ACNC Moves on First Charity Annual Information Statement
30 July 2013 at 9:19 am
The charity regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) is writing to Australia’s 57,000 registered charities, to explain how to complete the 2013 Annual Information Statement (AIS).
The letter will contain a user name and password that will allow charities to log in at acnc.gov.au/2013AIS to complete their statement. Charities will have to use the AIS as the primary method of reporting to the ACNC.
The 2013 AIS is due by 31 December 2013, or six months after the end of an approved substituted accounting period.
The regulator says the 2013 AIS is the result of extensive consultation with the sector and user testing with charities. It consists of 25 questions about the charity’s activities for the 2012/13 reporting period, and does not ask for financial information.
The ACNC said earlier this year 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," ACNC Commissioner, Susan Pascoe AM said.
The ACNC says by completing the 2013 AIS online, charities will have access to pre-filled information, and much of the information will be used on the ACNC register.
Pascoe said the 2013 AIS was an important step in enhancing public trust and confidence, and reducing red tape for charities.
"While it is a legislative requirement that all registered charities complete their 2013 AIS, there are a number of specific benefits for charities in doing so," Pascoe said.
"Firstly, much of the information that charities provide through the 2013 AIS will be placed on the ACNC Register. It is important that this information is up to date, as members of the public are likely to use the expanded search functionality on the Register to find certain types of charities in specific areas.
"If charities are concerned about information being placed on the Register, they can apply to have it withheld. The ACNC has the power to withhold information on application if it is false, commercially sensitive, offensive, or could endanger the public.
"Reporting to the ACNC via the 2013 AIS will also reduce red tape for charities over time.
"We have already begun working with other Commonwealth Government agencies, and consulting with state and territory governments, to develop the Charity Passport.
“The Charity Passport will allow the ACNC to share the information charities are reporting to us through the AIS with other government agencies that need it, and are authorised to receive it,” she said.
”Over time charities will notice a tangible reduction in the time and effort they spend reporting. The introduction of the AIS is the first step in that process.”
Charities can expect to receive their user name and password by mail from late July 2013. If charities have not received their log in details from the ACNC by mid-August, they are encouraged to contact the ACNC on 13 ACNC (13 2262) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To support registered charities in completing the 2013 AIS, the ACNC has published guidance materials. Charities can access these materials at acnc.gov.au/2013AIS.