Bridgeway Publishing Foundation Trust, charity review

This is a charity review, a review for those with an interest in the Australian charity Bridgeway Publishing Foundation Trust (BP).

It is structured according to the charity’s entry on the ACNC[i]Register, and its purpose is to supply some information extra to what is there, information that may be helpful in your decision about BP.

It is up to you to decide whether any or all of the information presented here is what you need in order to make that decision, and whether you should seek any other information, either from the charity itself or from other sources.

Ministry response

Prior to publishing this review, I sent my observations to the charity, on 17 February 2016, and invited them to comment. They sent the following explanation and some other comments, comments that have been inserted in the review.

How Bridgeway works

The way Bridgeway works is that volunteer couples pack and post books and handle the correspondence with those who receive the books and those who sponsor them, but also encourage Christians here in Australia to pay for them. We have no staff, no office, no vehicles, no equipment, no independent funds. We all work from our homes, yet over the years we have been able to send over a million books to people all over Africa and Asia.

From time to time we get some additional gifts of money that we can pass on. Out of the thousands of people who’ve received Bridgeway books, we have over the years been gradually forming a group of people and ministries (more than seventy in number, and spread around more than twenty countries of Africa and Asia) who to us are special in some way and to whom we may send a gift of money every now and then. Nothing regular. This money comes from a variety of people, some anonymous, some who give to Bridgeway.

Organisation of this review

  • The first part of this review is organised according to the headings in the Register entry. This is how to use this section of the review:
    1. For each heading in the register entry, first read the information under that heading.
    2. Then check if that heading is included below. (Headings for which there is no comment are not included. This also applies to the information in the Financial Report.)
  • There is then a more detailed comment on the Financial Report.

Sources

  • ACNC Register (including links)
  • Google search on the charity’s name(s).
  • BP website. (Note: In the name ‘Bridgeway Publications’, not the ‘Bridgeway Publishing’.)
  • Not on social media, or LinkedIn.
  • State government fundraising licence registers.
  • Nothing under either name on Glassdoor.

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Entity Subtype

  • A subtype that is consistent with sharing the Gospel.
  • The trust deed says the fund is to help those who are already Christians:
    • The Founder wishes to establish a non-profit fund exclusively for the purposes of providing money, literature, property and/or benefits to or for Christians, Christian Churches and Christian organisations in developing countries and nations.

CHARITY DETAILS

Legal Name

  • BP is a trust, an unincorporated entity governing by a trust deed (see Charity’s Document (sic), below).

Other Name(s)

  • This a trading name. BP trades under this name, but in order to continue to do so legally, BP needs to register the name as a business name. Although the name is already registered, it belongs to a partnership of three of BP’s responsible persons (see below), so perhaps they might give it up.
    • BP comment: “five of BP’s”(responsible persons)
      • Reviewer’s response: Three or five? Put ‘Bridgeway Publications‘ in a search of the Business Names Index here.

Charity ABN

  • Tax deductibility: You cannot claim a tax deduction for a donation to BP.

Charity Street Address

  • Postal address, from the website: GPO Box 2547, Brisbane QLD 4001

ANNUAL REPORTING

  • AIS 2015
    • This is BP’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2015 (AIS 2015).
    • It was lodged three and a half months after year end, and three weeks after the auditor signed his report (see below).
    • The usual basic financial information is absent because, as a Basic Religious Charity (see below), BP is exempt from supplying any such information.
      • Voluntary disclosure is possible but BP chose not to.
  • Financial Report 2015
    • Even if they weren’t a Small charity, and therefore exempt from lodging a Financial Report, they would still be exempt because of their status as a Basic Religious Charity.
    • BP could have voluntarily lodged their report with the ACNC, but they chose not to.
        • The trust deed requires an annual audit, and because the fund is a ‘non-profit public fund’ that solicits donations from the public, it seems reasonable that the public have access to the result.
        • Although not mentioned by it on its website, BP is a member of Missions Interlink[ii]. One of their requirements is that members ‘have available for its members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor [Standards Statement, 4.1]. So again public access would seem to be reasonable.
          • BP comment: “We have no issue with fulfilling Mission Interlink’s requirements and have provided appropriate financial information on supporter’s requests in times past.”
    • BP willingly and promptly sent me a copy of the report when I requested it.
      • BP comment: “Ted, I sent you the Financial Report as I received it electronically from the auditor, so there are no trustee signatures (though I now know there should have been) – attached see the Trustee Declarations signed on 4-11-15.”
    • Neither Trustees’ Declaration in the Financial Report is signed. The auditor signed on 22 September 2015, and he should not have signed until after they did, so it is likely that the Report was finished around two and half months after year end.
      • BP comment: “Ted, again I was not aware the auditor should sign first.”
        • Reviewer’s response: Second, not first.
    • The coverage of finances in this review is left until the financial report proper (see Latest financial report – detail, below).

ABOUT THE CHARITY

  • Statement of Faith
    • None found.
    • Nothing in the trust deed.

Date Established

  • No history of BP found.
    • BP comment: “Registered 5 August 1988”

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision
    • None found
  • Mission
    • None found
  • Activities (What did BP do?)
    • The Description of charity’s activities and outcomes in AIS 2015 does not appear to be specifically about 2015:
      • We sought and accepted donations from people and organizations so that we could carry out our charitable purposes in providing money, literature, property and/or benefits to or for Christians, Christian Churches and Christian organisations in developing countries and nations.
        • BP comment: “Ted, our activities remain the same year to year. It needs to be understood that we don’t ‘fundraise’ through special events etc.         From time to time volunteers speak at church meetings and talk about what BP does – but even then we simply make people aware of needs.
  • Outcomes (What did BP deliver?)
    • BP did not respond to the request in the AIS 2015 for a description of its outcomes in 2015.
    • None found on the website.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)
    • Nothing systematic found.

Size of Charity

  • BP’s size should be Medium, not Small. The mistake probably comes from using gross profit rather than sales. Check here.
    • BP comment: We understand the need to be listed as medium size charity as a result of increased support in the last 2 financial years.”

Financial Year End

  • This means that the next financial report is due by 31 December 2016. Before that the financial information on the Register will be up to 18 months out-of-date.
    • You may therefore want to request more up-to-date information.

Basic Religious Charity

  • Here are the qualifications to be one of these (and therefore exempt from any financial reporting, whatever the size of the charity).

WHERE THE CHARITY OPERATES

Operating State(s)[iii]

  • It is not clear from the website why NSW is included.
    • BP comment: Ted, we have a volunteer couple who pack and send biblical resources of Bridgeway’s from their home in NSW and now in VIC another couple do the same, that is why NSW is mentioned.
  • It does not hold a fundraising licence in either of these states. Is fundraising part of the operations in these states?
    • BP comment: “The volunteers in NSW and now VIC may from time to time be given opportunity to tell folk in churches about the ministry of Bridgeway. I will endeavour to establish whether these times are classified as fundraising.”
  • Nor does it hold a licence in any of the other five states that have a licencing regime.
    • Apart from exemptions, whether it needs one depends on whether those states think that BP, by calling for donations publicly, are ‘fundraising’ in their State.

RESPONSIBLE PERSONS

No. of Australian ‘responsible person’ positions[iv]

Michael Conolly                This function was unavailable at the time of writing

Gordon Cowell

Donald Fleming

Ian Fletcher

Stephen Stathis

  • There is no mention of the trustees on the website.
  • Nor in the Financial Report.  

(End of review of the ACNC Register information)

Latest financial report – detail

  • There are serious questions over the quality of the audit – see the last section below.

Where the trustees put their name to the report – the Trustees’ Declaration (page 2 of the Financial Report)

  • The directors do not say why they decided that the trust is not a reporting entity. (Nor do they in Note 1, referenced here.)
    • Are they aware that this means that the trust is prepared to tailor a financial report for anybody who wants one?
      • BP comment: No
    • The trust is a public fund. It seeks money from the public via the internet. The onus is therefore on the trustees to refute the presumption that it is reasonable to expect the existence of users, either existing or prospective, who are dependent on the type of report that is designed for those who cannot command the preparation of a report tailored to their needs, that is, one that is produced without a subset of users in mind.
  • It is unsigned (and therefore undated).
    • BP comment: Explained above”

Where the trustees again put their name to the report – the Trustees’ Declaration per section 60.15 of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Regulation 2013 (page 3 of the Financial Report)

  • Why, when no report is required by the ACNC, is this declaration included?
  • It is unsigned (and therefore undated).
    • BP comment: Explained above

What’s left at the end of the year – the Balance Sheet (page 4 of the Financial Report)

  • ‘Cash at Bank and on Hand’ should, as Note 1 acknowledges, be ‘Cash and cash equivalents’, ‘Receivables and Prepayments’ should be separate.

What was earned, what was consumed during the year – the Income Statement (page 5 of the Financial Report)

  • The structure of this statement is not consistent with the Accounting Standards.
    • ‘Revenue’ is not disclosed.
    • Rather than the numerous categories here, and a mixed classification (function versus ‘by nature’ of expenses), the display should be simply

Sales revenue

Less Cost of sales

= Gross Profit

+ Other income

Less functional expenses

         Other expenses

= Surplus before tax

Less tax

= Surplus after tax

    • ‘Other comprehensive income’ is missing.
    • There is no explanation for how ‘Gift and donations paid’ differs from ‘Aid Project Donations Disbursed’.
    • Neither ‘Asset Revaluation’ nor ‘Transfers from (to) Reserves are part of the calculation of surplus.
    • There is no disclosure of
      • Employee benefits (the cash flow statement shows that payments were made)
        • BP comment: “Bridgeway has no employees only volunteers.”
      • Superannuation expense (or an explanation for its absence)
        • BP comment: No employees”
      • Administration expense (commonly used in charity evaluation)
      • Fundraising expense (commonly used in charity evaluation)
        • BP comment: “not applicable – any cost of promotion of Bridgeway’s ministry as described above is at the volunteer’s expense”

 Essential information to go with the figures – the Notes to and forming Part (sic) of the Accounts (page 8 of the Financial Report)

