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The approach the ACNC takes to regulation has been discussed in the media recently.

I thought it pertinent to clarify a few points on the back of these reports.

The role of the ACNC is to register eligible charities following the strict process dictated by legislation and support registered charities to meet their ongoing obligations. Sometimes charities go off track, and when that happens the ACNC will work with them to take corrective action, or where that is not possible revoke their registration.

The ACNC is alerted to potential issues with charities through a number of channels, including concerns raised by members of the public. Anyone can raise a concern about a registered charity via the ACNC website.

The ACNC takes all concerns raised with us seriously. No matter where a concern originates, we use a standard independent process to review its details and, if necessary, launch an investigation.

The ACNC will work with a charity under investigation throughout the process and provide advance notice to the charity of any action the ACNC intends to take.

When the ACNC does revoke a charity’s registration, the ACNC will not share information about the revocation with any organisation other than the charity prior to the revocation taking place. The ACNC legislation has strict secrecy provisions which limits what we can say publicly about a charity. But the charity involved will always know the reasons behind any compliance decision we make and is encouraged to discuss these with us.

Welcome to our new Assistant Commissioner, General Counsel, Anna Longley

Yesterday, Anna Longley commenced as the new Assistant Commissioner, General Counsel at the ACNC.

Anna brings with her a wealth of legal experience and joins the ACNC from her previous role as the Assistant Commissioner of Engagement and Assurance, Private Groups and High Wealth Individuals at the Australian Taxation Office.

I would like to welcome Anna to the team and look forward to working with her.


Next Tuesday, 3 December, is #GivingTuesday.

Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to give back to the organisations making a difference in people’s lives. For one day each year, individuals, communities and business come together to give their time, money, goods or voices, to celebrate and thank Australian not-for-profits. It’s also a chance to be part of a global movement, with more than 50 participating countries around the world celebrating generosity on a single day.

To find out more, visit GivingTuesday Australia’s website or the global website for GivingTuesday.

2019 Annual Information Statement

More than 5,000 charities have already submitted their 2019 Annual Information Statements.

For charities operating on a standard financial year (1 July to 30 June) the due date is fast approaching, with statements due on 31 January.

I encourage charities to submit their 2019 Annual Information Statement as soon as possible to avoid the last-minute rush.

Read our guide to help you prepare to submit your Annual Information Statement.

Submit your Annual Information Statement via the Charity Portal.

Volunteering Australia Seeking Sector Feedback

Volunteering Australia regularly provides pre-budget submissions to the Australian Government and advocates for improved support for the volunteering sector across Australia.

As part of this, Volunteering Australia has compiled a short survey seeking feedback on what the sector sees as being the key priorities for 2020-21.

For more information, and to complete the survey please go to:

The survey closes at 9am (Syd/Melb time) on Monday 9 December 2019.

New disclosure requirements for charities preparing Special Purpose Financial Statements

Charities that are preparing special purpose financial statements (SPFS) will be required to make new disclosures based on the amendments to AASB 1054 Australian Additional Disclosures, effective for the annual reporting periods ending on or after 30 June 2020. These additional disclosures will provide clarity regarding compliance with the recognition and measurement requirements in Australian Accounting Standards. Charities are not required to change their existing accounting policies. The Australian Accounting Standards Board has prepared a high level summary as well as illustrative examples within the standards to help people preparing the reports to understand the new disclosure requirements. The new disclosures will provide more transparency for SPFS available on the public record.


Last week we held our final webinar for 2019.

Thank you to everyone who supported and attended our webinars this year.

You can view and listen to any of our previous webinars on our website at

We look forward to bringing you more webinars in 2020.

Keep your eyes on this column for all the latest on upcoming webinars in the new year.

Best wishes,
The Hon Dr Gary Johns