Tips to help charities avoid reporting errors

The ACNC has identified the most common errors made by charities in their annual information statements.

Here are some tips to help you to avoid mistakes.

Tip Explanations Read more
Know your charity’s size Make sure you get your size right.  Charity size affects reporting obligations.
Know your financial-report type Are you submitting a general-purpose or special-purpose financial report?
Will you self-assess as a basic religious charity?  Know the requirements Most charities that are incorporated cannot self-assess as a basic religious charity.
Check that the financial information you enter is correct Don’t mistake cents with dollars or record ‘revenue items’ as ‘other income’.
Remember to provide financial information Don’t forget to provide financial information, even if you did not conduct charitable activities during the year.


Medium charities must submit a financial report that is either reviewed or audited.  Large charities must submit a financial report that is audited.  The tips below are for medium and large charities.


Tip Explanation Read more
Remember to submit your financial reports, including the financial statements The statement of cash flows, statement of comprehensive income and statement of changes in equity were often omitted.
Preparing a special purpose financial statement? Remember the accounting standards You need to comply and state that the statement is prepared in accordance with the six mandatory accounting standards.
Check you have an accounting policy note and it is correct In the notes to the financial statements, there must be an accounting policy note that contains adequate accounting policy disclosures. Policy note requirements in the relevant accounting standard AASB 101 ‘Presentation of Financial Statements’
Preparing a general-purpose financial statement?  Check the completeness and quality of the related-party disclosures Make sure you provide sufficient detail of transactions between related parties and key management-personnel compensation.
Make sure you attach all required documents Remember to attach the audit/review reports and/or responsible-persons declaration and make sure that they are signed.


The ACNC has published a detailed report based on the most common errors found in submissions entitled ‘Lessons on reporting to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission’, which explains some of the material issues and errors found in the analysis of information statements.

Review the ACNC’s tips and lessons when preparing your AIS and annual report

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