  • NOTE 1: Statement of Significant Accounting Policies
      • The directors do not say why they believe that the trust is ‘not a reporting entity’.
      • There is no explanation why, if BP doesn’t have to report to the ACNC, they have prepared the report to satisfy the ACNC’s requirements.
      • It is not true that ‘there is no requirement to apply accounting standards’ if you are not a reporting entity.
      • In addition to the Standards listed, preparation should also have been consistent with the recognition and measurement requirements of all the other Standards.
      • Missing information:
        • Functional and presentation currency
        • Type of organisation
        • Individual entity?
        • When the accounts were authorised for issue.
      • Since the trustees have not said that they have the power to amend the financial statements after issue, we can assume that they don’t.
      • BP is governed by a trust deed, not a constitution.
      • The ‘Reporting Basis and Conventions’ explanation is confusing.
    • (d) Revenue
      • This Note does not match what is in the income statement.
        • Presumably ‘Interest revenue’ is the same as ‘Revenue from Investments’?
        • What about donations, sponsorship and royalties?
    • Missing policy Notes
      • New, revised or amending Accounting Standards and Interpretations adopted
      • Current and non-current classification
      • Trade and other receivables
      • Fair value measurement
      • Property, plant and equipment (it is unusual, as in BP’s case, not to have any)
        • BP comment: “BP has no property, plant and equipment – all volunteers work from their homes at their own expense – stocks of books are held on sites at no expense to BP – office equipment eg printers etc is all owned by volunteers and they pay for all the consumables etc themselves.”
      • New Accounting Standards and Interpretations not yet adopted
      • Critical accounting judgements and estimates
    • Missing Notes
      • Contingent liabilities
      • Commitments
      • Events after the reporting period

An independent opinion on the financial statements – the Independent Audit Report…(page 11 of the Financial Report)

  • The auditor has deviated, materially and frequently, from what is required by the Australian Auditing Standards.
    • This is a ‘clean’ audit opinion. This is despite saying that he didn’t audit ‘the system of internal control over cash receipts of donations, subscriptions or other fund raising activities’, a system that was responsible for 95% of income. So on the one hand he says that the financial report is free from material misstatement, while on the other he tells the reader that they can take no confidence from the audit that all the money from that was given or sent to BP as a result of its fundraising actually made it into BP’s bank account.
      • That this lack of auditing was due solely to the auditor not wanting to spend the time, not to a lack of internal controls, make it even more troubling.
      • Not either doing this work, or substitute testing, is not an option open to an auditor who is following the Auditing Standards.
      • The Limitation to Scope paragraph is not an inclusion that is consistent with the Auditing Standards.
      • A ‘clean’ opinion when there is a lack of controls – not a lack of auditing of them – requires an Emphasis of Matter paragraph.
    • He omits the Trustees’ Declaration from the scope of his audit.
    • The Auditing Standards no longer include the line ‘No opinion is expressed as to whether the accounting policies…are appropriate’.
    • His description of the audit does not include the required words for a fair presentation framework.
    • The last paragraph under Auditor’s Responsibility is not consistent with the Standards.
    • His opinion cites ‘the constitution’. Even with the right document – the trust deed – this is an incomplete description of the reporting framework used by BP.
    • The unusual inclusion of Additional Notes telling the reader of an additional procedure he was unable to perform confuses the message (and is contrary to the Auditing Standards.)

 

(End of review)

 

 

[i] Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Australia’s national regulator of charities.

[ii] A valuable membership for some– see ‘What membership means’ here.)

[iii] This is how the ACNC explains ‘operating locations’ in their application guide: ‘You need to give details about where in Australia your organisation conducts (or plans to conduct) its activities.’

[iv] Because of the possibility of two (or more) directors having the same name on the register of responsible persons, it is not possible to be definitive about the number of directorships held.

Australian and Asian Missions Association Inc, charity review

This is a charity review, a review for those with an interest in the Australian charity Australian and Asian Missions Association Incorporated (AAM).

It is structured according to the charity’s entry on the ACNC[i]Register, and its purpose is to supply some information extra to what is there, information that may be helpful in your decision about AAM.

It is up to you to decide whether any or all of the information presented here is what you need in order to make that decision, and whether you should seek any other information, either from the charity itself or from other sources.

Ministry response

Prior to publishing this review, I sent my observations to the charity, on 15 February 2016, and invited them to comment. They did not respond.

Organisation of this review

  • The first part of this review is organised according to the headings in the Register entry. This is how to use this section of the review:
    1. For each heading in the register entry, first read the information under that heading.
    2. Then check if that heading is included below. (Headings for which there is no comment are not included.)
  • Then there is a more detailed comment on the financial report.
  • Lastly, there is a section Membership of accountability organisations claimed.

Sources

  • ACNC Register (including links)
  • Google search on the charity’s name.
  • AAM website. Not on social media, or LinkedIn.
  • State government fundraising licence registers.
  • www.glassdoor.com.au

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Entity Subtype

  • A subtype consistent with sharing the Gospel.
  • The constitution, however, doesn’t mention religion until the last of six objects, and then not only is the Gospel not mentioned, but nor is Christianity.

CHARITY DETAILS

Legal Name

  • AAM is a NSW incorporated association.

Other Name(s)

  • AAM operates as AAMA. For it to be able to continue to do this legally it needs to register it as a business name. However, as the names ‘AAMAA’ and ‘AAMA Pty Ltd’ are in use, an application is unlikely to be approved[ii].

Charity ABN

  • Tax deductibility: Your donation to AAM will not attract a tax deduction. However, a donation to their fund, Australian and Asian Missions Association, will.

Charity Address for Service

  • I have no reason to think this doesn’t work.

Charity Street Address

  • Postal address, from the website: AAMA PO Box 355, Miranda 1490, NSW.

Email

  • I have no reason to think this doesn’t work.
  • This address belongs to the church at which the responsible persons (see below) are senior pastors. Presumably this is because AAMA’s administration is done by their church.

Phone

  • From the website: 02 9522 4300

Website

ANNUAL REPORTING

  • AIS 2015
    • This is AAM’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2014 (AIS 2015).
    • It shows that AAM had no employees.
    • It gives basic financial information. If you think that this will be sufficient for you
      • ‘Donations and bequests’ has been overstated and ‘All other revenue’ understated by $2183.
      • Non-current assets, current liabilities and non-current liabilities cannot be confirmed because they are not shown in the Financial Report.
  • Financial Report 2015
    • We have no evidence that the accounts were approved by the committee – no Directors’ Declaration is included in the Financial Report – but the auditor should not have signed unless they were. He signed on 20 October 2015, four months after year end.
      • However, the financial statements were printed from the software on 26 November 2015, a month after the auditor signed.
    • The Report was then lodged the day after the reports were run.
    • The coverage of finances in this review is left until the financial report proper (see Latest financial report – detail, below).

ABOUT THE CHARITY

  • Statement of Faith
    • There is no statement of faith on the website.
    • Nor in the constitution.

Date Established

  • There is a short history half way down here.

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision
    • None found
  • Mission
    • None found.
  • Activities (What did AAM do?)
    • The Description of charity’s activities and outcomes in the AIS 2015 has nothing specific to 2015:
      • By providing people and resources both locally and overseas to improve the well being (sic) of people and communities in these areas.
    • Again not 2015 specifically, but the website describes what AAM does.
  • Outcomes (What did AAM deliver?)
    • AAM did not respond to the request in the AIS 2015 for a description of its outcomes.
    • None found on the website.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)
    • Nothing systematic found.

Size of Charity

  • At $412K, AAM’s revenue is well short of the next level (the level that would require an audit rather than a review.)

Financial Year End

  • This means that the next financial report is due by 31 December 2016 (or 31 January 2017 if the ACNC continues to be generous). Before that the financial information on the Register will be up to 18 months out-of-date.
  • You may therefore need to ask for more up-to-date information.

WHERE THE CHARITY OPERATES

Operating State(s)[iii]

  • AAM calls for donations on its website.
    • It holds a fundraising licence only in its home state.
      • Apart from exemptions, whether it needs a licence in the other six states that have a licensing regime depends on whether those states think that AAM, by calling for donations publicly, are ‘fundraising’ in their State.

Operates in (Countries)

  • This matches ‘Where we work’ on the website, except that there the list also has ‘Other locations’. These are unspecified because ‘the security of our partners could be compromised’. This, however, is not a reason for not at least naming the country or countries.

CHARITY’S DOCUMENT (SIC)

  • There is no Annual Report/Review available on the ACNC Register.
  • Nor on the website.

RESPONSIBLE PERSONS

No. of[iv]Australian ‘responsible person’ positions[v]

Helen Turner                    This function was not working at the time of publication

Gladwyn Turner

  • AAM knows that this listing is incorrect (it says so in its AIS 2015), yet has not corrected it.
  • The constitution requires two other office-bearers, a Vice-President and a Treasurer, and three other members. AAM is therefore five short.
  • The directors are not identified on the website. (End of review of the ACNC Register information)

Latest financial report – detail

  •  This Report is grossly deficient[vi].
  • Missing are two of the required financial statements, the Notes to the accounts, and the declaration by the responsible persons.
  • The audit, even though signed by a Fellow of CPA Australia, and despite him saying that ‘We have conducted our audit in accordance with Australian Auditing Standards’, is a long way short of what is required by those standards:
    • He has not specified the financial reporting framework that has been adopted by the committee.
    • He has omitted the need for a fair presentation from the committee’s responsibility.
    • He has given a clean audit opinion despite the missing statements, Notes, and declaration.
    • He does not mention the ACNC Act.
  • Neither of the two financial statements included are complaint with the Accounting Standards:
    • Non-current assets are not mentioned.
    • There is no distinction between current and non-current liabilities.
    • The liabilities are grouped according to function rather than their nature.
    • Comprehensive and other comprehensive income are not disclosed.
    • The expenses required to be shown when a functional classification is used are not shown.
  • A true and fair view requires an explanation of the close relationship between AAM and each of the ‘ auspiced’ Glory Reborn, Christ for India Australia (run by the same couple as below), and Southside Christian Fellowship (pastored by the same couple again).

Membership of accountability organisations claimed

 

(End of review)

 

 

[i] Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Australia’s national regulator of charities.

[ii] They have a trading name that should be here, but trading names are of little consequence for charities any longer. (Besides, it is, without ‘Inc’, identical to their legal name.)

[iii] This is how the ACNC explains ‘operating locations’ in their application guide: ‘You need to give details about where in Australia your organisation conducts (or plans to conduct) its activities.’

[iv] This function was not working at the time of writing.

[v] Because of the possibility of two (or more) directors having the same name on the register of responsible persons, it is not possible to be definitive about the number of directorships held.

[vi] AAMA Inc, a registered charity in NSW, was formed for fiscal accountability and networking the vision [http://aama.org.au/tablet/about-us.html].

P4T Inc, Charity Review

This is a charity review, a review for those with an interest in the Australian charity P4T Inc (P4T) [i].

It is structured according to the charity’s entry on the ACNC[ii]Register, and its purpose is to supply some information extra to what is there, information that may be helpful in your decision about P4T.

