Mini-charity review of Perth Bible College Inc (PBC), an organisation that invites you, on its website, to donate to it, and is a member of Missions Interlink. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)
For the previous review, see here.
Is it responsive to feedback?
- I sent them a draft of this review. Like last year, they…did not respond.
Is PBC registered?
- As a charity, yes.
- As a WA incorporated association (A0390019Y).
- Its website and social media sites are in the name Perth Bible College. As this is still not registered as a business name, they are still contravening both the business names legislation and their enabling legislation.
- They do have two business names though: International Mission Teams and Centre for Biblical Counselling.
- PBC still doesn’t have a fundraising licence in the state in which, per the ACNC Register, it operates. Nor in any of the other states that have a licensing regime applicable to charities.
What does PBC do?
- It’s all here.
What impact are they having?
- Nothing systematic found.
What do they spend outside the costs directly incurred in delivering the above impact, that is, on administration?
- The expenses are not classified to allow this calculation; for instance, personnel costs are not classified by the function of the employee.
Do they pay their board members?
- Such payments are not prohibited by the constitution.
- It doesn’t look as if such payments are made.
Can you get a tax deduction?
Is their online giving secure?
- PayPal is used, so yes.
What choices do you have in how your donation is used?
- ‘General College Donation’
- ‘Library Donation’
- ‘Student Scholarship Fund’
- ‘International Mission Teams’
Is their reporting up-to-date?
- Yes (four and a half months after year end, two months earlier than last year).
Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?
- AIS 2016: Not quite.
- Two figures in the ‘Comprehensive Income Statement summary’ are incorrect.
- The business names are missing.
- No outcomes are reported.
- ‘Email address’ is blank
- Financial Report 2016: No. Again this year
- PBC produce special purpose financial statements, implying that any stakeholder can command PBC to prepare financial statements to suit them. As a bible college with a revenue of $1.08 m this is unlikely.
- There is no Statement of Changes in Equity
- The Statement of Profit or Loss is incorrect:
- no ‘Other comprehensive income’ is shown.
- ‘Assets written off’ have been excluded from expenses.
- ‘Donations’ are not ‘Other Income’.
- there is no calculation of ‘employee benefits expense’.
- neither buildings nor the library are depreciated.
- it uses a mixed classification for expenses.
- The Notes to and forming part of the accounts (sic)
- are missing many Notes.
- do not tell us why the directors think that PBC is not a reporting entity.
- contain a ‘Going Concern’ Note that doesn’t address the going concern assumption.
- do not explain the relationship between PBC and the other educational institutions with which it is associated.
- The Statement of Financial Position
- has a confusing (non-standard) classification of current liabilities, and
- divides, without explanation, the liabilities that are not current into ‘Non-Current Liabilities’ and ‘Long Term Liabilities’.
- There is no evidence of a Gift Fund.
- The Statement by the Board
- gives a qualified opinion on the ability of PBC to pay its debts, and
- doesn’t mention the ACNC Act.
What financial situation was shown in that Report?
- A deficit of 10% of revenue was turned into a surplus of 4% of revenue.
- ‘Personnel expenses’ were 68% of expenses (67% last year).
- Working capital (current assets less current liabilities) was made positive by borrowing more money.
- The long term financial structure, because of the land and (undepreciated) buildings they hold, is much healthier than the short-term structure.
What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?
- The auditor, Geoffrey Carslake, for Shreeve & Carslake, gave a ‘clean’ opinion.
- But before you decide how much comfort to take from this, have a look again at the section above, ‘Financial Report 2016’, to see what he was happy with.
If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete/correct?
- Ethiopia is missing from ‘Operates in (Countries)’.
- The board (see Responsible Persons) is, compared to the constitution, one member short.
- ‘Email’, ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are blank.
Where were your (net) donations sent?
- Although they operate in four countries other than Australia, the AIS 2016 discloses grants as zero. What do they do there?
Who are the people controlling the organisation?
- Not shown on the website, but
- From ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register (with the same incomplete names as at the time of the last review):
To whom is PBC accountable?
- As a charity, to the ACNC.
- Missions Interlink, because it’s an Associate member.
- For one opinion on the strength of that accountability, see the section Activities in this review.
- And to the Western Australian associations regulator.
- Still with a slight mistake in the name though – there are no brackets. ↑
- The law in this area is not straightforward – is an internet invitation ‘fundraising’ for instance? – and advice varies, so check with the charity before drawing any conclusions. ↑
- “Good living and social concern are important [to the cause of evangelism], but they are not uniquely Christian graces…I’ve met a lot of fine Hindus, Muslims and atheists. Just living the life is not going to bring someone to Christ. There is much more to it than that. We must help people, certainly, but we must also share with them why we are motivated to do so. We must stand against injustice, poverty and need, but we must at the same time point to the One who brings justice and who can meet the deepest need. Until they know our reasons, how can they come to know our Lord?” [Dan Armstrong, the Fifth Gospel: The Gospel According to You, Anzea Books, pp. 13-14. ↑