Fraud prevention in the charity sector and how to meet reporting obligations are among the topics covered in the latest free online short courses launched by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.

ACNC Commissioner Sue Woodward AM said the new interactive courses will help those who run charities to identify and protect their organisations from fraud and teach valuable financial management skills to assist with meeting reporting obligations to the ACNC.

‘Some of the most common concerns we receive about charities relate to fraud and financial mismanagement. Although concerns raised involve only a small number of charities, they have the potential to impact the reputation of the charity and sector,’ Ms Woodward said.

‘The work of charities brings people together to help those in need and relies on strong public trust and confidence. Charities can take simple steps to maintain trust through good governance, and these free short courses explain how.’

The fraud prevention course covers how to identify risks, establish who is responsible for managing risks and the steps charities can take to protect themselves. The reporting courses outline different types of financial information needed to meet annual reporting requirements. They also cover relevant accounting standards and related party transaction reporting obligations.

‘When charities take proactive steps to protect their organisation from fraud and provide comprehensive and reliable information about their operations, it inspires public confidence,’ Ms Woodward said.

Other new courses in the Governing Charities program cover topics including how to safeguard vulnerable people who take part in charity programs and how to complete the 2022 Annual Information Statement.

The free courses are designed to be flexible, accessible, and self-paced. Each course takes from one to two hours, and a certificate can be downloaded on completion.

Topics covered in short courses launched late last year include the duties of a board member, the board’s role in reputation management, managing conflicts of interest, effective complaints management, dealing with internal disputes and how to comply with the ACNC’s External Conduct Standards for charities that operate overseas.

All 12 Governing Charities short courses are now available.