It is up to you to decide whether any or all of the information presented here is what you need in order to make that decision, and whether you should seek any other information, either from the charity itself or from other sources.

Ministry response

Prior to publishing this review, I sent my observations to the charity, on 8 February 2016, and invited them to comment. After requesting and receiving extra time to respond, they then chose not to offer any comment.

Organisation of this review

  • The first part of this review is organised according to the headings in the Register entry. This is how to use this section of the review:
    1. For each heading in the register entry, first read the information under that heading.
    2. Then check if that heading is included below. (Headings for which there is no comment are not included.)
  • There is then a more detailed comment on the Financial Report.

Sources

  • ACNC Register (including links)
  • Google search on the charity’s name.
  • P4T on FaceBook (last entry 28.11.14), and Twitter. Not on Vimeo or YouTube. On LinkedIn as a group.
  • State government fundraising licence registers.
  • www.glassdoor.com.au

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Entity Subtype

  • Not a subtype suggestive of an organisation that is sharing the Gospel.
  • The constitution does not mention the Bible, let alone the Gospel.

CHARITY DETAILS

Legal Name

  • P4T is a Victorian incorporated association.

Other Name(s)

  • P4T’s trading name is missing here, but this is of no consequence because (1) it is a trading name, not a business name, and (2) it is identical to the legal name.
  • P4T trades as much, if not more, as ‘Partnering for Transformation’, e.g. here, here. Not legally?  (It has not registered that as a business name.)

Charity ABN

  • Tax deductibility: You cannot claim a tax deduction for a donation to P4T.

Charity Street Address

  • A different address (44 Rutland Rd, BOX HILL, VIC 3128) is on at least two of the state fundraising registers.
  • The website was not available to check for a postal address.

Website

  • Not available at the time of writing.

ANNUAL REPORTING

  • AIS 2014
    • This is P4T’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2014 (AIS 2014).
    • It gives basic financial information. If you think that this might be sufficient for you
      • ‘Employee expenses/payments’ are called ‘Consultant’s Fees’ in the profit or loss statement. The AIS discloses the existence of employees.
      • The two ‘Grants and donations…’ items equate to ‘Pingpongathon Expenses’ in the profit or loss statement, but that includes $1,765 ‘Credit card fee’.
  • Financial Report 2014
    • P4T is not required to submit a financial report to the ACNC. This submission was therefore voluntary.
      • The report is missing an audit report. Because P4T, as a member of Missions Interlink, is required to ‘have available for its members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor,[iii] I asked them to send me the audit report.
    • The Financial Report was signed just over two months after the year end.
    • It was then lodged less than a month after that.
    • The coverage of finances in this review is left until the financial report proper (see Latest financial report – detail, below).

ABOUT THE CHARITY

  • Statement of Faith
    • The website was not available to check for a statement.
    • There is no statement of faith in the constitution.

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision
    • The website was not available to check for the vision.
  • Mission
    • The website was not available to check for the mission.
    • There is a statement of purpose, as rule 2 of the constitution:
      • P4T exists to foster sustainable human and social flourishing through the use of thought leadership, media engagement, relational thinking, community development and education & training activities.
  • Activities (What did P4T do?)
    • From the Description of charity’s activities and outcomes in the AIS 2014:
      • P4T undertook a range of training activities in the Community Development space. It also ran a fundraising project called the Pingpongathon to raise awareness about Human (sic) trafficking.
  • Outcomes (What did P4T deliver?)
    • P4T did not respond to the request in the AIS 2014 for a description of its outcomes.
    • The website was not available to check for outcomes.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?
    • The website was not available to check for impacts.

Size of Charity)

  • With a revenue of $179K, P4T is $71K short of moving up the next size (Medium).

Financial Year End

  • This means that the next financial report is due by 30 June 2016. Before that the financial information on the Register will be up to 18 months out-of-date.
    • You may therefore need to request more up-to-date information.

WHERE THE CHARITY OPERATES

Operating State(s)[iv]

  • As an association P4T is a registrable Australian body. If it has understood this section, it is saying that they are conducting business outside Victoria – in fact everywhere except the ACT and Queensland. This means that P4T needs to register under Part 5B.2 of the Corporations Act 2001. Its lack of an ARBN shows that it’s not registered.
  • Assuming that it raises less than $15K p.a. in the ACT, and less than $10K p.a. in Victoria, and therefore has an exemption in those states, P4T has a fundraising licence in all the states that have a licensing regime[v].

CHARITY’S DOCUMENT (SIC)

  • There is no Annual Report/Review available on the ACNC Register.
  • The website was not available to check.

RESPONSIBLE PERSONS

No. of Australian ‘responsible person’ positions[vi]

Raymond Chow           This function was not available at the time of publishing

Bob Simpson

Ian Skurrie

Stephen Lowe

Mark Breyley

  • To match what is required by its constitution, the ‘Positions’ should be President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer.
  • To check whether the size of the committee is compliant with the constitution, one would need to know how many ordinary members were elected under rule 53.
  • The website was not available to check the composition of the committee there.  

(End of review of the ACNC Register information)

Latest financial report – detail

  • The Notes to the Financial Statements (Note 1) say that the directors have assessed that ‘there are no users dependent on general purpose financial reports’. This means that they are saying that anybody needing financial information about P4T can ring them up and request a financial report tailored to their particular needs. If this is the case, then perhaps they should say this alongside any request for donors and volunteers?
  • This decision allows them to produce statements that do not, by definition, comply with all the Australian Accounting Standards, statements produced according to some special purpose framework.
  • However, the directors do not describe the framework they have chosen. Yes, they describe some accounting policies, but on what basis did they include policies rather than omit them, choose these policies rather than others?
  • The accounts were prepared by a member of the accounting profession, and then they were audited by a member of the profession. They should therefore comply with both the Australian Accounting Standards and the Australian Auditing Standards. They don’t.
    • The report is missing two of the required financial statements.
    • The audit report does not comply with the Auditing Standard applicable to special purpose statements. (For one thing part of its language was superseded in 2006.)

 

(End of review)

 

[i] And, because it is a member of Missions Interlink, those interested in the accountability provided by that organisation.

[ii] Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Australia’s national regulator of charities.

[iii] Standards 4.1.

[iv] This is how the ACNC explains ‘operating locations’ in their application guide: ‘You need to give details about where in Australia your organisation conducts (or plans to conduct) its activities.’

[v] Care: it is registered as PT4inc on the SA register of fundraisers.

[vi] Because of the possibility of two (or more) directors having the same name on the register of responsible persons, it is not possible to be definitive about the number of directorships held.

G.L.O. Ministries Limited, charity review

This is a charity review, a review for those with an interest in the Australian charity G.L.O. Ministries Limited (GLO).

It is structured according to the charity’s entry on the ACNC[i]Register, and its purpose is to supply some information extra to what is there, information that may be helpful in your decision about GLO.

It is up to you to decide whether any or all of the information presented here is what you need in order to make that decision, and whether you should seek any other information, either from the charity itself or from other sources.

Ministry response

Prior to publishing this review, I sent my observations to the charity, on 7 February 2016, and invited them to comment. They did not respond.

Organisation of this review

  • The first part of this review is organised according to the headings in the Register entry. This is how to use this section of the review:
    1. For each heading in the register entry, first read the information under that heading.
    2. Then check if that heading is included below. (Headings for which there is no comment are not included. This also applies to the information in the Financial Report.)
  • There is then a more detailed comment on the Financial Report.
  • Lastly, there is a section Membership of accountability organisations claimed.

Sources

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Entity Subtype

  • GLO is well overdue in selecting a subtype to replace the one that expired at the end of 2013.

CHARITY DETAILS

Legal Name

  • GLO is a public company, a company limited by guarantee.
  • The company’s name is G.L.O. Ministries Limited, not as it uses it, GLO Ministries Limited.
  • And, as it doesn’t have the necessary provisions in its constitution, it is not entitled to omit ‘Limited/Ltd’ when it uses its company name. See, for instance, the website.

Other Name(s)

  • A business name and a trading name are missing here.
  • The business name, GLO College of Ministries, allows GLO’s bible college to trade legally under that name.
  • In fact, some consider GLO to be a bible college.
  • CrossConnect/Cross Connect (see Facebook, above) is not registered as a business name.

 

Charity ABN

  • Tax deductibility: Contrary to what GLO says at the bottom of its giving page, GLO itself does not have deductible gift recipient (DGR) status. However, you can claim a tax deduction for a donation on this page if you restrict your donation to one of its two building funds. Unfortunately these two funds are not described, nor even named.

Charity Address for Service

  • I have no reason to believe that this does not work.

Charity Street Address

  • Postal address, from the website: PO Box 171 Riverstone, NSW, 2765

Email

  • My email to this address bounced.

Phone

  • From the website: (02) 9838 1595

Website

  • From a Google search: gloministries.org.au.

ANNUAL REPORTING

  • AIS 2014
    • This is GLO’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2014 (AIS 2014).
    • It gives basic financial information. If you think that this might be sufficient for you
      • Transfer $23,203 from Other Income to All Other Revenue.
      • Grants in Australia $331,633 cannot be confirmed from the financial statements.
      • Grants and donations…outside Australia is described more broadly in the financial statements as ‘Overseas ministries and humanitarian aid’.
  • Financial Report 2014
    • The report was signed just under two months after the year end.
    • It was then lodged three and a half months after that.
    • The coverage of finances in this review is left until the financial report proper (see Latest financial report – detail, below).

ABOUT THE CHARITY

  • Statement of Faith
    • The website says that you’ll need to contact GLO for their ‘Doctrinal Statement.’
    • There is no standalone statement of faith in the governing document, but there is, in paragraph 5, a ‘doctrinal statement of belief’ to which applicants for membership have to agree.
    • GLO is a Christian Brethren – not to be confused with the Exclusive Brethren – organisation.

Date Established

  • This is when it became a company, but it began long before that. Here’s a brief history from the start to 1981.

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision
    • None found.
  • Mission
    • None found.
  • Activities (What did GLO do?)
    • From the Description of charity’s activities and outcomes in the AIS 2014:
      • Religious education for students, raised funds for religious activities in Australia & overseas. Raised & distributed funds for typhoon relief in the Philippines.         Provided accommodation and catering assistance for children from poor families in Myanmah(sic). Provided admin services for all the above.
  • Outcomes (What did GLO deliver?)
    • GLO did not respond to the request in the AIS 2014 for a description of its outcomes.
    • GLO produces a magazine, Spearhead, but this gives mostly anecodotal rather than systematic evdence. Plus the latest issue is Spring 2014.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)
    • Nothing found.

