Growing Transparency In NFP Sector- PwC Awards
14 April 2011 at 3:25 pm
Christian community service organisation, Mission Australia and children’s family cancer charity Camp Quality are the winners of the fourth annual Australian PwC Transparency Awards announced in Sydney.
Oxfam and Opportunity International were the runners-up in their respective categories and Plan International has won the Most Improved Award.
Undertaken in collaboration with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (the Institute) and the Centre for Social Impact (CSI), the Awards recognise and encourage improvement in the quality and transparency of reporting in the Australian Not for Profit sector.
Rick Millen, PwC Corporate Responsibility Partner says that after ongoing consultation with the NFP sector, they saw a need to expand the Awards this year, to facilitate the participation of smaller organisations as well as to introduce the ‘Most Improved Award.
Millen says transparent reporting is proving to be fundamental for all organisations in the NFP sector to tell the right story to their stakeholders and the wider community; it has moved from being considered a PR exercise to an important part of the reporting process in an increasingly competitive sector.
Spokesperson for the Jury , Rupert Myer,Chairman of The Myer Family Company Ltd says this year, the jury found that overall the annual reports were exceptionally good in relation to reporting on their operations and the measurement of what was performed and how it was resourced.
He says the jury agreed that the next challenge for the NFP sector is in addressing, measuring and reporting on the social impact on the communities in which they operate.
Organisations’ disclosure has been assessed according to a framework of criteria including strategy, financial and operational performance, governance, risk policies and sources of funding.
He says Mission Australia’s very comprehensive annual report embodies a high regard for transparency and full disclosure on programs and activities.
The winners citation says the usefulness of information presented, especially considering the difficulty of explaining such a complex organisation to a wide range of stakeholders, made Mission Australia the worthy winner of this year’s PwC Transparency Award in the >$20m revenue category.
Commenting on Camp Quality winning the Award in the $5m to $20m revenue category Rupert Myer says Camp Quality’s annual report is extremely impressive in all aspects.
Commenting on The Most Improved, he says Plan International Australia’s improvement in key areas of reporting from the prior year was significant and the annual report makes a very good effort at transparency and communicating its strategies and goals.
Peter Shergold for the Centre for Social Impact says as NFPs focus increasingly on measuring the social impact of their activities, and as new forms of social enterprise develop, the need for a strong disclosure regime becomes more vital.
He says government funders, philanthropists and social investors now expect that the financial performance, governance arrangements and risk management strategy of NFPs will be reported in a transparent manner.
Mission Australia’s CEO, Toby Hall, says over the last few years there’s been a debate in Australia – and rightfully so – about the need for the NFP sector to increase its levels of transparency and accountability.
Hall says Mission Australia has been fully committed to that process, across the organisation but in particular through its reporting, and the award is very welcome recognition of that commitment.
He says there is no question that the public is increasingly cynical about charities and the NFP sector’s use of grants and donations. To combat that it’s the responsibility of NFPs to provide evidence they are prudent and responsible managers of the funds they receive from governments, corporate partners and the donating public.
The PwC Transparency Awards were introduced to Australia in 2007 to recognise the quality and transparency of reporting in the not-for-profit sector. The concept originated in the Netherlands where they were introduced by the local PwC firm in 2004 and they have since been introduced by PwC to other countries around the world including Germany, Australia and Korea.
A copy of the Jury’s Report is available here.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants launched its latest thought leadership paper Essential not-for-profit annual and financial reporting (a tool for best practice reporting) at the Awards event.
Graham Meyer, CEO of the Institute says it is proud of its ongoing involvement in the Awards process.
He says as the NFP sector continues to evolve and see changes in its governance and operating environment, the Institute will continue to be a voice of advocacy and a source of advice.
The publication Essential not-for-profit annual and financial reporting can be found at charteredaccountants.com.au/Industry-Topics/Reporting/Current-issues/Not-for-profit.aspx