Duplicative financial reporting to end for Victorian associations

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) recently announced that together with Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV), they have completed the process to allow Victorian incorporated associations registered with the ACNC to lodge financial reports with the ACNC rather than CAV from 1 July 2018.

This will result in streamlined financial reporting for Victorian associations, which will, from 1 July 2018, only be required to lodge financial statements and the annual information statement with the ACNC.  

These charities will no longer need to:

  • Lodge an annual statement with CAV, and
  • Pay an annual statement lodgement fee to CAV.

Instead, these charities will continue to submit their ACNC Annual Information Statement each year, and the ACNC will share the relevant data with CAV on the charity’s behalf.

When are the changes effective?

The new reporting arrangements apply from 1 July 2018. This means that any 30 June 2018 financial reports will be lodged with the ACNC rather than CAV.

Can Victoria associations lodge financial reports with the ACNC in same format previously provided to CAV?

It depends on what type of financial report was provided to CAV.

The Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012, section 95, requires the preparation of financial statements in accordance with Australian Accounting Standards, which in the Australian context could comprise:

  • Full general purpose financial statements (GPFS)
  • General purpose financial statements prepared using the Reduced Disclosure Requirements (RDR), or
  • Special purpose financial statements (SPFS).

For associations preparing GPFS or RDR, these can simply be lodged with the ACNC from 1 July 2018. However, associations preparing SPFS will need to consider whether these comply with the minimum standards required by section 60.30(2)(a) of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Regulation 2013, i.e.:

  • AASB 101 Presentation of Financial Statements
  • AASB 107 Statement of Cash Flows
  • AASB 108 Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors
  • AASB 1048 Interpretation of Standards
  • AASB 1054 Australian Additional Disclosures.

If all of the above-mentioned standards have been complied with for SPFS, these financial reports can be submitted to the ACNC. If not, associations will need to ‘step up’ their special purpose financial statements to a format that includes compliance with these standards.

Is there any transitional relief?

The ACNC has established a two-year transition period for Victoria associations whose previous financial reports submitted to CAV did not comply with the five minimum standards noted above.

The transitional relief provided by the ACNC for medium and large Victorian associations preparing SPFS is included in the table below.

Period What to lodge with ACNC?
Ending 30 June 2018 (or any later period approved by the ACNC Commissioner) Same report that previously met CAV requirements
Ending 30 June 2019 (or any later period approved by the ACNC Commissioner) Comply with AASB 101, 107, 108, 1048 and 1054

No comparatives but explain why (refer to ACNC’s example disclosure why comparatives not included)
2020 reporting period and beyond Comply with AASB 101, 107, 108, 1048 and 1054

Comparatives required

Do we still need to hold an AGM?

The ACNC Act does not require ACNC-registered charities to hold an annual general meeting. However, s63 of the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 still requires Victorian incorporated associations to hold an AGM within five months of the end of the reporting period. Although the deadline for reporting to the ACNC is six months after the end of the reporting period, ACNC registered associations will likely complete their financial reporting within five months so as to make these available for discussion at the AGM.