Registered charities need to keep certain financial and operational records and meet reporting obligations to the ACNC. This video explains the Annual Information Statement. Some charities also need to submit a financial report, which is NOT covered here.
Video transcript - Record keeping and reporting
Now that your charity’s registered with the ACNC, you’re going to need to keep records and submit reports to us. It might seem daunting at first, but you’ll see that it’s actually quite easy. Keeping records is something you’re probably doing already. In fact, your charity may already be required to do it by other legislation or under your own rules.
What you need to keep are financial records and operational records. Financial records include your charity's financial information and allow financial reports to be prepared. They’re things like receipts, invoices, banking records, contract details, grant payment details, and salary records.
Operational records are any other documents about your charity that show it’s meeting our requirements. Things like meeting minutes, reports, and written details of your charity's activities, programs or services showing how its working towards its charitable purpose.
It’s important to know that you’re not actually required to provide your records to us unless we ask for them. But you do need to keep these records for seven years, and keep them so they’re easy to find.
Then there’s your annual reporting – through the Annual Information Statement. The easiest way to submit your Annual Information Statement is online.
Once we receive the information, we’ll put it on our online ACNC Register so the public can find out more about your charity.
So, when do you have to submit your charity’s Annual Information Statement? You must submit your charity’s statement within six months after the end of its reporting period. Make sure you submit it only after your reporting period is finished.
If your charity has a reporting period that doesn’t follow the financial year of 1 July to 30 June, you’ll need to apply for a different reporting period before starting your charity’s Annual Information Statement. It’s best to let us know as soon as possible. You’ll have six months from the end of your charity’s reporting period to submit your charity’s statement.
If you realise that you’ve left out or put in wrong information after you’ve submitted it, you’ll need to re-submit the statement. Please contact us so we can change your submitted form to ‘in progress’ so you can make the necessary changes.
If you know there’s information you’ll need to provide about your charity that you do not want published on the ACNC Register, in limited circumstances you can ask for this information to be withheld before submitting your Annual Information Statement. You can do this after you login to submit your statement. And remember, for responsible persons, such as board or committee members or trustees, only their name and position held will be published anyway.
By now, you might be also wondering that if you’re reporting to the ACNC, will you still need to report to other regulators. The answer will depend on the way your charity is structured, and where it’s based. To find out more, read the guidance on our guidance website about reporting to other regulators
As an example, charities that are companies now generally notify of changes and report to the ACNC (and no longer have to pay fees) instead of reporting to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). To understand the detail, read our guidance on ASIC and the ACNC.
So to recap, your charity will need to keep financial and operational records, and submit an Annual Information Statement. Check your charity’s reporting period and let us know if you need a different reporting period, or if you want some information to be withheld from the Register. This video is only about the Annual Information Statement, which does contain some financial questions. Medium and large sized charities also need to submit a financial report (for small charities this is optional). For more information about financial reporting, visit acnc.gov.au/reporting.