This guide covers the regulation of Victorian charities, and the obligations specific to charities in Victoria.

More information on ACNC-related obligations can be found on our Ongoing Obligations page.

For lists of state, territory and Commonwealth Government agencies with relevance to registered charities, visit our List of Regulators page, and our Other Regulators page.

alert icon Note: If you are an incorporated association that is also registered with the ACNC as a charity, your reporting requirements may be changing.

As part of the ACNC’s work to streamline reporting and cut red tape, many of Victoria’s incorporated associations now have the option to report only to us – via the Annual Information Statement – instead of reporting to both the ACNC and Consumer Affairs Victoria.

More information is contained in the Incorporated Associations section below. This section also contains information on the financial reporting transitional period that Victorian incorporated associations have the option to take up.

Contents

Incorporated associations

Some charities in Victoria are incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012. These are called 'incorporated associations' and have 'Inc.' or 'Incorporated' at the end of their name.

Incorporated associations have a number of responsibilities such as keeping appropriate financial records, following their rules and holding annual general meetings. These responsibilities are regulated in Victoria by Consumer Affairs Victoria.

To find out more, visit the Consumer Affairs Victoria website or call 1300 55 81 81.

Changes to Victorian incorporated association reporting requirements

In June 2018, the Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, the Hon. Marlene Kairouz MP, signed an exemption order that changed the reporting requirements for around 5,000 registered charities that are incorporated associations in Victoria.

Registered charities that are incorporated under the Victorian Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012, with a financial year that ends on or after 30 June 2018, will:

  • only need to report to the ACNC, using the Annual Information Statement;
  • not be required to pay an annual fee.

alert icon Note: These arrangements do not apply to incorporated associations that form part of a reporting group. And the exemptions will not be available to charities that have been approved by the ACNC to withhold financial details (for example, revenue) or financial reports from the ACNC Charity Register.

And all incorporated associations must continue to submit financial statements to members at Annual General Meetings.

What does my charity need to do?

The ACNC’s 2018 Annual Information Statement is being updated to include extra questions to collect information on behalf of Consumer Affairs Victoria.

For your charity to take advantage of the new streamlined reporting arrangements, it must answer all these additional questions.

The ACNC will then gather your responses to these new questions and pass them on to Consumer Affairs Victoria, so your charity will not have to report separately to both bodies.

Note: If you choose not to answer these questions in the ACNC’s 2018 Annual Information Statement, you will need to continue to submit an annual statement to Consumer Affairs Victoria.

Financial reporting transitional period for incorporated associations

Where Victorian charities were previously required to provide financial reports to Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) because they were an incorporated association, the ACNC accepted those financial reports as meeting ACNC requirements.

However, as a result of the changes, ACNC-registered Victorian incorporated associations that are medium or large will need to ensure that the financial reports they provide to the ACNC meet all the ACNC reporting requirements.

Medium and large charities must prepare financial reports under the Australian Accounting Standards that provide a true and fair view, report on an accrual basis and ensure statements include required comparative figures.

To support charities whose reports do not currently meet these standards, the ACNC has established a two-year transitional reporting arrangement. This will help charities adjust to their new reporting requirements.

The specific arrangements for the 2018 and later years are as follows:

2018 reporting period

For medium and large Victorian charities affected by the new arrangements that are preparing financial reports for the reporting period ending 30 June 2018 (or any later reporting period approved by the Commissioner), if the charity:

it can submit the same financial report that previously met the CAV requirements.

2019 reporting period

For the reporting period ending 30 June 2019 (or any later reporting period approved by the Commissioner), if the charity:

  • did not submit a full financial report meeting the ACNC reporting requirements for the 2018 reporting period, and
  • continues to be a non-reporting entity and prepares a special purpose financial statement,

it will need to prepare a full financial report meeting ACNC reporting requirements for special purpose financial statements.

However, it will not need to provide 2018 comparative information in the 2019 financial report.

The charity (and its auditor or reviewer) needs to ensure that reports communicate why it is not providing 2018 comparative information and adequate disclosures are made in the notes to the financial statements.

template icon Example disclosure: comparative information not included in financial report.

Audit requirements during transitional period

Audit/review requirements for ACNC-registered charities are as follows:

  • Small charities (revenue of less than $250,000) do not need to submit audited financial reports. However, they must continue to report annually to the ACNC using the Annual Information statement.
  • Medium charities (revenue of $250,000 to $999,999) are required to submit financial reports that have been reviewed or audited.
  • Large charities (revenue of $1 million or more) are required to have their financial reports audited and submit the financial report and auditor’s report to the ACNC.

