Not-for-profit reform - coming ready or not
In December 2008, the Australian Senate Standing Committee on Economics published its report of its inquiry into Disclosure Regimes for Charities and Not-for-profit Organisations. In this relatively succinct document, the committee developed arguments and made recommendations around a number of areas relevant to the not-for-profit sector.
After receiving input from interested groups, associations and individuals the committee drew conclusions that would not come as a particular surprise to many professionals and volunteers deeply involved in the sector.
In all, 15 recommendations were made. The main thrust of the recommendations of relevance to us as accountants and financial professionals includes the establishment of a national regulator with powers of investigation and with a broad educative and sector-wide oversight role not dissimilar to established government organisations such as ASIC and similar to models in place internationally. The committee also recommended accounting regulation including the promulgation of a standard chart of accounts and the adoption of a single mandatory 'specialist (their term) legal entity under which all not-for-profit organisations would be incorporated.
Another element of interest includes recommended actions pertaining to the collection and use of data relevant to not-for-profit organisations to be collected and disseminated.
Gilchrist, D. (2009). Not-for-profit reform - coming ready or not. National Accountant, April/May, 62-63.