Date posted: 25/11/2021

How charities and not-for-profits can gain an edge in reporting

The seventh edition of Enhancing Not-for-Profit and Charity Reporting is now available

In brief

  • 2021 guide for NFP and Charity reporting
  • Best practice annual, financial and performance reporting
  • Applicable to reporting regulations in Australia and New Zealand

Not-for-profits and charities can access an updated reporting guide by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) that covers how to highlight impact by including environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance. 

Enhancing Not-for-Profit and Charity Reporting, now in it’s seventh edition, shows organisations how to follow best practice in annual, financial and performance reports. 

Such reporting can be crucial for not-for-profits and charities as they compete to attract financial and in-kind support to operate sustainably.

“Stakeholders want to know that a NFP or charity is financially viable, but that alone isn’t enough anymore,” says Aletta Boshoff FCA, partner and national leader, IFRS Advisory, at BDO in Melbourne and one of the guide’s contributors. 

The real value of this guide is to encourage people to explore the space in reporting between what the requirements say you have to do and what you would do if you could prepare a specific report for every user
Jamie Cattell CA

“A different angle is also required, which is where sustainability reporting, or impact reporting, is becoming increasingly important.” 

The guide explains how an organisation can show that they are a low risk and high outcome funding choice by being transparent about their management and governance. 

Part A of the guide assists NFPs to identify and define their strategic intent and objectives and then track, monitor and report on their performance progress. It’s designed for organisations doing this kind of reporting for the first time, but others can benefit from information most relevant to them.

Part B of the report has discreet Australian and New Zealand sections applicable to the regulations in those respective jurisdictions. 

Targeted advice 

Kerry Hicks FCA, Pitcher Partners’ technical standards director and another contributor to the guide, points out that since the previous edition, the Australian Accounting Standards Board has simplified disclosure standards for NFPs (AASB 1060). 

To comply with these new standards, Hicks suggests organisations compare their previous financial statements to the illustrative financial statements provided in the guide. That will enable them to identify any new information they might need and put the right systems in place to collate it.

While New Zealand’s reporting requirements have not changed, Jamie Cattell CA, Chair of the Charities and NFP Segment Advisory Committee and also a contributor, says the guide asks important questions and provides checklists about the reporting process.