In Australia, charities can be classified as small, medium or large. The size of a charity is based on annual revenue for the reporting period:

  • Small charities have annual revenue under $250,000
  • Medium charities have annual revenue of $250,000 or more, but under $1 million
  • Large charities have annual revenue of $1 million or more.

What is revenue?

Revenue is a component of total income. A simple formula to help charities understand this is:

Revenue + Other Income = Total Income.

Revenue is realised from the sale of goods or services, or through the use of capital or assets. Revenue can also arise from the contribution of an asset to a charity when certain conditions have been met during the charity's ordinary activities.

A charity's financial reporting and other obligations to the ACNC depend on its revenue and whether it is considered a small, medium or large charity. These obligations are summarised in the table below.

Financial reporting obligations

SmallMediumLarge
Annual Information Statement

Tick icon

Tick icon

Tick icon

Annual financial report(optional)

Tick icon 1

Tick icon 1

Basis of accountingCash or accrualAccrual 1Accrual 1
Type of financial statement 2Small charities can choose to submit a financial statement. The type of financial statement can be the same as a Medium or Large charity
  • Special purpose financial statement (if not a “reporting entity”) or
  • General Purpose Financial Statement – Reduced Disclosure Requirements (Tier 2) or
  • General Purpose Financial Statement – Full (Tier 1)

Review or audit for annual financial report

No ACNC obligation for review or auditThe ACNC requires your financial reports to be either reviewed or audited 2The ACNC requires your financial reports to be audited

1 Unless the charity is a Basic Religious Charity or other transitional reporting arrangements apply.

2 The charity constitution/governing document or grant funding agreements may state whether the financial report needs to be reviewed or audited.

alert icon Both medium and large charities may use transitional reporting arrangements in their financial reporting.

Other obligations

SmallMediumLarge

Time to notify the ACNC of changes to its:

  • legal name
  • Address For Service
  • Responsible Persons
  • governing rules
  • material error in AIS or AFR
ASAP but no later than 60 daysASAP but no later than 28 days
Administrative penalties for not submitting documentsMore on administrative penalties

alert icon For reporting periods starting from 1 January 2019, charities will need to apply the Australian Accounting Standards AASB 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers and AASB 1058 Income of Not-for-Profit Entities to determine their annual revenue. These standards have replaced the revenue concepts in AASB 1004 Contributions and AASB 118 Revenue.

Read more about detailed reporting information for charities, recent changes to accounting standards and how they affect the way charities report financial information.