ACNC Reveals Contentious Reporting Requirements
Thursday, 14th March 2013 at 9:36 am
The new charity regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has begun public consultation on the contentious 2014 Annual Information Statement (AIS) and also released a preview of the 2013 AIS.
Charities will have to use the AIS as the primary method of reporting to the ACNC.
The ACNC says charities do not need to begin completing the first AIS, known as the 2013 AIS, until after 1 July 2013. This will be due six months after the end of the charity’s 2012–13 reporting period, which will be 31 December 2013 for most charities.
ACNC Commissioner, Susan Pascoe AM, has encouraged charities to contribute feedback on the 2014 AIS saying the information it receives from all 56,600 charities through the AIS will be published on the ACNC Register.
“For the first time, detailed information about Australian registered charities will be readily available to the public, in one place. This means improved transparency for the public about charities and their activities and charitable purposes.”
The recently released Commonwealth Grant Guidelines mandate that Commonwealth agencies must not seek information from grant applicants and grant recipients when that information is already collected by the ACNC – such as through the AIS.
In addition, the ACNC says it will continue to work with other government agencies to develop the Charity Passport. The Charity Passport will allow the ACNC to share information captured in the AIS with other government agencies that need it.
To assist charities in preparing for the 2013 AIS, the ACNC has created a sample and guidance notes available at acnc.gov.au/reporting however, registered charities do not need to provide any financial information to the ACNC for the 2013 reporting period.
The ACNC says that from 2014 onwards the amount of financial information charities will need to provide the ACNC depends on the size and type of the charity. For example small charities, with annual revenue of less than $250 000, will not have to provide the same type of information as large charities.
“We are aware that for some registered charities, the 2014 AIS will be first time they will have been asked to report financial information to a Commonwealth government regulator,” Susan Pascoe said.
“To minimise the impact on charities, we have been careful to only request financial information that we will actually need under the ACNC Act, and we are also giving charities and members of the sector an opportunity to comment on the proposed financial questions.
“The feedback we receive from the consultation will go a long way in helping the ACNC determine how to best frame the questions, so I would like to strongly encourage charities and interested members of the sector to contribute by the closing date of 26 April 2013.”
The consultation will be open for six weeks, concluding on 26 April 2013. Charities can also contribute to an online survey on the 2014 AIS here.
The sample 2013 AIS and the public consultation on the 2014 AIS are both available on the ACNC’s website at acnc.gov.au/reporting.