The ACNC is reminding every charity to ensure its annual financial reporting meets required standards after a review of financial reports turned up common errors and/or other oversights.
The review, the ACNC’s annual examination of charities’ financial reporting, analysed the Annual Information Statements (AIS) and annual financial reports of nearly 300 medium and large charities.
While charities' financial reporting has generally improved, there remain some areas of concern:
- Around 30% of the annual financial reports reviewed were missing one or more necessary components, leaving reporting incomplete and not in line with ACNC requirements.
- Around 20% of charities reviewed did not separately disclose the government revenue they had received in their annual financial reports, despite making the disclosure in their AIS.
- While almost all charities ensured the information in both their AIS and annual financial report correctly matched, nearly 5% had differences in the information provided in their AIS and in their annual financial report.
ACNC Commissioner the Hon Dr Gary Johns urged charities and their accountants, auditors or reviewers to carefully check the financial information they submit to ensure it is correct and meets requirements.
"With the ACNC Charity Register being viewed millions of times each year, it is crucial that every charity makes sure its information – especially financial information – is accurate and up to date," Dr Johns said.
"Increasingly, potential supporters, donors and the public are looking at information on the Charity Register to inform their charitable giving. Having a full record of AISs and accurate annual financial reports is an important way for a charity to present itself."
Each year, medium and large charities are required to submit annual financial reports with their AIS. These reports should include:
- a full set of financial statements, as well as notes explaining the statements,
- a Responsible Persons’ declaration, and
- a signed audit report (or review report for medium-sized charities)
The ACNC has a financial report checklist to help charities properly prepare their financial reports. There is also best practice guidance to help charities ensure they disclose sources of government revenue they receive.
Other Annual Information Statement guidance can be found in our Annual Information Statement Hub.
The full review can be found here: acnc.gov.au/charity-financial-reporting.