Financial statements and auditing requirements – incorporated associations

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There is a new financial reporting exemption for associations which are also registered charities. For more details, view our Lodging an annual statement page.

Annual statements must be lodged online using your myCAV account within one month of your annual general meeting. Lodgement can be made by either the secretary or an authorised delegate of the association. For more information, view our Lodging an annual statement - incorporated associations page.

Three tiers of associations

Under the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 (the Act), an association falls within one of three tiers according to its total revenue:

  • Tier 1 - less than $250,000
  • Tier 2 - $250,000 to $1 million
  • Tier 3 - more than $1 million.

Total revenue refers to the association’s total income from all its activities during its financial year, before deducting any expenses including the cost of goods that it sold.

Record keeping

Your association must keep financial records that:

  • record and explain its transactions, financial position and performance, and
  • allow the preparation of 'true and fair' financial statements.

Financial records include:

  • invoices
  • receipts
  • cheques
  • documents that record the above (including bank statements)
  • working papers and other documents that explain how financial statements are prepared.

Your association should maintain and update these records throughout the year as it receives and uses funds.

An incorporated association must keep financial records for seven years.

Preparing financial statements (all tiers)

As soon as practical after the end of your incorporated association's financial year, the committee must ensure that financial statements are prepared.

An association must present its completed financial statements to members at the annual general meeting (AGM), which must be held within five months after the end of the financial year. You must lodge these with us within one month after the AGM, along with the appropriate signed declarations.

The financial statements of an incorporated association must give a true and fair view of its financial performance and position during and at the end of the year.

Financial statements must contain:

  • income and expenditure (Income Statement) for your association’s financial year
  • assets and liabilities (Balance Sheet) at the end of its financial year
  • other documents required by accounting standards, such as a cash flow statement
  • notes to the account, which must include:
    • information required by the accounting standards
    • information necessary to give a true and fair view
    • information required by the provisions of the Act and its regulations.

In the notes to the account, you must disclose:

  • any mortgages, charges and securities of any description affecting any property of the association at the end of its financial year
  • any trust, held on behalf of the association by a person or body other than the association, in which funds or assets of the association are placed
  • for each trust your association was a trustee of during any part of its financial year, any:
    • income and expenditure (Income Statement) of the trust during that period
    • assets and liabilities (Balance Sheet) of the trust during that period
    • mortgages, charges and securities affecting any property of the trust at the end of that period.

For more information on AGMs, view our Meetings - incorporated associations page.

Sample of financial statements

Please note: this is not a standard template to be completed and returned. This sample is to be used as a guide only and will need to be adapted according to individual association’s requirements and circumstances.

Sample incorporated association financial reports (Word, 216KB)

Reviewing financial statements by the committee of the association

  1. Treasurer should present the financial statements at a committee meeting.
  2. Record the presentation of the financial statements in the minutes of the meeting.
  3. If satisfied with the statements, the committee can pass a resolution confirming that they give a ‘true and fair’ view of the association’s financial affairs. The financial statements and Schedule 1, Regulation 15, Form 1 (Word, 25KB) - signed by two committee members - must be presented to the members of the association at the annual general meeting. Note: this form does not need to be lodged with Consumer Affairs Victoria.
  4. Record the resolution in the minutes of the meeting. A Submission of financial statements to annual general meeting (Word, 24KB) signed by one committee member after the annual general meeting should be kept on record. Note: this form does not need to be lodged with Consumer Affairs Victoria.

Tier 1 associations do not have any additional reporting requirements. They do not need to have their financial statements externally reviewed or audited unless:

  • their rules state otherwise (audit or review)
  • a majority of members vote to do so at a general meeting (review only), or
  • the Registrar of Incorporated Associations directs them to do so.

For more information on meetings, view our Meetings - incorporated associations page.

Auditing and reviewing requirements - tiers 2 and 3

Financial statements lodged with us from associations in tiers 2 and 3 may be inspected by the general public. They must be prepared in accordance with the Australian Accounting Standards issued by the Australian Accounting Standards Board. The statements may be either:

  • general purpose financial statements, which are appropriate for larger entities whose financial health may be of interest to a range of external stakeholders (including funding bodies), or
  • special purpose financial statements, which provide a less comprehensive set of disclosures than general purpose financial statements, and are appropriate for smaller entities with few or no external stakeholders.

The committee of the association determines which type of statement should be prepared. It should do so in line with the ‘reporting entity’ concept defined in the Australian Accounting Standards.

Tier 2

The financial statements must be reviewed by an independent accountant, in accordance with Auditing Standards on Review Engagements.

An independent accountant must be:

  • a member of, and hold a current practising certificate issued by either CPA Australia, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia or Institute of Public Accountants, or
  • any other suitably qualified person approved by the Registrar of Incorporated Associations for this purpose, such as a members of the Association of Taxation and Management Accountants holding a current practising certificate.

If the rules of your association state that its financial statements must be audited. The auditor’s report may be submitted, together with the financial statements, to members at the AGM. The association does not also need to have its accounts reviewed by an independent accountant.

The audit must comply with the Australian Auditing Standards.

Tier 3

The financial statements must be audited by an independent auditor in accordance with the Australian Auditing Standards.

The independent auditor must be:

  • a registered company auditor or firm
  • a member of, and hold a current practising certificate issued by either CPA Australia, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, or the Institute of Public Accountants, or
  • any other suitably qualified person approved by the Registrar of Incorporated Associations for this purpose.

The independent auditor must not be:

  • a member of the association’s committee
  • an employer or an employee of a member of the committee
  • a member of the same partnership as a member of the committee
  • an employee of the association.

Sample reports

Current practising certificate

Also known as a Public Practice Certificate or Certificate of Public Practice, this is issued by accounting professional bodies and demonstrates that an independent accountant or auditor can carry out their work competently following current accounting standards and practices. This ensures that associations are not placed at risk from changes in accounting requirements.

Anyone wishing to review or audit associations should be advised that it is a legislative requirement to hold a current practising certificate. For more information, visit the website of either CPA Australia, Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia or Institute of Public Accountants.

To avoid any unnecessary delay in processing the annual statements, we recommend that independent accountants or auditors state clearly in their report:

  • their professional qualification
  • the business name they operate under.

To access the Australian Auditing Standards, including the Auditing Standards on Review Engagements, visit the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board website.

Removing an independent auditor

Your association can only remove its auditor by a resolution at a general meeting. You must give at least two months’ advance notice of the resolution to all members, the auditor and Consumer Affairs Victoria.

For more information on general meetings, view our Meetings - incorporated associations page.