2. Submit an information statement annually
Registered charities must submit an Annual Information Statement to the ACNC every year. Medium and large charities must also submit a financial report – this is optional for small charities.
The ACNC sends reminder letters to charities prior to their due dates. If charities do not submit on time, the ACNC will send warning letters after the due dates have passed. If your charity fails to submit for two or more years, the ACNC will progress towards revoking charity registration.
If your charity does not submit its Annual Information Statement and takes no action to try to do so, the ACNC will:
- issue penalty notices if we find your charity is deliberately not meeting its obligation to report, and/or
- publish a statement that your charity’s Annual Information Statement is overdue on the ACNC Register. This will appear on your charity’s entry on the Register if it fails to submit for more than six months after the due date.
ACNC resources to support you to submit your statement
Submit your Annual Information Statement through the ACNC Charity Portal.
The ACNC produces extensive guidance on reporting, including a:
- checklist, everything you need to think about and do to report. It includes a list of records you should have on hand to help you report
- guide, which looks at each Annual Information Statement question in detail and explains what we are asking, with examples
- worksheet, a word document with all of the 2015 Annual Information Statement questions. If you complete this worksheet, you can share it with your charity’s board for approval, if needed. If you are reporting for more than one charity, you can simply add another answer column.
Find out more at acnc.gov.au/reporting
When is my charity’s annual information statement due?
Your charity’s Annual Information Statement and any financial report are due within six months of the endof your reporting period.
Most charities use the standard ACNC reporting period, which is the financial year from 1 July to 30 June (01/07–30/06). So, if your reporting periodends on 30 June then you have until 31 December to submit your statement. We often refer to Annual Information Statements by their year. For example the 2015 Annual Information Statement covers the period 1 July 2014 until 30 June 2015.
When is a good time to start preparing my charity’s Annual Information Statement?
Most charities hold an annual general meeting (AGM). This can be a good time to start preparing to submit the Annual Information Statement to the ACNC. At the AGM, most charities will present a report to their members (such as an annual report) which sets out the work it has done throughout the year and a financial statement that explains how the charity used its finances. This is exactly the sort of information you will need to complete your charity’s Annual Information Statement.
Some charities require board/committee approval on their answers to the questions in the Annual Information Statement. The ACNC has prepared a template worksheet to help you do this.
Before you begin your 2015 AIS, we recommend you review your charity’s profile page on the ACNC Register to make sure everything is current and accurate.
What does the ACNC Annual Information Statement ask for?
The Annual Information Statement includes non-financial questions on your charity’s activities, as well as financial questions. Many of the non-financial questions will have answers prepopulated based on your previous year’s statement. In the 2015 Annual Information Statement the financial information questions are based on an income statement and balance sheet extract. For small charities there are 9 questions, for medium charities there are 12 questions and for large charities there are 15 questions.
Prepare by using the Annual Information Statement checklist, which is updated each year. Read more at acnc.gov.au/reporting
What kind of reporting does my charity have to do?
What information your charity has to report mainly depends on its size, according to the ACNC’s definition. Most charities registered with the ACNC are small.
The size of your charity is based on annual revenue. Revenue is the part of income created from the sale of goods or services, or any other use of capital or assets during the ordinary activities of your charity.
The ACNC has three different charity size categories based on annual revenue:
|Small charities||Medium charities||Large charities|
Annual revenue is less than $250,000
Annual revenue is $250,000 or more, but less than $1 million
Annual revenue is $1 million or more
Size affects the number of financial information questions the ACNC asks and also whether you have to:
- use accrual accounting
- submit an annual financial report
- have your financial report audited or reviewed.
Small charities can choose if they want to submit a financial report (optional) and can use either cash or accrual accounting.
Both medium and large charities must submit a financial report and from 2015 must use accrual accounting. The type of statement in this financial report depends on whether the charity is what is called a ‘reporting entity’ or not. Financial reports can be either general or special purpose. The ACNC will accept either type, as long as your charity has met the requirements of the ACNC Regulations.
Medium charities must have their financial reports either reviewed or audited.
Large charities must have their financial report audited.