All registered charities need to comply with new reporting standards introduced from 1 April 2015, when filing Annual Returns and financial statements with Charities Services. 

These new standards set minimum requirements for the content and quality of charities’ reporting.

The new standards will apply to a charity’s first full financial year starting on or after 1 April 2015.  The following dates will apply:

  • If a charity’s balance date is 31 March, the first reporting period under the new standards will be 1 April 2015 – 31 March 2016, meaning that new financial statements must be filed with Charities Services by 30 September 2016
  • For a balance date of 30 June, the first reporting period will be 1 July 2015 – 30 June 2016, and financial statements must be filed by 31 December 2016
  • For a balance date of 31 December, the first reporting period will be 1 January – 31 December 2016, and financial statements must be filed by 30 June 2017

For all other balance dates, the first reporting period will start on 1 April 2015, and financial statements must be filed within six months of the balance date.

What tier is my charity?

All charities are in Tier 1 by default, but if they meet certain criteria they can choose to report in a lower tier.

The following briefly outlines the criteria for each tier.  A charity will determine what tier it reports under by looking at its annual expenses/operating payments for the previous two financial years.

Tier 1

  • Full Standards;
  • Over $30 million annual expenses;
  • Or has public accountability

Tier 2

  •  Reduced Disclosure Regime;
  •  Under $30 million annual expenses;
  •  Without public accountability

Tier 3

  • Simple Format Report - ACCRUAL;
  • Under $2 million annual expenses;
  •  Without public accountability

Tier 4

  • Simple Format Report - CASH;
  •  Under $125,000 annual operating payments;
  •  Without public accountability

Charities in Tiers 3 and 4 must file a “performance report”, containing non-financial information to tell the story of the charity for the relevant financial year.  This might include the sorts of activities the charity performs, its trading operations, different branches of the charity, and the nature of bank accounts used by the charity.

Incorporated Societies

Incorporated societies which are not charities do not currently have to meet any formal financial reporting standards. However, the Government has signaled its intention to replace the current Incorporated Societies Act 1908 with a new Act.  A draft Bill is expected some time in 2015, which will include new financial reporting provisions. Incorporated societies should expect to have to comply with new reporting standards some time in the future.




Claire Tyler


Gender Equality
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