This is Not a Scam – ACNC
1 September 2015 at 11:59 am
Charities that receive an email regarding their financial information from the national charity regulator are being advised not to ignore it or dismiss it as a scam.
The warning comes as the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) found that thousands of charities had made “significant” errors in their financial reporting to the regulator.
According to the ACNC common mistakes included calculating totals incorrectly and errors stemming from charities rounding financial figures to the nearest thousand.
To address the errors the ACNC partnered with the Centre for Social Impact (CSI) at the University of New South Wales, which has been writing to charities to notify them of their errors.
But a spokesperson from the ACNC told Pro Bono Australia News that some charities had mistaken the email as a scam.
“No, it is not a scam,” the spokesperson said.
“The ACNC has engaged the Centre for Social Impact (CSI) at the University of New South Wales to help ensure that the financial data reported in the AIS for the 2014 year is as complete and accurate as possible.
“The ACNC have sent emails to all charities they have identified as having significant errors in the financial information they reported to them. This email asks charities to review and correct the financial information and provides a unique link to an online correction form.”
At the end of the correction form, charities will be asked to confirm that the ACNC can use the reviewed and corrected information to replace the information previously provided.
The ACNC spokesperson said at the moment no charities would be penalised.
“Charities will not be penalised for making errors, but it is important that they are corrected as quickly as possible,” the spokesperson said.
“Charities have an ongoing obligation under the ACNC legislation to report correctly to remain registered with the ACNC.”
Charities that have not received an email but think they may have made an error in their financial reporting should log into the charity portal, select ‘submit AIS’ and click the 2014 link.
They can then review the information in the submitted 2014 AIS and check it against any financial reports.