This checklist covers the information you will need to complete your charity's 2020 Annual Information Statement.
To complete your charity's 2020 Annual Information Statement, you will need to log in to the ACNC Charity Portal. Ensure you have your Charity Portal log-in details handy.
More resources for help with the Annual Information Statement:
- 2020 Annual Information Statement guide - all the questions in the Annual Information Statement and guidance on how to answer them.
- Program Previewer - a tool that allows you to practice the section that asks about programs in the 2020 Annual Information Statement.
- Best practice in annual financial report disclosures - the ACNC's guide to help charities correctly disclose and report on government revenue in their annual financial reports.
- About the Annual Information Statement - an overview of the Annual Information Statement.
Before you start
Confirm your charity's reporting is up to date
Before you start on the 2020 Annual Information Statement, ensure your charity has completed past Annual Information Statements. You can do this by viewing your charity's reporting history in the ACNC Charity Portal.
Know your charity's size
Your charity’s Annual Information Statement questions vary depending on its size:
- Small charities: annual revenue less than $250,000
- the Annual Information Statement includes basic financial questions, and
- you can choose to submit a financial report, but this is not required.
- Medium charities: annual revenue between $250,000 and $999,999
- the Annual Information Statement includes financial questions, and
- you must submit a financial report that is either reviewed or audited.
- Large charities: annual revenue of $1 million or more
- the Annual Information Statement includes financial questions, and
- you must submit a financial report that is audited.
Check your charity's reporting period
You can check your charity’s financial year end date on the Charity Register.
If the financial year end listed for your charity on the Charity Register is not correct, request the change in the Charity Portal. Log in to the Charity Portal and click on the charity for which you want to make the change. Then click on 'Manage reporting' and find the icon for the form to ‘Request a different reporting period’. Complete this form and then wait for the ACNC to confirm your charity’s different reporting period before starting the Annual Information Statement.
Check your charity's Address For Service email
The Address For Service is the address to which the ACNC will send important notifications.
We recommend that your charity uses a general email address that multiple have access to rather than an individual’s personal email address. For example, it is a good idea to use something like ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ and to give more than one person in your organisation access to the account.
Doing this means that someone in your charity will still see emails from the ACNC if the main contact person changes or is away.
Know who will make the declaration
Before you can submit the Annual Information Statement, it needs to be declared by someone, similar to signing a physical form.
There are four options for the person making the declaration:
- Responsible Person of the charity: A Responsible Person is a member of your charity's governing body, for example a board member, committee member or trustee. We accept that you are authorised to sign on behalf of the charity if you are one of its Responsible People.
- Authorised person: An authorised person holds a position in the charity which gives them authority to sign (such as a chief executive officer, chief financial officer, company secretary or senior manager).
- Agent: An agent is someone authorised by the charity to sign on behalf of the charity (for example, a lawyer or an accountant). The ACNC Act requires an agent to have written authorisation from the charity. See the ACNC's suggested agent authorisation form.
- ‘Lodging entity': a lodging entity, under the ACNC Act, is another registered charity that can legally change the governing rules of the charity completing a form (for example, for religious charities, the denomination administration office may be able to change the charity's rules under canon law).
Involve your charity's Responsible People
The Responsible People of a charity are responsible for the charity's governance. The ACNC Governance Standards sets duties for a charity's Responsible People which include acting with reasonable care and diligence and in the best interests of the charity, as well as ensuring the charity's finances are managed responsibly.
The Responsible People should know when the Annual Information Statement is due for the charity and should be familiar with what the charity submits to the ACNC in its Annual Information Statement.
Whether it be before you begin or just before you click submit on the completed Annual Information Statement, make sure your charity's Responsible People know and are comfortable with the information in it.
Check other reporting arrangements
There may be certain reporting arrangements that apply for your charity.
- Group Reporting: if your charity is part of a group of registered charities and would like to report together by preparing consolidated financial statements. Find out more about group reporting.
- Bulk Lodgement: if you want to to submit Annual Information Statements for more than 10 charities in a single form. Find out more about bulk lodgement.
- Basic Religious Charity: a charity that has the sole purpose of ‘advancing religion’ and that meets five other mandatory requirements. Find out more about Basic Religious Charities.
- Information withheld from the Charity Register: if you want to apply to have information withheld from the Charity Register, submit a request to do so in the Charity Portal. You can begin your charity's Annual Information Statement immediately after submitting the request. Find out more about withholding information.
Information you will need
Your charity's programs and projects
The 2020 Annual Information Statement asks for details about your charity's programs (it requres a minimum of 1 program and a maximum of 10). To complete this section of the Annual Information Statement, have the following information ready:
- The name of each program
- Each program's main aims and what it does
- Each program's beneficiaries - who it aims to help
- Each program's location - where it operates
- A weblink where people can access more information about each program (if your charity has one)
You can use the ACNC's Annual Information Statement Program Previewer to explore this section of the 2020 Annual Information Statement in more detail, as well as to practice your responses to programs-related questions. Once you have finished using the Previewer, you can save or print your responses so that you can easily copy them across when completing your charity's 2020 Annual Information Statement.
Information about your charity's programs will appear on the ACNC Charity Register. Provide as much information as you can about each of your charity's programs to help prospective supporters and donors find your charity on the Charity Register and to show them the work your charity does.
Relevant financial documents
You will need to have financial information to complete the Annual Information Statement.
- Balance sheet or statement of financial position, and statement of profit or loss and other comprehensive income for the reporting period.
- Medium and large charities with no transitional reporting arrangements must submit financial statements for the reporting period, including:
- 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
- Responsible Persons’ declaration about the statements and notes – signed and dated. Download a Responsible Persons’ declaration template.
- reviewer’s report/auditor’s report – signed and dated. Download a reviewer's report/auditor’s report template.
Extensive guidance on completing financial questions is available in the 2020 Annual Information Statement itself, and in the 2020 Annual Information Statement Guide.
- Funder/donor/grant acquittal reports, as well as project reports: These will help you answer questions in the 2020 Annual Information Statement about your charity’s overall work, beneficiaries, employees and volunteers.
- Pay As You Go (PAYG) payment summaries: These will help you answer questions about your charity’s staff numbers.
- Your charity’s annual report: This may help you identify your charity's programs, activities, and beneficiaries.
- Incorporated association number and fundraising license number (if applicable).
- A list of your charity's Responsible People (and their details): You can update your charity's Responsible People in the Annual Information Statement.
Log into the Charity Portal and click on the charity for which you want to submit the Annual Information Statement. Click on 'Manage reporting' and then you will see an icon for the 2020 Annual Information Statement. Click this icon to begin.
You have a chance to review your answers before you submit your charity's Annual Information Statement. Once you are ready to submit it, click the 'Submit' button. You will receive an email confirming the submission.
If you realise after submission that you need to correct an error, email us at email@example.com and let us know.