Date posted: 02/06/2021

Submission on the Incorporated Societies Bill

Change is on the way for New Zealand’s 24,000 incorporated societies

On 28 May, CA ANZ provided a submission to the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Parliamentary Select Committee on the Incorporated Societies Bill (NZ). The Bill would repeal and replace the Incorporated Societies Act 1908. Our feedback focuses on Part 3, Subpart 7—Accounting records, financial reporting, and annual returns. The key points are:

  • We support the modernisation of the 1908 Act to ensure it is fit-for-purpose in the long term. 
  • We strongly support the requirement to keep accounting records. 
  • We support the requirement for financial statements to be prepared in accordance with the accounting standards issued by the External Reporting Board (XRB) and filed within 6 months of balance date.
  • We support the dual test of assets and operating payments in defining a “small society”, and the two-year test but we do not support the “minimum requirements for financial statements of small societies”. 
  • We support the requirement for statutory assurance to be conducted by a qualified auditor using the auditing and assurance standards issued by the XRB.
  • We recommend more research is undertaken to determine the thresholds for reporting and audit, with specific consideration given to the number of entities affected and the appropriate level of risk.
  • We support any reporting and assurance provisions not applying to entities that are also subject to financial markets or charities legislation.
  • We support the holding of an Annual General Meeting, particularly the allowance of broader methods by which it can be held. However, we have reservations about the annual report that is to be presented. 
  • We support enhancing the Register of Incorporated Societies to improve search functionality and data availability. 
  • The design of the annual return will be integral to improving the Register. We recommend its form and content be drawn from best practice in the sector.
    We support the officer duties being framed in the same way as director duties.
  • The education campaign is vital to the ultimate success of the new regime. We emphasise the importance of this initiative being given adequate resourcing and funding.

Background on Bill

Here is a summary of reporting and assurance proposals in the Bill.

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