Finances and Accountability. Finances and Accountability (Ch 12, Pt 12) The Amendment Act introduces several changes to the internal governance of organisations in order to make officers more accountable for their financial management decisions: Financial Policies Organisations must develop and maintain policies on the following, some of which have further particulars which must be included in the policy prescribed in the regulations (section 553A): decision-making about, and reporting of, the organisation’s financial matters;
Finances and Accountability. spending authorisations and delegations policy setting out the approvals and authorisations processes to spend funds, make payments or make a purchase; credit cards policy to determine who is issued with a credit card, outlining the user’s responsibilities including the terms for using the credit card and cancelling a credit card; contracting activities policy setting out the tender and selection process, reviewing significant contracts and disclosing the identify of, and arrangements with key service providers;
Finances and Accountability. travel and accommodation policy to cover spending by the organisation and receipt of sponsored hospitality benefits by its officers or employees from other entities; entertainment and hospitality (given and received) to identify and limit potential conflicts of interest; gifts (given and received); complaints handling process dealing with financial matters; and employment or holding an office outside the organisation to assist decision-makers and provide consistency.
Financial Registers Financial registers (Ch 12, Pt 12, Div 2A) Organisations are required to maintain financial registers which must be published on the organisation’s website for a period of 2 years: Register of gifts, hospitality and other benefits given and received; Register of political spending; Register of credit card and cab charge account spending – employee organisations only; and Register of loans, grants and donations (section 557C).
Financial Registers Register of gifts, hospitality and other benefits given and received (section 557A) Organisations must keep a written register for each financial year detailing each benefit given or received with a combined or individual value over $500. Benefit includes gifts, hospitality and financial or non-financial benefits such as sponsored hospitality, travel and accommodation. The register must include the following information: – The name of the recipient who received the benefit;
Financial Registers – The name of the entity who gave the benefit; – A description of the benefit; – The value of the benefit; – The date the benefit was given. Officers or employees of the organisation who receive a gift(s) valued over $500 in their official capacity are required to notify the organisation within 30 days of receiving the gift(s). Gifts to spouses, family members or friends do not need to be reported provided there is no perceived or real conflict of interest, financial or otherwise, relating to the gift.
Register of Political Spending Register of political spending (section 557B) Organisations must keep a written register for each financial year outlining each occasion the organisation spends more than $10,000 in the year for the same political purposes for the same political object. Political purpose and political object are defined in section 553C. The register must include the following information:
Register of Political Spending – The nature of the spending; – The amount of the spending; – The political object to which the spending relates; and – The date of each expenditure ballot that authorised the spending or any part of it. Requirements for spending for political purposes (Ch 12, Pt 12, Div1B) Organisations will need to ballot members before undertaking certain expenditures for political purposes.
