scenario and some requirements may not apply depending on the type of financial report and a charity’s individual circumstances. You should seek professional advice for any specific accounting matters relevant to your charity.

Our checklist covers key issues for you to consider and includes helpful hints for preparing your charity’s annual financial report.

Medium and large-sized charities must include an annual financial report when submitting their Annual Information Statement. For small charities, providing an annual financial report is optional but encouraged.

Your charity’s financial report must meet ACNC requirements, except for a few situations where the ACNC still accepts the financial reports that a charity submits to another regulator under our transitional reporting arrangements. Transitional arrangements for incorporated associations now only apply to charities in Queensland and many charitable fundraisers are now required to meet ACNC requirements.

Your charity’s financial statements and notes must comply with Australian accounting standards set by the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) and give a true and fair view of the financial position and performance of the charity.

Where an accounting standard is not compulsory for charities preparing special purpose financial statements, it may still be appropriate to apply the standard to ensure your charity’s financial statements and notes provide a true and fair view. We have included references to the specific accounting standards in the checklist where relevant.

Charities and preparers of the financial statements should also make sure they are keeping up-to-date with changes to Australian accounting standards.

More information about new accounting standards that affect charities is available on the ACNC website.

You should also consider the guidance in our Annual Financial Report Best Practice Guide to ensure your financial report includes information important to users of charity financial reports.

Annual financial report checklist

ACNC / AASB Financial report requirementsReference (standard.paragraph)
Does your financial report include a complete set of financial statements?
  • 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
AASB 101.10

Does your financial report present information about the legislative basis of preparation?

Charities prepare a financial report to meet the requirements of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) Act 2012 (ACNC Act).

AASB 1054.8

Does your financial report include notes required by all relevant Australian accounting standards to explain the financial statements?

Charities that are not ‘reporting entities’ and prepare ‘special purpose financial statements’ must ensure they include any disclosures required by the following standards:

  • AASB 101, Presentation of Financial Statements
  • AASB 107, Statement of Cash Flows
  • AASB 108, Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors
  • AASB 1048, Interpretation of Standards
  • AASB 1054, Australian Additional Disclosures

AASB 101.10

All AASB standards

Have you applied the new Australian accounting standards where relevant?

The new standards effective from 1 January 2019 are:

  • AASB 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers,
  • AASB 16 Leases and
  • AASB 1058 Income of Not-for-Profit Entities
All AASB standards
Does your financial report include comparative figures for the current and previous reporting periods?AASB 101.38

Does your charity have appropriate line items presented in the statement of profit or loss and statement of financial position? Charities should consider accounting standard requirements regarding:

  • the disclosure of material transactions and balances
  • the disclosure of certain transactions and balances separately
  • consistent presentation of line items from period to period.

AASB 101.82

AASB 101.82A

Does your charity’s financial report disclose the charity’s significant accounting policies?AASB 101.117
Have appropriate disclosures about accounting estimates, judgements and errors been made?

AASB 101.122

AASB 101.125

AASB 108

Has the cash flow statement been classified between operating, investing and financing activities?AASB 107.10

If your charity prepares special purpose financial statements, do the notes include the new additional disclosures required for reporting periods ending on or after 30 June 2020 required by AASB 1054? The required disclosures include:

  • The basis on which the decision to prepare special purpose financial statements was made.
  • The extent of non-compliance with AAS recognition and measurement requirements overall and for each material accounting policy or a disclosure that such an assessment has not been made.
  • Where the charity has interests in other entities, whether or not it has applied the AAS consolidation and equity accounting requirements and if not, the reasons why or a disclosure that a relevant assessment of interests in other entities has not been made.
AASB 1054.9A
Have you reviewed the ACNC’s Best Practice Disclosure Guide?

Does your charity’s financial report include disclosure notes about key management personnel compensation and the nature of all related party transactions?

Compulsory (if relevant) for reporting entities and for ACNC approved reporting groups

AASB 124.17

AASB 124.18

Does your charity’s financial report include a signed and dated Responsible Persons’ declaration?acnc.gov.au/templates
Does your charity’s financial report include an auditor’s report (or reviewer’s report for medium charities) signed by an appropriate auditor/reviewer?ACNC audit/review report templates
Does the auditor’s or reviewer’s report confirm the financial report meets the requirements of the ACNC Act?ACNC audit/review report templates