To complete your charity's 2021 Annual Information Statement, you will need to log in to the ACNC Charity Portal. Ensure you have your Charity Portal log-in details handy.
In addition to this checklist, there are more resources that can help you complete your charity's Annual Information Statement:
- 2021 Annual Information Statement guide - all the questions in the Annual Information Statement and guidance on how to answer them.
- 2021 AIS Program Previewer - a tool that allows you to practice the section that asks about programs in the 2021 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.
Before you start
Confirm your charity's reporting is up to date
Before you start on the 2021 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
Questions charities need to answer in their 2021 Annual Information Statement can vary depending on their size. For the 2021 Annual Information Statement, financial reporting thresholds and reporting requirements are:
- Small charities: annual revenue less than $250,000
- the Annual Information Statement includes basic financial questions, and
- charities 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
- charities 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
- charities must submit an audited financial report.
Check your charity's reporting period
You can check your charity’s financial year end date on the Charity Register.
Log in to the Charity Portal and click on the charity for which you want to make the change. Click on 'Manage reporting' and find the ‘Request a different reporting period’ option. Complete the online process 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
Your charity's 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 people have access to, rather than an individual’s personal email address. For example, it is a good idea to use something like ‘email@example.com’ and to give more than one person at your charity access to the account.
Doing this means that someone in your charity will still see emails from the ACNC if the main contact person moves on from their role or is away.
Know who will make the declaration
Before you can submit the Annual Information Statement, it needs to be declared by someone in a way similar to signing a physical form.
There are four options for the person making the declaration:
- A charity's Responsible Person: 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': the ACNC Act describes a lodging entity as another registered charity that can legally change the governing rules of the charity completing a form. One example might be: 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 ACNC Governance Standards sets duties for a charity's Responsible People. These 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.
Responsible People should know when their charity's Annual Information Statement is due and should be familiar with what the charity submits to the ACNC in its Annual Information Statement.
Ensure your charity's Responsible People are aware of, and approve of, the information your Annual Information Statement contains.
Check other reporting arrangements
There may be certain other 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 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 six 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
Charity programs and projects
The 2021 Annual Information Statement asks for details about your charity's programs (it requires details on a minimum of one program and a maximum of 10). To help complete this section of your Annual Information Statement, have the following information ready:
- each program's name
- each program's main aims and what it does
- each program's beneficiaries - who it aims to help
- each program's operating location or locations. These locations should be where the program's activities occur and won't necessarily be your charity's physical address or office location
- if possible, a weblink where people can access more information about each program.
You can use the 2021 AIS Program Previewer to explore this section of the 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 you can copy them across when completing your charity's 2021 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 showcase your work to prospective supporters and donors, and to help them find your charity on the Charity Register.
Relevant financial documents
You will need to have handy certain financial information about your charity so you can complete the 2021 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 People's declaration about the statements and notes – signed and dated. Download a Responsible People's 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 2021 Annual Information Statement itself, and in the 2021 Annual Information Statement Guide.
Other information that will help
Other information that can help you complete your charity's 2021 Annual Information Statement includes:
- Funder/donor/grant acquittal reports, as well as project reports: These will help you answer questions in the 2021 Annual Information Statement about your charity’s programs and work, its 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 and detail your charity's programs, activities, and beneficiaries, as well as respond to questions about them.
- 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 list of 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 choose the option to begin your 2021 Annual Information Statement.
You have a chance to review your responses before submitting your charity's Annual Information Statement. When you are ready to submit, click the 'Submit' button. You will receive an email confirming the submission.
If you realise after submission you need to correct an error, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.