Political purpose, in this instance includes gifts to a political party or political candidate, publication or distribution of material about a political matter or an activity that intends to influence a person’s opinion (other than the organisation’s own membership) about a political matter (section 553C). If the planned political expenditure is over $10,000 and falls within the definition in section 553C, then members must authorise the expenditure via a ballot. The organisation may spend the authorised amount if more than 50% of the valid votes cast authorises the spending (section 553F). Spending on political purposes
Rules to conduct an expenditure ballot (section 553G) An expenditure ballot must be conducted in accordance with the rules prescribed under the regulation. These include: – The organisation or another entity (whose normal functions include conducting ballots) may conduct the ballot; – The ballot may seek authorisation for two or more political purposes provided the ballot provides details for each proposed spend and asks the questions separately; Conducting a Expenditure Ballot
– The roll of voters must be compiled within 28 days of the ballot being conducted and must include each person who is a member of the organisation on the day the roll is The entity conducting the ballot may decide the method of voting which may include (but is not limited to) the following options: by post, by telephone using an automated interactive voice response system or by electronic means; and – A ballot must be open for at least 5 business days with voting limited to eligible members only. Conducting a Expenditure Ballot
Expenditure ballot result report (section 553H) The organisation must file a written expenditure ballot result report with the registrar within 14 days after the ballot result is declared, regardless of the result of the ballot. The regulations set out the contents of the report. Publishing the expenditure ballot result (section 553I) The organisation must publish a notice containing particulars about the expenditure ballot within 14 days after the declaration of the result of the expenditure ballot and continue its publishing for a period of 2 years after the receipt of the result report. Reporting on the Results of a Expenditure Ballot
The published notice must include the following information for each political purpose which is subject to a ballot: – The nature of the spending; – The amount of the spending; – The political object to which the spending relates; – The number of members on the roll of voters for the ballot; – The number of members on the roll of voters who voted in the ballot; – The number of members on the roll of voters who voted to approve the spending; and Reporting on the Results of a Expenditure Ballot
– The number of members on the roll of voters who voted not to approve the spending. Organisations must retain the records of the expenditure ballot for 1 year (section 553J). To view timeframes for Results of Expenditure Ballot on Spending for Political Purposes Click on Adobe Document icon. Reporting on the Results of a Expenditure Ballot
Register of Credit Card and Cab Charge Register of credit card and cab charge account spending (section 557C & D) Employee organisations must keep a written register of credit card and cab charge account spending starting from 1 July 2012 and each subsequent financial year. This includes personal credit cards used by officers or employees of the organisation for transactions related to the organisation’s business. The register must include the following information that is due one month from commencement of Part 2 of the Amendment Act:
Register of Credit Card and Cab Charge For a credit card: The name of the financial institution with which the card is held A copy of each statement issued for the card by the financial institution in the year. This includes statements for personal credit cards used by officers or employees for a transaction related to the organisation’s business For a cab charge: The name of the taxi service with which the account is held A copy of each statement issued for the account or card by the taxi service in the year The register does not need to include the following information:
Register of Credit Card and Cab Charge The number of the credit card or cab charge account or cab charge card The name or address of the person other than the organisation To whom the credit card or cab charge card is issued or its authorised users For personal credit cards, transaction details that are not related to the organisation’s business
Register of Loans Grants and Donations Register of loans, grants and donations (section 557E) Organisations must keep a written register for each financial year setting out each occasion the organisation makes a loan, gives a grant or donation to an entity (i.e. payment) of more than $1,000 in the financial year. Where more than one payment is made to the same entity, if the combined value is over $1,000 that information must be recorded.
Register of Loans Grants and Donations The register must include the following information for each payment: The amount of the payment and the reason for making it If it was not a financial hardship payment – – The name and address of the entity to whom it was made; and – If it was a loan – the arrangements to repay the loan
Maintaining Financial Registers Maintaining financial registers (section 557G) Organisations must keep financial registers up to date by immediately amending registers to include the particulars of new matters and update the published register as soon as practicable but no later than 5 business days after the amendment is made to the register. Financial registers must be kept for 7 years (section 557H) and may be inspected by a person free of charge, during the organisation’s To view timeframes for the Registers Click on Adobe Document icon.
Financial Disclosure Statements Financial disclosure statements (Ch 12, Pt 12, Div 2B) For the first year, organisations are required to prepare three sets of financial disclosure statements reducing to two statements in subsequent years: Initial disclosure statement covering the period 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013 (one-off statement); Annual financial disclosure statement covering the financial year period; and Mid-year financial disclosure statement covering the first six months of the financial year.
Initial Financial Disclosure Statements Initial disclosure statement (section 557L) Organisations must prepare an initial disclosure statement for the remuneration paid to the ten highest officers or board members of the organisation. The initial disclosure covers the period 1 July 2012 – 30 June 2013 and must be published one month from the commencement of Part 2 of the Amendment Act. The initial disclosure statement must contain the following information: The remuneration paid to the ten highest paid officers in the organisation;
Initial Financial Disclosure Statements The value of non-cash benefits given to an officer by the organisation other than remuneration; and Any amount paid to the officer in the officer’s capacity as a board member. This does not include payments to the officer for the cost of travel and accommodation to attend board meetings. Organisations must publish a copy of the initial financial disclosure statement as soon as practicable but no later than 5 business days after the end of the period within which the initial disclosure statement is required to be prepared under section 557M. To view timeframes for the Initial Financial Disclosure Statement Click on Adobe Document icon.