Size of Charity

  • With a revenue of $820K, GLO is well above the threshold for this category.

Financial Year End

  • This means that the next financial report is due by 30 June 2016. Before that the financial information on the Register will be up to 18 months out-of-date.
    • You may therefore need to ask for more up-to-date information.

WHERE THE CHARITY OPERATES

Operating State(s)[ii]

  • GLO calls for donations on its website.
  • It does not hold a fundraising licence in any of these six states.
    • Apart from exemptions, whether it need a licence depends on whether ‘operating’ in these states includes fundraising.
  • It also doesn’t have a licence in the seventh state/territory that has a licencing regime, the ACT.
    • Apart from exemptions, whether it needs such a licence depends on whether the ACT thinks that GLO, by calling for donations publicly, is ‘fundraising’ in their territory.

CHARITY’S DOCUMENT (SIC)

  • There is no Annual Report/Review available on the ACNC Register.
  • Nor on the GLO website.

RESPONSIBLE PERSONS

No. of Australian ‘responsible person’ positions[iii]

Geoffrey Weatherley               3 (including the GLO duplication)

Geoffrey Weatherley

Craig Stokes                             2 (including the GLO duplication)

Craig Stokes

David Scott                               12 (including the GLO duplication)

David Scott

John Quilliam                          3 (including the GLO duplication)

John Quilliam

Juno Ng                                     2 (including the GLO duplication)

Juno Ng

Bruce Jenyns                            2 (including the GLO duplication)

Bruce Jenyns

Kenneth Harding                     2 (including the GLO duplication)

Kenneth Harding

Andrew Cowell                        3 (including the GLO duplication)

Andrew Cowell

Malcolm Arnold                       3 (including one duplicate)

Malcolm Arnold

  • Duplicates need to be removed.
  • Compared to what is required by the constitution, ‘Position’ here is missing a Treasurer, and ‘Chairperson’ and ‘Deputy Chairperson’ should be ‘President’ and ‘Vice-President’.
  • The Board is not mentioned on the website.
  • Compared to the situation at 21 February 2015 (the Directors’ Report), Arnold has joined (taking the number to nine, thereby making the composition legal again).  

(End of review of the ACNC Register information)

 

Latest financial report – detail

  • The directors’ belief that GLO is not a ‘reporting entity’, a choice that allows them to make less than a full disclosure about GLO’s finances and operations, seems to be a clear contravention of their claim that the accounts show a ‘true and fair view’.
    • The directors’ present no support for their decision, a decision that means that GLO, an organisation that operates in six states, runs a bible college, and calls for donations on its website, is willing to tailor a financial report for anybody who requested one.

Cover page

  • Given that the Financial Report has been lodged on the public register maintained by the ACNC, the note at the bottom of this page is of no effect:
    • The accompanying special purpose financial report has been prepared for the exclusive use of the Directors and members. This financial report is not to be used by any other party unless accompanied with additional information concerning the company or the company’s financial position.
      • Needless to say, I did not request this additional information.

 

Directors’ Report (page 1 of the Financial Report)

  • No such report is required by the ACNC.
  • Missing sections:
    • Strategy for achieving the objectives
    • Performance measures
    • Company secretary
  • Incomplete sections:
    • Directors
    • Objectives and strategies: short-term/ long-term split.
  • Sections included but not required:
    • Operating result
    • Independence declaration

The Auditor’s Independence Declaration (page 4 of the Financial Report)

  • The ACNC does not require this to be lodged.
  • It is unsigned.

What’s left at the end of the year – the Statement of Financial Position (page 5 of the Financial Report)

  • Trade and other receivables $66K (including Note 7)
    • To whom are unsecured loans made?
  • Property, plant and equipment $6.04 m (including Note 8)
    • Why are the additions $44K here, but only $34K in the Cash Flow Statement?
  • Trade and other payables $229K (including Note 9)
    • Gifts received in advance $156K
      • This is not consistent with the revenue policy note.
  • Loans and borrowings $525K (including Note 10)
    • Neither the lender nor the terms are disclosed.
    • The amount of the reduction does not match the amount in the Cash Flow Statement.

What was earned, what was consumed during the year – the Statement of Profit or Loss and Other Comprehensive Income (page 6 of the Financial Report)

  • Revenue $820K (including Note 4)
    • Donations $497K
      • This cannot be matched to the giving options on the website.
    • Course fees $151K
      • There is no mention of the bible college in the Report.
  • The following expenses are not disclosed:
    • Employee benefits
      • Not all the those working in the ‘home office’ are self-supporting, so there should be some wages ++ paid.
    • Fundraising
    • Administration
    • Superannuation expense
  • The expenses classification is a mixture of the two permitted methods.
  • Administration and occupancy expenses $272K
    • GLO says that ‘our administrative costs are covered through general donations and Course Funds.’
    • ‘Course fees’ were $151K, leaving $121K to come from ‘general donations’. But donations are ‘passed on’ (see below), so from where does the shortfall come?
  • Overseas ministries and humanitarian aid $249K
    • GLO claims that it ‘passes on 100% of every gift to the ministry. GLO Ministries trusts the Lord to provide for our overhead costs…’ Why then was only 50% of its ‘Donations’ (see above) sent overseas?

Where the cash came from and went to – the Statement of Cash Flows (page 8 of the Financial Report)

  • No payments to employees?
  • Why are loans an investing activity?
  • In Note 12, if there were non-cash donations of $38K, why is the amount for donations in the profit or loss statement the same as that in the cash flow statement?

Essential information to go with the figures – the Notes to the Financial Statements (page 9 of the Financial Report)

  • Note 1 – Reporting entity
    • This is confusing: the accounts are drawn up as if GLO were not a reporting entity.
    • From the lack of a comment it appears that the directors do not have the power to amend and reissue the financial statements.
  • Note 2 – Basis of preparation
    • Statement of compliance
      • No reason is given for the decision that GLO is not a reporting entity.
      • The company is also required to comply with the recognition and measurement provisions of all the Accounting Standards not listed here.
    • Basis of measurement
      • The statement that AASB 12, 13 and 119 have been applied contradicts the Statement of Compliance.
  • Note 3 – Significant accounting policies
    • Cash and cash equivalents: three months, not six months, is normally the cut-off for cash equivalents.
    • Missing policy Notes
      • Current and non-current classification
      • Fair value measurement
    • Incomplete policy Notes
      • New, revised or amending Accounting Standards and Interpretations adopted
      • New Accounting Standards and Interpretations not yet mandatory or early adopted
  • Note 14 – Limitation of members’ liability
    • The company is not incorporated under the ACNC Act.
  • Note 15 – Contingent Liabilities
    • Don’t course fees have to be repaid under certain circumstances?
  • Missing Notes
    • Commitments

An independent opinion on the financial statements – the Independent Auditor’s Report… (page 20 of the Financial Report)

  • His disclaimer about accounting policies (‘Auditor’s Responsibility’ section) is from a superseded Auditing Standard. No such disclaimer is now made.
  • This is a ‘clean’ opinion.  Read here and here to draw the right conclusions from this.

Membership of accountability organisations claimed

  • None claimed. GLO is, however, a member of Missions Interlink. GLO’s record here makes the same mistake in the name as the charity makes elsewhere.

 

(End of review)

 

 

[i] Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Australia’s national regulator of charities.

[ii] This is how the ACNC explains ‘operating locations’ in their application guide: ‘You need to give details about where in Australia your organisation conducts (or plans to conduct) its activities.’

[iii] Because of the possibility of two (or more) directors having the same name on the register of responsible persons, it is not possible to be definitive about the number of directorships held.

Concern Australia, charity review

This is a charity review, a review for those with an interest in the Australian charity Concern Australia (CA).

CA is a charity but it is not registered with the ACNC[i]. This means that it is not entitled to the ATO’s tax concessions for charities[ii].

The two entities that it controls, Concern Australia Welfare Inc. (CAW) and Concern Australia Ministry Inc. (CAM) are registered as charities though. This review is therefore structured according to their entries on the ACNC Register (here and here).

Its purpose is to supply some information extra to what is there, information that may be helpful in your decision about CA – and its constituent entities[iii].

It is up to you to decide whether any or all of the information presented here is what you need in order to make that decision, and whether you should seek any other information, either from the charity itself or from other sources.

Ministry response

Prior to publishing this review, I sent my observations to the charity, on 4 February 2016, and invited them to comment. They did not respond.

Organisation of this review

  • The first part of this review is organised according to the headings in the Register entries (see above). This is how to use this section of the review:
    1. For each heading in the register entry, first read the information under that heading.
    2. Then check if that heading is included below. (Headings for which there is no comment are not included.)
  • There is then a more detailed comment on the Financial Report.
  • Lastly, there is a section Membership of accountability organisations claimed.

Sources

  • ACNC Register (including links)
  • Google search on the charity’s name.
  • CA website. Social media top right of each webpage. Not on LinkedIn.
  • State government fundraising licence registers.
  • www.glassdoor.com.au

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Entity Subtype

  • A subtype has been selected since 31/12/2103, so maybe this note by the ACNC is a mistake?
  • The subtype for CAM is consistent with sharing the Gospel. Not so with CAW.
  • In each case, the ‘Purposes’ in the constitution parallel the subtype.

CHARITY DETAILS

Legal Name

  • Both CAM and CAW are Victorian registered associations. CA doesn’t even have an ABN.

Other Name(s)

  • For both entities, the name here is a trading name; to continue to operate under this name CA needs to register it as a business name.
  • CAM should have another four names here, and CAW seven.

Charity ABN

  • Tax deductibility: You can claim a tax deduction for your donation to CAW but not to CAM.
  • The CA website does not specify which of the eight (8) donation options belong to CAW.

Charity Address for Service

  • I have no reason to think that this doesn’t work.

Charity Street Address

  • Postal address, from the website: PO Box 48 Preston VIC 3072

Email

  • I have no reason to think that this doesn’t work.

ANNUAL REPORTING

  • AIS 2015
    • Because CA is not registered as a charity, there are only AIS 2015’s available for CAM and CAW.
    • They give basic financial information. However, compared to the financial statements
      • ‘Donations and bequests’ also includes non-government grants.
      • There are no ‘Grants and donations…’ shown in the statements.
  • Financial Report 2015
    • The reports were signed two months after the year end.
    • They were not lodged until 4 ½ months after that, two days before the (extended) deadline.
    • There are no financial statements for CA. See the commentary under Latest financial report – detail, below.

