Accounts and audits in incorporated associations
Incorporated associations must follow legal standards of accounting and financial reporting. Use the checklist below to make sure all the steps are covered:
- accounts are prepared
- committee’s statement and report are prepared
- accounts with the committee’s statement attached are submitted to the auditor
- the committee is given the auditor’s report
- the above documents – 1 to 4 – are presented to members at the annual general meeting
- annual return signed by the public officer, with the above documents, is lodged with Consumer and Business Services or Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.
Lodgement fee - $91.50
Incorporated associations that are 'prescribed' have gross receipts of more than $500,000 per year – not including member subscriptions – and must be audited every year.
The auditor must be independent and be one of the following:
- registered company auditor
- member of the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants or the Institute of Chartered Accountants
- someone approved by the Corporate Affairs Commission – restrictions apply.
Committee members or anyone with influence in the association can't conduct the audit (including people who work with them – eg staff member of treasurer's local business).
The auditor’s report is given to the committee no more than five months after the end of the association's financial year and states if:
- recorded activities and finances are accurate
- accounts and auditors' reports of any subsidiary or trust have been examined
- all information was received – including answers to the auditors questions.
The auditor must advise CBS immediately in writing if:
- there is a deficit for activities or finances
- the auditor has been removed – include the reason
- the association doesn't comply with the Act – eg AGM hasn’t been held.
Contact CBS in writing if your association wants to be exempt from the accounting and audit requirements. Read section 38 and 39 of the Associations Incorporation Act 1985 for details about reasons that will be considered.