Perth Bible College Inc: mini-charity review

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[1].
  • 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[2].

What does PBC do?

Do they share the Gospel?[3]

  • No

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?

  • Yes

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?

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.

 

 

 

  1. Still with a slight mistake in the name though – there are no brackets.
  2. 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.
  3. “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.

Slavic Gospel Association Inc: mini-charity review

Mini charity review of Slavic Gospel Association Inc (SGA), an organisation that seeks donations 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 situation last year, read the review here.)

Are they responsive to feedback?

  • I sent them a draft of this review. Their comments have been included below.

Is SGA registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • As a Victorian incorporated association (A0027142A).
    • It’s ABN record is therefore still wrong in saying that SGA is unincorporated.
    • Incorporated as The Slavic Gospel Association Inc. (emphasis mine), not as both the Australian Business Register and the ACNC continue to report.
      • Ministry comment: ‘Slavic Gospel Association Inc ( since 1993)
  • It uses the names Slavic Gospel Australia, and Slavic Gospel Association, without them being registered as business names.
    • It’s enabling legislation also requires the full name, and only the full name, to be used on all publications.
  • SGA operates – per the ACNC Register – in all states that have licensing regime for charities that are fundraisers except Tasmania. It still has no fundraising registrations[1].
  • If it’s ‘carrying on business’ outside Victoria, as it appears to be, then it still doesn’t have the required registration (an ARBN).

What do they do?

  • From the Board members’ report (in the Financial Report 2016):
    • During the financial year the principal continuing activities of the incorporated association consisted of:

● to promote the needs of the rapidly growing Church in the lands of the former Soviet Union

● raising funds to assist equipping and training Christian workers

● building Houses of Prayer for worship and outreach

● and the offering of humanitarian aid wherever possible.

  • See ‘Ministry Areas’ on the right-hand side of the home page.
  • SGA operates overseas – per the ACNC Register – in Belarus, Russian Federation, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. The AIS 2016 says that its ‘international activities’ are ‘Transferring funds or goods overseas’, and the website confirms that this is the extent of their operations in these countries.

Does they share the Gospel?[2]

  • No
    • Ministry comment: ‘Yes’

What impact are they having?

  • Nothing systematic found. (There are stories of change in the countries to which SGA sends money in the Slavic Gospel News on the website.)

What do they spend outside the costs directly incurred in delivering the above impact, that is, on administration?

  • If we define ‘direct’ as ‘Designated gifts distributed’ (there were no undesignated gifts distributed), ‘administration’ is 26% of expenses.

Do they pay their board members?

  • Such payments are not prohibited by the constitution.
  • The disclosure of expenses is insufficiently detailed to allow the question to be answered.
    • Ministry comment: ‘Board members are not paid.’

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No

Is their online giving secure?

  • Such giving is not offered.
    • Ministry comment: ‘All donations are receipted, acknowledged with a letter. Receipts not required by supporters (to save postage) are filed into their personal folders.’

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (lodged four months after their year-end). (But again, its incomplete.)
    • But if you are considering a large donation, I would ask for more up-to-date financial information – the accounts are for a year end that is now nearly 12 months ago.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2016: No
    • The description of the type of financial statements is still incorrect.
    • Most of the figures in the ‘Comprehensive Income Summary’ are incorrect.
    • There are still no outcomes reported.
  • Financial Report 2016: No.
    • There is no audit report.
    • The Board members’ declaration is unsigned.
    • There are several more minor issues.

What financial situation was shown by that Report?

  • The surplus as a percentage of revenue was reduced from 3% to negative 2%.
  • ‘Employment expenses represented 15% of expenses.
  • Current assets are 1.5 times current liabilities.
  • The long term financial structure, thanks to the ownership of unencumbered land and buildings, is sound.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • Last year there was only an audit report; this year the Financial Report is missing an audit report.

If a charity, is their information on the ACNC Register correct/complete?

  • No:
    • Their name is incorrect.
    • They still haven’t selected a subtype of charity[3].

What choices do you have in how your donation is used?

  • None given on the website.

Where were your (net) donations sent?

  • This is not disclosed.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • On the website, as well as on the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’), it’s these people:
    • Douglas Brown
    • Harry Caudasko (should be ‘Chudasko’)
    • Peter Dubyna
    • Ralph Hewes
    • Larissa Porublev
      • Ministry comment: ‘Public officer’
    • Nickolai Porublev
    • Bruce Ronalds
      • Is it this Bruce Ronalds?
    • Alexander Shevchuk
  • Unless Larissa is a committee member, not just the Public Officer, she should not be in the ACNC list.
    • Ministry comment:
      • ‘Peter Dubyna – SGA Board Secretary
      • Larissa Porublev – Public Officer’
  • As the membership of SGA is limited to board members, there is no accountability there.

To whom are SGA accountable?

  • As a charity, to the ACNC.
  • As an association, to the Victorian regulator of incorporated associations.
  • Membership of Missions Interlink claimed on the website is confirmed. Missions Interlink has a general accountability regime.
    • For one opinion on the strength of this accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

 

 

  1. The law in this area is not straightforward and advice varies, so check with the charity before drawing any conclusions.
  2. 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.
  3. Their trading name is missing, but this is of little consequence nowadays; ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are blank, but these are not compulsory.