Financial Disclosure Statements Highest paid officers and board member officers of an organisation (section 557K) “1) For this division— (a) if an organisation has less than 10 officers in the initial year or a financial year—all of the officers of the organisation are the highest paid officers of the organisation for the year; and (b) if an organisation has 10 or more officers in the initial year or a financial year—the 10 most highly paid officers of the organisation for the year are the highest paid officers of the organisation for the year; and
Financial Disclosure Statements (c) an officer of an organisation is a board member officer of the organisation if the officer is a member of a board and— (i) the membership is a function of the officer’s office with the organisation; or (ii) the organisation nominated the officer to be a member of the board. (2) For subsection (1)(b), an officer of an organisation is more highly paid than another officer of the organisation for the initial year or a financial year if the first officer is paid more remuneration for the year than the other officer.”
Annual Financial Disclosure Statements Annual financial disclosure statement For the first annual financial disclosure statement, organisations whose financial year after the initial year ends on a day other than 1 July 2013, the financial year, for the purpose of the annual financial disclosure statement, includes the period starting on 1 July 2013 and ends on the day before the financial year would otherwise have started (section 557N). The annual disclosure statement must include the following information: A copy of the organisation’s accounts for the financial year (section 557P) The particulars for remuneration and benefits (including non-cash benefits) paid to each highest paid officer of the organisation (section 557Q)
Annual Financial Disclosure Statements The website address for each financial register required to be published (section 557R) The particulars for each political purpose on which the organisation spent money in the financial year (section 557S) Details for each of the financial policies the organisation is required to develop and maintain under section 553A (section 557U) Details pertaining to the officers financial management training as required under section 553B (section 557V) To view timeframes for the Annual Financial Disclosure Statement Click on Adobe Document icon.
Mid- Year Financial Disclosure Statements Mid-year financial disclosure statement An organisation must prepare a mid-year financial disclosure statement within 7 months after the start of the organisation’s financial year (section 557W). The mid-year financial disclosure statement must cover the first 6 months of the financial year and include the following information for each officer expected to be the highest paid officer for the year: – The remuneration expected to be paid to the officer in the year; – The remuneration paid to the officer in the first 6 months of the year; – Any non-cash benefit including the value of the benefit expected to be given to the officer by the organisation, other than as remuneration, in the year;
Mid- Year Financial Disclosure Statements – Any non-cash benefit including the value of the benefit given to the officer by the organisation, other than as remuneration, in the first 6 months of the year; and – Any amount paid to the officer in the officer’s capacity as a board member official in the year. For organisations whose financial year starts on a day other than 1 July, for this section, the financial year includes the period starting on 1 July 2013 and ends on the day before the organisation’s own financial year would have otherwise have started.
Mid- Year Financial Disclosure Statements The mid-financial year disclosure statement must be published within the required period as prescribed. The prescribed period for compliance is as soon as practicable but no later than 5 business days after the period for which the mid-financial year disclosure is supposed to be prepared by. Once published it continues to be published for 2 years (section 557X). To view timeframes for the Mid Year Financial Disclosure Statement Click on Adobe Document icon.
Financial Disclosure Statements General information concerning financial disclosure statements The statements must be kept for 7 years (section 557Y); The statements may be inspected by persons, during business hours, free of charge (section 557Z); The definition of accounting records, under section 558 (Obligation to have auditor) of the IR Act has been amended to include the organisation’s financial disclosure statement and mid-year financial disclosure statement for the financial year.