ABOUT THE CHARITY

  • Statement of Faith
    • None found on the website.
    • Each constitution has, as an appendix, the following ‘Statement of Faith’:
      • We believe in the historic Christian doctrines as defined in the Apostles and Nicene Creeds. We believe in the necessity of the practical application of Christian Grace and Love, that is:

Faith without works is dead being along; and

If a rich person sees his/her brother/sister in needs, yet closes his/her heart against his/her brother/sister how can he/she claim he/she loves God?

We accept, in ecumenical balance, a wide range of denominational emphasis and administrative methodologies as valid and believe in co-operative ventures for both the propagation of the truth of the Gospel and relief of suffering in the human family.

Date Established

  • There’s a short history here.

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision
    • An Australia where vulnerable young people and children have hope for a successful and positive life.
  • Mission
    • Concern Australia takes responsibility to work in partnership with vulnerable young people and children to create and provide opportunities for them to transform their lives and live life to it’s (sic) full potential.
    •  
  • Activities (What did CA do?)
    • From the Description of charity’s activities and outcomes in the AIS 2015:
      • (CAM) Provided education seminars for primary and secondary schools by applying Christian beliefs and concern to the current historic and social milieu with respect to both personal and corporate human need. Provided chaplaincy and church services to youth justice centre.         Provided basic counselling and support to young people in youth justice centre (sic)
      • (CAW) Provided social, emotional, physical and spiritual support, training programs and assistance which relieve suffering, helplessness and trauma. Developed and managed such programs to benefit the disadvantaged and marginalised members of the community, in particular young offenders and homeless young people by providing skills and support to enhance their self esteem, employment opportunities, satisfaction with life and to maximise their positive contribution to society.
  • Outcomes (What did CA deliver?)
    • CA did not respond to the request in the AIS 2015 for a description of its outcomes.
    • None found on the website.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)
    • Nothing found.

Size of Charity

  • With a revenue of $3.11 m, CAW easily qualifies in the largest of the ACNC three size categories (‘Large’). CAM is ‘Small’.

Financial Year End

  • For both (registered) charities this means that the next financial report is due by 30 June 2016. Before that the financial information on the Register will be up to 18 months out-of-date.
    • You might therefore need to request more up-to-date information.

WHERE THE CHARITY OPERATES

Operating State(s)[iv]

  • CAW: A fundraising licence is held in this state.
  • CAW doesn’t hold a licence in any of the other six that have a licencing regime.
    • CA calls for donations on its website.
    • Apart from exemptions, whether it needs a fundraising licence in these other states therefore depends on whether those states think that CAW, by calling for donations publicly, are ‘fundraising’ in their State.
  • CAM: A licence is held in Victoria only.
  • CAM doesn’t hold a licence in any of the other four states listed.
    • Whether it needs a licence in these states depends on, apart from exemptions, whether its operations in each includes fundraising.
    • And whether it needs one in the others turns on the same question as for CAM above.
  • CA does not hold a fundraising licence in any of the seven states that have a licencing regime.

CHARITY’S DOCUMENT (SIC)

  • There is no Annual Report/Review available on the ACNC Register for either CAM or CAW.
  • An Annual Report for CA is available on the website.

RESPONSIBLE PERSONS

  • Except for the reversal of Vanessa Lister’s name on CAM’s record, the two charities have the same responsible persons.
  •                                              No. of Australian ‘responsible person’ positions[v]

Terrence Baxter                       2

Vanessa Lister                          1 (and another with her name reversed)

Shane Mahar                            2

Jason McDonald                     2

Tara Reid                                  2

Priscilla Robinson                   2

John Smith                               17

Kathleen Williams                  3

  • Even counting the honorary member, each board is three short of its required size.
  • The constitutions mean that the employees Tucker and Lister should not be on the Board.
  • The website shows the same board except with
    • The addition of Ross Valentine and Bruce Tucker, the CEO
    • The omission of Vanessa Lister.
  • There is no provision in the constitutions for honorary members.
  • The ‘Positions’ do not match those required by the constitutions.

(End of review of the ACNC Register information)

 

Latest financial report – detail

  • CA doesn’t prepare financial statements. There is no financial picture of CA available independently of the statements of CAW and CAM, i.e., no consolidated picture.
  • This is despite the fact that, as is clear from the information above, CA presents to the world as a distinct entity and operation.
  • Given that CA presents a face to the public that combines the two registered charities – in their words, ‘The many components of Concern Australia are all inter-related and inter-dependent’ – and given that the senior management and board are identical, it is difficult to see how it can avoid, in order to present a true and fair view of its affairs to its stakeholders, the need to present consolidated financial statements.
  • Given the significant government grants, an invitation to donors far and wide to donate, and 74 employees (AIS 2015), it is difficult to see how the group is not a reporting entity. This therefore also leads to a requirement to present consolidated statements.

Membership of accountability organisations claimed

  • None claimed.

(End of review)

 

 

[i] Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Australia’s national regulator of charities.

[ii] CA may argue that it is registered by virtue of its name being registered as an ‘Other Name’ with the ACNC for each of the two incorporated associations that it controls. However, this is not a business name, and it can only have one owner anyway.

[iii] For instance, at the time of writing, CA was advertising for both a CEO and board members.

[iv] This is how the ACNC explains ‘operating locations’ in their application guide: ‘You need to give details about where in Australia your organisation conducts (or plans to conduct) its activities.’

[v] Because of the possibility of two (or more) directors having the same name on the register of responsible persons, it is not possible to be definitive about the number of directorships held.

The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge – Australia, charity review

This is a charity review, a review for those with an interest in the Australian charity The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge – Australia (SparkLit)[i].

It is structured according to the charity’s entry on the ACNC[ii]Register, and its purpose is to supply some information extra to what is there, information that may be helpful in your decision about SparkLit.

It is up to you to decide whether any or all of the information presented here is what you need in order to make that decision, and whether you should seek any other information, either from the charity itself or from other sources.

Ministry response

Prior to publishing this review, I sent my observations to the charity, on 5 February 2016, and invited them to comment. The National Director, Michael Collie, submitted this for publication:

Thank you for sending me your draft review.

We appreciate your observations. We are addressing the issues of compliance and public record that you raised.

 The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Australia merged with the Australian Christian Literature Society in 2001 and was registered as an incorporated association in 2006. We have decided to remove reference to ACLS from our website and publications.

 Our treasurer, Roslyn Schnerring, is a manager and financial planner at RDL Accountants. No one associated with RDL will be auditing our accounts.

 Thanks again for your help.

Organisation of this review

  • The first part of this review is organised according to the headings in the Register entry. This is how to use this section of the review:
    1. For each heading in the register entry, first read the information under that heading.
    2. Then check if that heading is included below. (Headings for which there is no comment are not included.

Sources

  • ACNC Register (including links)
  • Google search on the charity’s names.
  • SparkLit website.
  • SparkLit on FaceBook, and YouTube. Not on LinkedIn or Vimeo.
  • State government fundraising licence registers.
  • Glassdoor

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Entity Subtype

  • A type consistent with sharing the Gospel.

CHARITY DETAILS

Legal Name

  • SparkLit is an SA incorporated association.
  • It’s ASIC registered name includes, as the SparkLit’s enabling legislation requires, ‘Incorporated’ at the end. Both the ABN and ACNC records omit this.
    • The same legislation requires SparkLit to use its full name, that is, including ‘Incorporated’ or ‘Inc’ ‘on every notice, advertisement, bill of exchange, receipt or other document given, published, drawn or issued by the association’ [Sec 54, Associations Incorporation Act 1985]. Presumably, in this day and age, this includes websites.
  • SparkLit announced a change of name in 2013 from ‘SPCKA – Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Australia’ to SparkLit. In the footer of each webpage it say that SparkLit was ‘formerly the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Australia and the Australian Christian Literature Society’. But its name never was either of these[iii], and all it did (and that was in 2012) was to add SparkLit as a business name.
    • And it is not ‘Sparklit Australia’ as claimed in the same footer.

Other Name(s)

  • This has been registered as all capitals, not ‘SparkLit’.
  • The other business name, SparkLit Stir, should be here[iv].
    • It was registered 28 October 2015, but it appears that it has yet been used.
    • One of the website main menu items is (the unexplained) ‘Stir’. This name does not belong to SparkLit, and an activity in Canberra competes for its (unregistered) use.

Charity ABN

  • Tax deductibility: Your donation to SparkLit will not attract a tax deduction.

Charity Street Address

  • Postal address, from the website: PO Box 198, Forest Hill Victoria 3131

Phone

  • This number can result in ‘The mobile service you have called has incoming call restrictions. Please try again later.
  • From the website: 1300 137 725. And it works.

ANNUAL REPORTING

  • AIS 2014
    • This is SparkLit’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2014 (AIS 2014).
    • It gives basic financial information.
      • The lack of financial statements (see below) meant that the figures couldn’t be verified.
      • SparkLit made a loss equal to 17% of its income.
      • Income is shown as 100% ‘Donations and bequests’, but the total is incorrect (overstated) by $36,292.
      • ‘Employee expenses/payments’, for one full-time, 2 part-time and one casual, totalled $89,770. (Because of the design of the AIS 2014, it is not possible to be definitive that these were paid employees.)
        • This cost represented 42% of the total expenses.
      • ‘Grants and donations’ represented another 42% of the expenses.
      • The ‘Balance Sheet extract’ required in the AIS can only tell us that assets exceeded liabilities by just under $1 m. Presumably there is some real property in this. Or a large bank balance?
    • The AIS was lodged three days before the six-month deadline.
  • Financial Report 2014
    • SparkLit’s classification as ‘Small’ means that it does not need to lodge a financial report with the ACNC.
    • Although it doesn’t show it on its website, SparkLit is a member of Missions Interlink (a valuable membership– see ‘What membership means’ here.).
    • One of their requirements is that members ‘have available for its members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor [Standards Statement, 4.1].
    • I asked SparkLit, as a potential supporter and somebody who reviews charities, for this ‘statement’. However, the National Director wanted to wait until the 2015 statement is available. I have therefore been unable to review the report that is current at the moment.

ABOUT THE CHARITY

  • Statement of Faith
    • None found.
    • The constitution cannot be checked because there isn’t one on the ACNC Register (just the By Laws), and nor is there one on the website.

Date Established

  • A very short history is given here.

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision
    • None found.
  • Mission
    • None found.
  • Activities (What did SparkLit do?)
    • From the Description of charity’s activities and outcomes in the AIS 2014:
      • Text books and reference works were supplied to students, church leaders and libraries in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Kenya, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, and Tanzania. Grants made possible the publication of books in Arabic, Khmer, Nepali, Urdu, Dinka and Spanish. Training and encouragement has been provided for publishing professionals in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
    • Here is SparkLit’s website description of what they do.
  • Outcomes (What did SparkLit deliver?)
    • See ‘Activities’ above.
    • None found on the website.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)
    • None found.

