2017 Annual Information Statement released

New guidance material and an enhanced online form are among key improvements to the ACNC’s 2017 annual information statement.

The statement – at a new website hub –creates a one-stop shop at which charities may report.

It contains a comprehensive range of support and guidance materials and aims to make it easier for charities to fulfil their reporting requirements and provide accurate, high-quality and timely information through their statements.

Improvements to guidance materials include:

  • A complete re-design of the AIS guide, the 2017 document broken up into shorter sections
  • New menus that help charities navigate more easily around the online document
  • Expanded help containing almost 50 direct links to relevant sections of the guide, enhancing charities’ ability to cross-reference relevant guidance material – and minimise errors
  • Updates to the AIS checklist, providing a reference point for the information and documents charities need to have handy before they start their statement, and
  • A tip sheet outlining some of the common mistakes charities make when filling in their statements and how to avoid them.

Further additions to the hub are planned, including links to a fully updated suite of reporting guidance and instructive how-to videos aimed at helping charities complete or learn more about specific sections of the statement.

Key improvements to the AIS include:

  • Easier-to-understand questions, especially those related to charity finances, activities and beneficiaries
  • Improved auto-filling and auto-calculation of responses to certain questions, allowing charities to quickly progress through sections of the statement
  • The ability for charities to view and update their responsible persons, ensuring that their organisations’ details are up to date
  • A new preview function, allowing charities to check their responses before submission, and
  • An improved layout, including a more prominent ‘Submit’ button to ensure charities don’t forget to submit their statement.

ACNC commissioner Susan Pascoe said: ‘Completing and submitting [a statement] is a major part of registered charities’ ongoing obligation to report annually.

‘In addition, the information gathered through [statements] helps us cut red tape and […] contribute to a greater understanding of the sector.

‘We see the hub as a landing place [where charities] can easily access the information and guidance they need.’

The first charities to complete their 2017 statements will follow a standard financial year – 1 July to 30 June.  The ACNC encourages early submission.

Charities can visit the hub or start work on their statements at https://www.acnc.gov.au/ACNC/Report/2017AIS.aspx

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