On 4 December 2015, Australian Charities and Not-for-profits
Commission launched its first Charities Report in collaboration
with University of New South Wales Centre for Social Impact. The
release occurred on the third anniversary of the establishment of
Statistics reveal that the charity sector in 2014 had income of
$103 billion, with nearly $7 billion coming from donations and
bequests. They also revealed that 5% of the charities received 80%
of total income and the sector spent $95m. The sector employs 1m
people, and attracts another 1m volunteers.. The largest spend is
in education and research followed by health, development and
The ACNC is reviewing the standard questions in the Annual
Information Statement template. The questions will include some
changes but no increase in the number of questions. In particular,
the ACNC has noticed that many entities which are reporting as
basic religious charities do not qualify for that status and have
been inaccurately responding on the annual information statement.
Remember the test for a basic religious charity
Questions which are likely to fall off the 2015 Annual
Information Statement are:
Whether the charity has conducted a specific number of
activities and assisted a particular number of individuals in the
preceding 12 month period.
Whether the charity has been required to report to another
Government or statutory authority.
Questions which are likely to come on to the new Annual
Information Statement for 2015 are:
What turnover the charity has had.
How many incidents of interaction with the Register have been
Questions which are likely to be amended, include:
Instead of listing main, and then additional, activities,
organisations will now need to list their top 5 activities, ranked
from 1 to 5.
Organisations will need to list 5 groups of beneficiaries who
they have assisted, again ranked from 1 to 5.
Medium and large charities will need to answer additional
questions on whether their financial accounts were audited or
reviewed and whether the auditors opinion is qualified adverse or
Small charities will need to indicate how much of their income
is 'revenue' and how much is 'gains'.
For medium charities, elimination of items on the income list
which relate to nett gains or losses, nett movements in revaluation
reserves, and the nett gains and losses from investments.
ACNC is presently engaging with stakeholders for feedback.
Additionally, ACNC has sought feedback from the sector over the
proposal by the Accounting Standards Board to measure the
effectiveness of the delivery of certain services in accordance
with a proposed new accounting standard. This proposed measure has
created discomfort in the church sector where delivery of worship
practices and spiritual support is not by its nature capable of
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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