Financial Year End

  • This means that the next financial report is due by 30 June 2016. Before that the financial information on the Register will be up to 18 months out-of-date. You may therefore like to call for more up-to-date information.

WHERE THE CHARITY OPERATES

Operating State(s)[v]

  • As an association SparkLit is a registrable Australian body. It has registered (ARBN 119 800 645)
  • SparkLit calls for donations on its website.
    • It does not hold a fundraising licence in any of the seven states that have a licencing regime.
      • Apart from exemptions, whether it needs these licences depends on whether those states think that Sparklit, by calling for donations publicly, are ‘fundraising’ in their State.

Operates in (Countries)

  • This list is over twice as long as the list under Activities (see above).

CHARITY’S DOCUMENT (SIC)

  • This document is the By Laws, not the prime governing document (as required by the ACNC.)
  • There is no Annual Report/Review available on the ACNC Register.
  • Nor on the SparkLit website.

RESPONSIBLE PERSONS

No. of Australian ‘responsible person’ positions[vi]

Antony Greenwood                 4

Lesley McGrath Woodley       1

Roslyn Schnerring                   4

Leonard Woodley                    1

Michael Raiter                         3

John Harrower                        7

Paul Douglas                            2

  • The names under ‘Leadership’ on the website, excluding the National Director, match the above list except that Doug Petering is additional.

(End of review)

 

 

[i] And, because it is a member of Missions Interlink, those interested in the accountability provided by that organisation.

[ii] Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Australia’s national regulator of charities.

[iii] It appears that the second society was a branch of the first.

[iv] And, although not allowing trading, the trading name ‘SPCKA PUBLISHING’.

[v] This is how the ACNC explains ‘operating locations’ in their application guide: ‘You need to give details about where in Australia your organisation conducts (or plans to conduct) its activities.’

[vi] Because of the possibility of two (or more) directors having the same name on the register of responsible persons, it is not possible to be definitive about the number of directorships held.

CBI Australia Inc, charity review

This is a charity review, a review for those with an interest in the Australian charity CBI Australia Inc (CBI).

It is structured according to the charity’s entry on the ACNC[i]Register, and its purpose is to supply some information extra to what is there, information that may be helpful in your decision about CBI.

It is up to you to decide whether any or all of the information presented here is what you need in order to make that decision, and whether you should seek any other information, either from the charity itself or from other sources.

Ministry response

Prior to publishing this review, I sent my observations to the charity, on 31 January 2016, and invited them to comment. They did not respond[ii].

Organisation of this review

  • The first part of this review is organised according to the headings in the Register entry. This is how to use this section of the review:
    1. For each heading in the register entry, first read the information under that heading.
    2. Then check if that heading is included below. (Headings for which there is no comment are not included. This also applies to the information in the Financial Report.)
  • Lastly, there is a section Membership of accountability organisations claimed.

Sources

  • ACNC Register (including links)
  • Google search on the charity’s name.
  • CBI website. And their second website.
  • CBI on FaceBook, and Twitter. Not on LinkedIn, YouTube or Vimeo.
  • State government fundraising licence registers.
  • www.glassdoor.com.au

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Entity Subtype

  • Neither are suggestive of sharing the Gospel.
  • The ‘Object’ in the constitution, however, is very much about the Gospel.

CHARITY DETAILS

Legal Name

  • CBI is a NSW incorporated association.

Other Name(s)

  • This is a trading name. In order to continue to operate, at least legally, under this name, CBI needs to register it as a business name.
  • CBI also uses the names ‘CBIaus’, ‘Crossroad Bible Institute Australia’ and Crossroad Bible Institute Australia and South Pacific’. None are registered names.

Charity ABN

  • Tax deductibility: Your donation to CBI will not attract a tax deduction.
    • The constitution, however, is written to accommodate DGR status.

Charity Street Address

  • Postal address, from the websites: PO Box 84, Pendle Hill, New South Wales 2145

Website

ANNUAL REPORTING

  • AIS 2014
    • This is CBI’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2014 (AIS 2014).
    • It shows that CBI had only one employee (full-time). Terry West.
    • It gives basic financial information. If you think that this will be sufficient for you
      • Total expenses should be $210,191.
      • Read the section Latest financial report – detail (below) as well.
  • Financial Report 2014
    • The auditor signed four months after the year end. (We presume that this was after the directors, but can’t check because no Directors’ Declaration is included in the Financial Report.)
    • The Report was then lodged three months after that, one month late.
    • The coverage of finances in this review is left until the financial report proper (see Latest financial report – detail, below).

ABOUT THE CHARITY

  • Statement of Faith
    • The second website has a brief statement of beliefs (ignore the heading ‘Our Mission & Vision).
    • There is no statement of faith in the constitution.

Date Established

  • This may be the date that CBI began in this legal form, but it’s not the date they began in Australia. See here, including when and where they expanded since then.

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision
    • See Mission.
  • Mission
    • On the first website here.
    • Under Mission & Vision on the second website:
      • CBI equips the church to disciple people in prison with the Word of God, free of charge.  It is a personal, in-depth and long-term program that is uniquely designed to help incarcerated persons grow dramatically in a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. 

CBI advocates for change that will make society more welcoming toward returning citizens.

Help the church help people in prison and watch your faith grow!  Crossroad Bible Institute is an international discipleship and advocacy ministry for prisoners and their families.

 

      • Preparing Prisoners (sic) for life in the community by using scriptural principles for happiness and fulfilment.
      • This is the description of ‘the program’ on the second website.
  • Outcomes (What did CBI deliver?)
    • CBI did not respond to the request in the AIS 2014 for a description of its outcomes.
    • None found on the website.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)
    • Nothing systematic found.
    • Personal testimonies are published almost every month.

Size of Charity

  • CBI’s revenue is below, not above, the threshold for this classification.

Financial Year End

  • This means that the next financial report is due by 30 June 2016. Before that the financial information on the Register will be up to 18 months out-of-date.
    • You may therefore need to ask for more up-to-date information.

WHERE THE CHARITY OPERATES

Operating State(s)[iii]

  • As an association CBI is a registrable Australian body. If they have understood this section, they are saying that they are conducting business all over Australia. This means that they need to register under Part 5B.2 of the Corporations Act 2001. It’s lack of an ARBN shows that hasn’t.
  • CBI calls for donations on both websites.
    • It does not hold a fundraising licence in any of the six states that have a licencing regime.
      • Apart from exemptions, whether it needs these licences depends on whether those states think that CBI, by calling for donations publicly, are ‘fundraising’ in their State.

Operates in (Countries)

  • The Income and Expense Statement’s inclusion of expenses called ‘USA’ equal to 26% of total expenses does not match what’s in this section.

CHARITY’S DOCUMENT (SIC)

  • A constitution on the Register has been required since the advent of the ACNC, yet CBI only lodged its constitution a few days ago.
  • There is no Annual Report/Review available on the ACNC Register.
  • Nor on the CBI websites.

RESPONSIBLE PERSONS

No. of Australian ‘responsible person’ positions[iv]

Bruce Bond                               1

Keith Dickson                           1

Ray Hoekzema                         1

Anne Bruinsma                        1

Paul Beringer                            2

  • The constitution requires seven members; CBI is therefore two short.
  • Under ‘Position’
    • What is the distinction between ‘Director’ and ‘Other’?
    • If Dickson is only the Pubic Officer then he shouldn’t be in this list.
    • The constitution requires four positions, president, vice-president, treasurer, and secretary. None are shown here.
  • The directors are not identified on either website.

(End of review of the ACNC Register information)

Latest financial report – detail

  • This Report is grossly deficient.
  • Missing are two of the required financial statements, the Notes to the accounts, and the declaration by the responsible persons.
  • The audit report, even though signed by a chartered accountant, is a long way short of what is required by his professional standards.
    • It is both incomplete and inaccurate.
  • Neither of the two financial statements included are complaint with the Accounting Standards.

Membership of accountability organisations claimed

 

(End of review)

 

 

[i] Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Australia’s national regulator of charities.

[ii] Three of the omissions from the Register that I identified in my draft have now been rectified though.

[iii] This is how the ACNC explains ‘operating locations’ in their application guide: ‘You need to give details about where in Australia your organisation conducts (or plans to conduct) its activities.’

[iv] Because of the possibility of two (or more) directors having the same name on the register of responsible persons, it is not possible to be definitive about the number of directorships held.

Operation Mobilisation Australia Ltd, charity review

This is a charity review, a review for those with an interest in the Australian charity Operation Mobilisation Australia Ltd (OM).

It is structured according to the charity’s entry on the ACNC[i]Register, and its purpose is to supply some information extra to what is there, information that may be helpful in your decision about OM.

It is up to you to decide whether any or all of the information presented here is what you need in order to make that decision, and whether you should seek any other information, either from the charity itself or from other sources.

Ministry response

Prior to publishing this review, I sent my observations to the charity, on 29 January 2016, and invited them to comment. They did not respond.

Organisation of this review

  • The first part of this review is organised according to the headings in the Register entry. This is how to use this section of the review:
    1. For each heading in the register entry, first read the information under that heading.
    2. Then check if that heading is included below. (Headings for which there is no comment are not included. This also applies to the information in the Financial Report.)
  • There is then a more detailed comment on the Financial Report.
  • Lastly, there is a section Membership of accountability organisations claimed.

Sources

  • ACNC Register (including links)
  • Google search on the charity’s name(s).
  • OM website.  An OM iPhone app. is also available.
  • OM on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram and Vimeo, one page down on the Home page. Not on LinkedIn.
  • State government fundraising licence registers.
  • Glassdoor reviews

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Entity Subtype

  • A subtype that is consistent with sharing the Gospel.
  • The constitution provides that
    • The Principal Purpose for which the Company is established is:
      • (i) to witness and serve the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
      • (ii) by accepting the statement of faith and belief adopted by Operation Mobilisation International and in fellowship with the international and national organisations of Operation Mobilisation International to develop a life of faith, love and prayer through which the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ may be shared and lives and communities transformed;… [clause 1.4 (a)].