Reviews for medium sized charities can be done by:

  • a registered company auditor
  • an audit firm
  • an authorised audit company
  • a current member of a relevant professional body, CPA Australia – CPAA (CPA or FCPA designation), Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand – CAANZ (CA or FCA designation) or Institute of Public Accountants – IPA (FIPA or MIPA designation).

Audits must be conducted by:

  • a registered company auditor, or
  • an audit firm, or
  • an authorised audit company

During the transitional period, charities will not be penalised for providing audited statements that do not meet the ACNC requirements, provided they would have met the Victorian incorporated association audit requirements.

Ongoing reporting obligations apply – 2020 reporting period

Medium and large charities registered with the ACNC that are no longer required to report to CAV must use accrual accounting when preparing their financial statements and ensure the financial statements meet all of the ACNC reporting requirements, including comparative requirements.

Additionally, the relief provided during the transitional period in relation to meeting ACNC’s audit requirements will no longer apply and affected charities using a current member of a relevant professional body as their auditor will need to change to a registered company auditor, audit firm or authorised audit company.

The following table summarises the above:

Requirements:2018 period2019 period2020 and beyond
Financial reporting that meets CAV requirements but does not meet ACNC requirements for special purpose financial statements

Yes

Can submit the same financial report that previously met the CAV requirements

No

New reporting requirements taking effect:

  • Full financial report meeting ACNC requirements (except comparatives)

No

New reporting requirements taking effect:

  • Comparative requirements
  • Audit requirements
Comparative requirements

No

No comparative information required

No

Where comparative figures have not been provided, a disclosure note must be provided in the financial report to explain why.

Yes

All incorporated associations must provide comparative figures in their financial statements

ACNC audit requirements

No

Provided Victorian incorporated association audit requirements are met.

No

Provided Victorian incorporated association audit requirements are met.

Yes

All incorporated associations must meet the ACNC's audit requirements.

What hasn’t changed

All incorporated associations must still notify Consumer Affairs Victoria of changes to the association’s name, details or rules.

When to contact ACNC or Consumer Affairs Victoria

I want to:ACNCConsumer Affairs VictoriaAdditional information
Incorporate an associationNoYes
Register as a charityYesNo
Change a charity’s rulesYesYes
Change a charity’s nameYesYes
Update a charity’s address or contact detailsYesYes
Update a charity’s Responsible Persons (committee members) including the secretaryYesYes
Submit the Annual Information Statement and financial reportYesNo
Revoke a charity registrationYesNoDon’t forget to revoke the charity’s registration with the ACNC when it winds up.
Wind up an associationNoYesIf the association is no longer running, make sure you wind it up with Consumer Affairs Victoria, too.

To find out more, visit the Consumer Affairs Victoria website.

Cooperatives

A cooperative is a type of organisation that is owned, controlled and used by its members. There are different types of cooperatives.

Charities that are cooperatives are also regulated by Consumer Affairs Victoria.

To find out more, visit the Consumer Affairs Victoria website or call 1300 55 81 81.

Other legal structures

Information about reporting and other obligations for charities set up with other legal structures is available on these pages:

Fundraising

Fundraising in Victoria is regulated by two government agencies.

Consumer Affairs Victoria is responsible for registering and regulating organisations conducting fundraising activities. To find out more, visit the Consumer Affairs Victoria website or call 1300 55 81 81.

The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation is responsible for regulating any fundraising conducted through authorised games, such as raffles. To find out more, visit the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation website or call 1300 182 457.

For more information about fundraising, see Fundraising in Victoria.

State taxes

Charities that operate in Victoria may also be eligible to receive concessions on some state taxes, including payroll tax, land tax and stamp duty from the State Revenue Office.

To find out more, visit the State Revenue Office website or call 13 21 61.

Local government

Some local government authorities may offer concessions to charities. For more information, contact the local government authority in the areas where the charity operates.

You can search a directory of local government authorities in Victoria on the Know Your Council website.

Other general obligations

There are a number of other laws that affect charities in Victoria covering areas such as employment, trading, occupational health and safety and anti-discrimination. For example, charities are obliged to meet obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Some charities may have responsibilities that are specific to their area of work. For example, charities that provide aged care services may need to meet other obligations or hold accreditations as part of working in this field.

Related information

A list of other regulators, including contact details, that may affect charities.

Please note: this fact sheet is an overview of laws and regulations affecting charities in Victoria, not a complete guide. For more information about laws and regulations in the Victoria, please consult the relevant regulatory agencies.

Contact the ACNC

Phone: 13 ACNC (13 22 62)
Email: advice@acnc.gov.au
Mail: Advice Services, Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, GPO Box 5108, Melbourne VIC 3001
Fax: 1300 232 569