Australian charities make up a significant sector of Australia’s society and economy, managing net assets of over $180 billion and generating $134 billion total income. They provide essential social, cultural, community, education, health and other charitable services, employing 1.2 million people and an estimated 3 million volunteers to do so. Accountability for the assets these charities control and the services…

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RSL NSW will not charge for red poppies this Remembrance Day as an inquiry into its charitable fundraising is heard. RSL’s state president James Brown told AAP the organisation was not ready to resume fundraising activities because it was still not meeting the law. The organisation suspended fundraising earlier this year before the inquiry set up by the NSW government,…

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Accountants play an essential role in improving reporting in the charity and not-for-profit sector, writes James Dunn in this article that first appeared in CPA Australia’s INTHEBLACK. Accountants are steering Australia’s not for profit nfp sector through tighter reporting requirements and looming changes in reporting standards. Reporting by charities and not for profit nfp entities is a different proposition to reporting in…

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The Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) has weighed in on the complexity of the financial reporting regime for Australian charities in a new report, describing it as “overly complex and inconsistent” and saying it “fails to promote the sector’s accountability or efficiency”. The research, Financial Reporting Requirements Applicable to Charities, found that despite ongoing simplification efforts, serious issues with the…

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Can board members be paid?

Can or should we pay a board member? It’s a common question not-for-profit organisations ask our legal advice team. Only 15 per cent of board members are paid, meaning over 80 per cent of board members give their time, skills and expertise voluntarily, according to a report of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). There are important matters that…

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A new independent authority has been established to help raise the bar for fundraisers around best practice and ethical conduct. The Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA) has announced the establishment of a seven-member Code Authority to oversee its new fundraising code which was approved in June and is set to come into force from 1 January 2018. The authority, made up…

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ACNC revokes 86 charities

The national charity regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), has revoked the registration of 86 charities for twice failing to submit their Annual Information Statements. These organisations will now lose access to Commonwealth charity tax concessions. In early August 2017, the ACNC notified 190 charities that they risked losing their charity status. “The organisations that have lost their…

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Recent cases questioning the integrity of some Not-for-Profit (NFPs) organisations highlight changing accountability requirements for the sector. As more public funds are provided to the NFP sector to deliver public services a higher level of public accountability is being applied to the sector. NFPs able to negotiate this transition will distinguish themselves in the market. For some, the recent Anzac…

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CPA Australia and the Australian Scholarship Foundation are offering five scholarships for managers and financial officers of registered charities. Designed to enable managers to enhance their knowledge and skills, the scholarship exempts the recipients from all CPA Program subject fees. For more information or to apply, visit the link below. Applications close Thursday 30 November. To view the full CPA…

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Community support is vital to the charity sector; each year Australians donate $11 billion and three million of us volunteer. Access to reliable, accurate, and up-to-date information about registered charities underpins this generosity. The financial information provided by registered charities is the cornerstone of the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC’s) regulation of the charity sector. This information significantly increases…

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