CHARITY DETAILS

Legal Name

  • OM is a public company, a company limited by guarantee.
  • It is allowed to omit ‘Ltd’ on the end of its name.
  • OM is the ‘international branch of OM International’.
  • OM, or at least its directors, control three other charities:
    • OM Australia Inc.
      • This is ‘a division of the international faith-based mission known as Operation Mobilisation’ [clause 2, constitution].
      • It told the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee in 2014 that it traded as OM Aid & Relief. However, it does not have the right to trade under that name.
      • It also trades under the name Relief Development Justice, also not registered.
      • It is on FaceBook, but has not posted since 2009.
    • OM Overseas Aid Fund
      • OM Australia Inc is the trustee of this fund.
    • The Trustee For Om (sic) Training College Building Fund
      • OM is the trustee of this fund.
    • Despite this control, there is no mention of these other charities in OM’s Financial Report.
      • There is no explanation why their information is not consolidated with that of OM.
      • In the absence of consolidation, they are not even mentioned as related parties.

Other Name(s)

  • This is neither a business name or a trading name, as is claimed here.
  • The following business names should be recorded here[ii]:
  • OM run Teenstreet. It has its own website, and FaceBook page, but for some reason the business name has been removed. If entitled to an ABN, then it needs to register.

Charity ABN

  • Tax deductibility: You cannot claim a tax deduction for a donation to OM.

Charity Address for Service

  • I have no reason to believe that this doesn’t work.

Charity Street Address

  • There is no postal address on the website.

Email

  • I have no reason to believe that this doesn’t work.

ANNUAL REPORTING

  • AIS 2014
    • This is OM’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2014 (AIS 2014).
    • It gives basic financial information. You can rely on the ‘Balance Sheet Extract’, but unfortunately in the ‘Income Statement’ only the two totals and the surplus match the Statement of Profit or Loss and Other Comprehensive Income.
  • Financial Report 2014
    • Although the directors agreed in April 2015 for the statements to be issued, they didn’t sign until June, six months after year end. (However, the auditor signed before them, in May.)
    • It was then lodged right on the six-month deadline.
    • The coverage of finances in this review is left until the financial report proper (see Latest financial report – detail, below).

ABOUT THE CHARITY

  • Statement of Faith
    • Second last page here. (A tip: the landing page for ‘About us’ only scrolls by touch.)
    • The constitution says that OM subscribes to the OM International statement of faith.

Date Established

  • No history of OM found, but there is a brief one of OM International here.

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision
    • None found
  • Mission
    • None found
  • Activities (What did OM do?)
    • From the Description of charity’s activities and outcomes in AIS 2014
      • Recruiting, training and caring for missionaries.
  • Outcomes (What did OM deliver?)
    • OM did not respond to the request in the AIS 2014 for a description of its outcomes in 2014.
    • None found on the website.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)
    • Nothing systematic found.

Size of Charity

  • With a revenue of $2.36 m, OM easily qualifies in the largest of the ACNC three size categories (‘Large’).

Financial Year End

  • This means that the next financial report is due by 30 June 2016. Before that the financial information on the Register will be up to 18 months out-of-date.
    • You may therefore need to ask for more up-to-date information.

WHERE THE CHARITY OPERATES

Operating State(s)[iii]

  • This list does not match the ‘Our National Contacts’ list on the Contact Us page.
  • OM has a prominent call to give on its website.
    • It does not hold a fundraising licence in any of the seven that have a licencing regime.

CHARITY’S DOCUMENT (SIC)

  • There is no Annual Report/Review available on the ACNC Register.
  • I cannot find one on the website. A search says that they are ‘172 search results’, but then lists none.

RESPONSIBLE PERSONS

No. of Australian ‘responsible person’ positions[iv]

Rodney Hills                            4

Yi-An Neoh                               4

Vinod Sharma                          4

Edith Stephenson                    4

Jonathon Seeley                      2          (Alternative spelling: another 5)

Anthony Morgan                     6

Samantha Farmilo                   9

  • The list on the website is missing Samantha Farmilo.
  • Compared to the situation at 25 June 2015 (the Directors (sic) Report), Gary Thursby is no longer a director.
  • What is the difference between ‘Board Member’ and ‘Director’ under ‘Position’?
  • The Chair is not identified. 

(End of review of the ACNC Register information)

 

Latest financial report – detail

  • The accounts show, other things being equal, a very low level of working capital: current liabilities exceed current assets by 450%.
    • And without any comment by the directors or auditor.
    • Further assessment is hampered by the lack of information about the borrowings.
  • The accounts present an unclear picture about closely associated entities.
  • The report includes, without explanation, an extra non-compliant financial report at the end.

Directors’ Report (page 1 of the Financial Report)

  • No such report is required by the ACNC.
  • Key Performance Measures: none are given.
  • Seven directors, seven members. This is because the constitution provides that ‘The membership of a (sic) company shall comprise its directors. Upon ceasing to be a director, membership ceases [clause 2.1].

The Auditors Independence Declaration (page 5 (unnumbered) of the Financial Report)

  • The ACNC does not require this to be lodged.

What was earned, what was consumed during the year – the Statement of Profit or Loss and Other Comprehensive Income (page 6 of the Financial Report)

    • ‘Other comprehensive income’ is missing.
    • Revenue $8.48 m (including Note 2)
      • The figures in the Note do not match those in the Statement.
      • ‘charitable income and fundraising’ $1.91 m
        • There is no breakup given, so it is not possible to relate this figure with the giving options on the website
          • ‘Give to Under Supported (sic) Staff’
            • ‘$10 a month to support the workers in our national office’
          • ‘Refugee Crisis Appeal’
            • To the Overseas Aid Fund; six options
          • ‘Other Projects and Appeals’
            • ‘Relief Development Justice’; six projects‘OM Australia’:
          • ‘OM Australia general donation’
          • ‘A Missionary’
            • Nine groups of individual missionaries
            • 14 in ‘Australia (HQ)’ (compared to 16 in ‘Australia (Field)’ 

Expenses: what was consumed

  • $228K of grants were made [AIS 2014] – 10% of expenses – yet these are not disclosed here.
  • Employee benefits expense $1.39
    • 60% of expenses.
    • Based on the number of employees shown in AIS 2014, and assuming that the part-timers averaged 50% of full-time, this figure represents an average annual benefit of $50K.
    • There is no explanation of the relationship between these expenses and the fact that OM calls for donations for the same staff.
  • Other expenses $324
    • At 14% of expenses, this is well above what is normally considered acceptable to be ‘hidden’. What significant items are included in this figure?
  • Administration expense $105
    • 5% of expenses
    • But what is included?
  • Ministry and hospitality expense $$211
    • Excluding Other expenses, the second largest item.
    • Appears to be more a classification by function than by the nature of the expense like the others. This is contrary to AASB 101.
  • Finance costs $63K
    • Why, if accrual accounting is being used, is this amount the same as the cash paid for both years?
  • Fundraising expense $20K
    • 1% of expenses

Essential information to go with the figures – the Notes to the Financial Statements (page 10 of the Financial Report)

  • The inclusion of the title (‘Notes to the…’) above many of the Notes is confusing – and unnecessary.
  • NOTE 1: Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
    • Missing information:
      • Functional and presentation currency
      • Type of organisation
      • Individual entity?
    • The accounts were authorised for issue in April but not signed until June.
    • Since the directors have not said that they have the power to amend the financial statements after issue, we can assume that they don’t
    • a. Revenue
      • Over half the note is on grants yet none were received.
      • ‘Donations and bequests’ does not match the language in the statement.
      • No policy for ‘rental and interest income’.
    • c. Property, Plant and Equipment
      • No policy on derecognition.
      • The policies on ‘leasehold improvements’ and on ‘Leased plant and equipment’ are not relevant for these accounts.
      • There is no policy for motor vehicles.
    • (j) Critical accounting estimates and judgments
      • Estimating the useful lives of depreciable assets and calculating employee benefits don’t qualify here?
    • Missing policy Notes
      • New, revised or amending Accounting Standards and Interpretations adopted
      • Current and non-current classification
      • Trade and other receivables
      • Fair value measurement
  • Note 8 Financial Assets
    • Why are shares worth $30K held when liabilities are relatively high?
  • Note 15 Other Related Party Transactions
    • What about the relationship with the other OM charities (see Legal Name, (above)?
  • Missing Notes
    • Contingent liabilities
    • Commitments

Where the directors put their name to the report – the Directors’ Declaration (page 21 of the Financial Report)

  • Normally signed by two directors.

An independent opinion on the financial statements – the Independent Auditor’s Report…(page 22 (unnumbered) of the Financial Report)

  • The auditor signed his report well before the directors. An unprofessional practice.
  • The auditor says that the financial report is a special purpose report. He has the wrong company in mind.
  • The reference should be to the ACNC legislation, not the Corporations Act.
  • This is a ‘clean’ opinion.  Read here and here to draw the right conclusions from this.
  • There is no need for the Basis of Accounting paragraph (most likely a consequence of thinking of the wrong company.)

Extra statements 1, 2 and 3: OM Training College Building Fund… (24th to 26th pages of the Financial Report)

  • There is no explanation for why this statement, and the subsequent two, are included in the Financial Report.
  • This report, and the subsequent two, should be clearly marked as being outside the scope of the audit report on OM.
  • The financial report on this entity is missing most of the required statements.
  • The audit report does not meet professional requirements.

Membership of accountability organisations claimed

 

(End of review)

 

[i] Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Australia’s national regulator of charities.

[ii] There’s also a trading name the same as the legal name.

[iii] This is how the ACNC explains ‘operating locations’ in their application guide: ‘You need to give details about where in Australia your organisation conducts (or plans to conduct) its activities.’

[iv] Because of the possibility of two (or more) directors having the same name on the register of responsible persons, it is not possible to be definitive about the number of directorships held.

Alphacrucis College Ltd, charity review

This is a charity review, a review for those with an interest in the Australian charity Alphacrucis College Ltd (AC).

It is structured according to the charity’s entry on the ACNC[i]Register, and its purpose is to supply some information extra to what is there, information that may be helpful in your decision about AC.

It is up to you to decide whether any or all of the information presented here is what you need in order to make that decision, and whether you should seek any other information, either from the charity itself or from other sources.

Ministry response

Prior to publishing this review, I sent my observations to the charity, on 28 January 2016, and invited them to comment. They initially said they’d submit some corrections, but then I heard nothing more from them.

Organisation of this review

  • The first part of this review is organised according to the headings in the Register entry. This is how to use this section of the review:
    1. For each heading in the register entry, first read the information under that heading.
    2. Then check if that heading is included below. (Headings for which there is no comment are not included. This also applies to the information in the Financial Report.)
  • There is then a more detailed comment on the Financial Report.
  • Lastly, there is a section Membership of accountability organisations claimed.

Sources

  • ACNC Register (including links)
  • Google search on the charity’s name.
  • AC website.
  • AC on FaceBook, Twitter, iTunes, YouTube, and an RSS feed, all via the footer on the website. No buttons, but AC is also on Vimeo, Issuu and LinkedIn.
  • State government fundraising licence registers.
  • Australian Government tertiary education accrediting authority.
  • Government register of training courses.
  • Glassdoor reviews
  • Hotcourses reviews.

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Entity Subtype

  • The first subtype is consistent with sharing the Gospel.
    • Even so, AC has deductible gift recipient status (see Charity ABN, below).
  • The constitution provides that ‘The principal purpose of the College is to provide education.’ [4.1]. Note: not Christian education.
  • However, that education has to be provided ‘consistent with the following objects of the College’, the first of these being
    • To establish, operate, maintain and promote, as part of the mission of the Church, the College in accordance with the beliefs, traditions, practices and legislation of the Church…[4.1.1].
      • ‘the Church’ is defined as the Pentecostal church Assemblies of God in Australia (now Australian Christian Churches[ii]).

CHARITY DETAILS

Legal Name

  • AC is a public company, a company limited by guarantee.
  • Although the fact is not disclosed in the Financial Report, AC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Assemblies of God in Australia.
    • Only the leaders of that movement can be members, and those members appoint seven of the nine elected members of the Council.
  • It does not appear to have approval to omit ‘Ltd’ on the end of its name.
    • If this is the case, then it is not authorised to use the name ‘Alphacrucis College’, as it does on its website.
    • It can, however, use the name ‘Alphacrucis’ (see Other Name(s) below).

Other Name(s)

  • ‘Alphacrucis’ should be here.
  • It also trades under the (unregistered) name Macquarie Leadership College.
    • The logo for the College says in small print that it is a ‘partner’ of AC, but this is even more reason for it to have an ABN.

Charity ABN

  • Tax deductibility: Despite the fact that AC is about advancing Christianity, you can claim a tax deduction for your donation.

Charity Street Address

  • Postal address, from the website: PO Box 337, Parramatta NSW 2124

ANNUAL REPORTING

  • AIS 2014
    • This is AC’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2014 (AIS 2014).
    • It gives basic financial information. If you think that this is sufficient for you
      • ‘Grants and donations made…’ cannot be confirmed with the financial statements as it is not disclosed.
      • The second and third figures under ‘Assets’ have been reversed.
  • Financial Report 2014
    • The report was signed three months after the year end.
    • It was then lodged one day after the six month deadline.
    • The coverage of finances in this review is left until the financial report proper (see Latest financial report – detail, below).

ABOUT THE CHARITY

  • Statement of Faith
    • None found.
    • Their ‘What we believe’ is not a conventional statement of faith.
    • The constitution says that the doctrines of the AC are those ‘expressed from time to time in Article 5 of the United Constitution’. Via the definitions this is the constitution belonging to the Assemblies of God in Australia National Conference. You can read it here.
      • Speaking in tongues is an essential [section 4.13].

Date Established

  • You may know AC as either Southern Cross College or Commonwealth Bible College.
  • Here’s a brief history from the website.
  • A whole book was published in 2013.

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision
  • Mission
      • Our mission is to serve as a leading centre of Christian thought and action providing an excellent education to equip Christian leaders to change the world
      • Other bible colleges have a similar mission. Here’s how AC think that they are different.
  • Activities (What did AC do?)
    • AC did not respond to the request in the AIS 2014 for a description of its activities in 2014.
  • Outcomes (What did AC deliver?)
    • AC did not respond to the request in the AIS 2014 for a description of its outcomes in 2014.
    • None found on the website.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)
    • Nothing found.

Size of Charity

  • With a revenue of $8.48 m, AC easily qualifies in the largest of the ACNC three size categories (‘Large’).

Financial Year End

  • This means that the next financial report is due by 30 June 2016. Before that the financial information on the Register will be up to 18 months out-of-date.
    • You may therefore need to request more up-to-date information.

WHERE THE CHARITY OPERATES

Operating State(s)[iii]

  • The operating locations on the website do not include Victoria.
  • Elsewhere AC says that it operates all over Australia.
  • AC calls for donations on its website.
  • It does not hold a fundraising licence in any of the seven that have a licencing regime.
    • It is likely exempt in Victoria, South Australia, and the ACT. The need for a licence in the other four states depends on whether those states think that AC, by calling for donations publicly, are ‘fundraising’ in their State.

CHARITY’S DOCUMENT (SIC)

  • Although the constitution is available on the Register, its page, and that for the constitution of the Academic Board, is “currently under construction.”
  • There is no Annual Report/Review available on the ACNC Register.
  • Nor on the AC website.
    • They intend for there to be an annual report, but I couldn’t find one, and none shows up under a search of the site.

RESPONSIBLE PERSONS

No. of Australian ‘responsible person’ positions[iv]

Mark Burgess                          8

Shane Clifton                           1

Gregorio Cortese                     1

Stephan Crouch                       1

Stephen Fogarty                      1

Craig Hall                                  3

Scott Haslem                             3

Jonathan MacPherson           11

Michael Murphy                     11

Neil Ormerod                           2

Stuart Piggin                            2

Meylie Wylie                            1

  • The list on the website also includes the constitutional (section 18.1) basis of them being on the Council; for instance Craig Hall is a person ‘external to the College’ and ‘having financial expertise’, who is ‘elected by the Members’.
  • Going by the same list, it appears that three of the Councillors have been registered incorrectly: Crouch is ‘Stephen’, MacPherson is ‘James’, and Wylie is ‘Meylia’.
  • Compared to the situation at 26 March 2015 (the Directors (sic) Report), Crouch and MacPherson have replaced Larissa De Michiel and Rodney Plummer.

(End of review of the ACNC Register information)

Latest financial report – detail

Directors’ Report (page 1 of the Financial Report)

  • No such report is required by the ACNC.
  • Meetings of directors: the Council also has four committees.
  • It is normal to disclose the name of the Company Secretary.
  • AC has 43 members, unchanged from last year.
  • AC operates two DGR funds: Southern Cross College Building Fund and Southern Cross Library. There is no mention of them in the Report.

The Auditors (sic) Independence Declaration (page 6 of the Financial Report

  • The ACNC does not require this to be lodged.

What was earned, what was consumed during the year – the Statement of Profit or Loss and Other Comprehensive Income (page 7 of the Financial Report)

  • ‘Other comprehensive income’ is missing.
  • Why are the two write-offs any less part of ‘operations’ than all the other expenses?
  • Revenue $8.48 m (including Note 2)
    • Neither ‘Donations and fundraising income’ nor ‘Interest income’ are normally considered ‘sales’.
    • It is not possible to see how much was raised under each of the five donation options on the website:
      • Sponsor a cover
      • The AC Scholarship Fund
      • AC’s James Wallace Memorial Library
        • How does this relate to the Southern Cross Library DGR fund (see above)?
      • AC general fund
      • University Vision fund

 Expenses: what was consumed

  • The following expenses are not disclosed:
    • Fundraising
    • Administration
    • Superannuation expense
  • Employee benefits expense $4.55
    • Based on the number of employees shown in AIS 2014, and assuming that the part-timers averaged 50% of full-time, and the casuals 10%, this figure represents an average annual benefit of $73K.
  • Advertising and promotions expense $$299K
    • How much of this was for fundraising?
  • Course accreditation and development expense $286K
    • See ‘Write-off of capitalised course accreditation costs’ in ‘Non-operating items’
  • Course delivery and other academic expenses $300K
    • This expense, and the previous one, appear to be more a classification by function than by the nature of the expense like the others. This is contrary to AASB 101.

Essential information to go with the figures – the Notes to the Financial Statements (page 11 of the Financial Report)

  • 1. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
    • AC does not identify its subsidiaries until Note 15. They are the New Zealand companies Alphacrucis Ltd & Alphacrucis International College Ltd.
    • AC does not say why their subsidiaries have ‘not been consolidated’. It is because they are exempt under the applicable Australian Accounting Standard (paragraph 4 of AASB 10). They qualify, in part, because they are themselves a wholly-owned subsidiary of Assemblies of God in Australia, and that organisation makes its financial statements publicly available. Find them here.
    • Missing information:
      • Functional and presentation currency
    • Since the directors have not said that they have the power to amend the financial statements after issue, we can assume that they don’t.
    • (a) Revenue
      • The Note covers only $19K of the $4.8 m revenue.
      • There is no revenue from the sale of goods.
    • (h) Goods and Services Tax (GST)
      • GST on commitments and contingencies is not mentioned.
    • (j) Critical accounting estimates and judgments
      • Key estimates – course accreditation costs: Why aren’t the ‘future cash flows associated with the academic operations’ not part of the ‘cash flows from operations relating to the property at 30 Cowper Street’? Isn’t that where a major part of those ‘academic operations’ occurs?
      • ‘Capitalisation’ does not usually result in a current asset.
        • How does this current asset ($790K) turn into an expense?
        • Why is this expenditure classified as an ‘Other Asset’ rather than an intanglible?
          • And then amortised.
      • Estimating the useful lives of depreciable assets and calculating employee benefits don’t qualify here?
    • Missing policy Notes
      • New, revised or amending Accounting Standards and Interpretations adopted
      • Income tax
      • Current and non-current classification
      • Trade and other receivables
      • Impairment of non-financial assets
      • Trade and other payables
      • Employee beneftis
      • Fair value measuremen
  • 8 (a) Revaluation of property, plant and equipment
    • The land and buildings have not been valued in accordance with the revaluation policy.
  • 12   Reserves
    • ‘Realised’ should be ‘unrealised’.
  • 15   Related Parties
    • No investment in the subsidiaries is shown in the accounts.
    • Any transactions with
      • the Chairman’s organisation Leaderscape?
      • Other Council members and their ministries/organisations?
      • the ministry of two of the staff, Global Training Ministries?
      • ACCI?
  • Missing Note: Contingent liabilities
    • Don’t tuition fees have to be repaid under certain conditions?

An independent opinion on the financial statements – the Independent Audit Report…(page 29 of the Financial Report)

  • The reference should be to the ACNC legislation, not the Corporations Act.
  • This is a ‘clean’ opinion.  Read here and here to draw the right conclusions from this.

Membership of accountability organisations claimed

 

(End of review)

 

 

[i] Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Australia’s national regulator of charities.

[ii] It has two charity registrations in the same name, one an incorporated body, one not, but both exempt from reporting.

[iii] This is how the ACNC explains ‘operating locations’ in their application guide: ‘You need to give details about where in Australia your organisation conducts (or plans to conduct) its activities.’

[iv] Because of the possibility of two (or more) directors having the same name on the register of responsible persons, it is not possible to be definitive about the number of directorships held.