Moore Theological College Council: mini-charity review

Mini charity review of Moore Theological College Council (MTC) as an organisation that invites you, on its website, to donate to it. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, they replied the same day to say that they did ‘not want to pursue this’.

Is MTC registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
    • There are two other charities with Moore Theological College in their name: Church Property Trust – Moore Theological College Library Ordinances and Moore Theological College – M F Abel Trust – Church Property Trust. What is their relationship to RTC?
    • Note 1(t) in the accounts says that ‘The Council acts as Trustee for Moore Theological College Special Purpose Trust Funds’. This fund does not have an ABN. It is not included in MTC’s accounts.
  • With business names:
    • It uses three names instead of MTC: Moore College, Moore Theological College registered, and Moore. Moore is not a business name.
    • It has four ‘centres’: Centre for Ministry Development, Priscilla&Aquila Centre, Centre for Christian Living, and Centre for Global Mission. All are business names.
      • In the Annual Report 2016, the principal says that they only have three centres, the first three above.
        • Why then is MTC’s membership of Missions Interlink in the name of the fourth, Centre for Global Mission?
    • The ABN record shows only two of these six business names.
      • Plus one that is no longer used, John Chapman Preaching Centre.
  • Incorporation:
    • RTC is ‘a Body Corporate under the Anglican Church of Australia (Bodies Corporate) Act 1938 [Financial Report, page 5].
    • The ABN record says that RTC is an ‘Other Incorporated Entity’. ASIC says that it is unincorporated.
  • TC doesn’t have a fundraising licence in the state in which, per the ACNC Register, it operates. Nor in the other six states that have a licensing regime[1].

What does MTC do?

Do they share the Gospel?

  • No – at least not to show who haven’t heard it.

What impact are they having?

  • Presumably the intended impact is the change brought about in the students. No information found on this.

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.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Yes
    • Including the two funds that MTC runs, Moore Theological College Building Fund, and Moore Theological College Library Fund.
      • There is one incidental mention of the first fund, and nothing on the second fund, on the website.

Is their online giving secure?

  • The first page says that giving is secure, but you have fill in your details before you see what that means.

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

  • General work of the College’
  • ‘The new building capital campaign’
    • Note the absence of both the tax-deductible funds (see ‘Can you get…’, above).

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (four and a half months after year end).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2015: Not quite:
    • Business names are missing.
    • No outcomes are reported.
  • Financial Report 2015: No
    • It is implausible for an organisation that shows Gross Income of $15.25 m, including $11.81 m from the taxpayer and $2.58 m from donors, 144 employees (AIS 2015), over 500 students, and creditors for $2.26m, to have ‘no users dependent on general purpose financial reports’.
      • This means that MTC can produce financial statements that don’t have to comply with all the Accounting Standards, and implies that all users, both present and prospective, can command the preparation of reports tailored to their needs.
      • For a small organisation with limited resources, a decision such as this might be excusable, but from a major player in the Christian community with the resources of the Anglican Church behind it, is it arrogance rather than ignorance?

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • The surplus was a high 21% of Gross Income (AIS 2015).
  • Trade payables increased nearly 10 times to $1.61 m. (There is no explanation.)
  • Although current liabilities were $3.80 m, working capital (current assets less current liabilities) was strongly positive.
  • Long term financial structure is sound.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • He gave a ‘clean’ opinion[2].
    • However, he agreed with the directors’ decision to produce the lower disclosure special purpose financial statements.

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete?

  • No
    • the business names are missing.
    • ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are blank.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Those listed here.
  • The list under ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register has the same, except without J.L. Ramsay:
    • Ken Chapman
    • Anthony Clemens
    • David Cohen
    • Glenn Davies
    • Christopher Edwards
    • William Hurditch
    • Talar Khatchoyan
    • Andrew Killen
    • Kevin Kim
    • Gary Koo
    • Edward Loane
    • Mark Thompson
    • Robert Tong
    • Diane Warren
    • There are 386 directorships recorded for the name ‘Glenn Davies’ and 362 for ‘Robert Tong’. Yes, 386 and 362. These people may have directorships other than charities, so these numbers may be higher. If after eliminating the entries in the Register that don’t belong to MTC’s Glenn Davies and Robert Tong, you are left with their total being more than a handful, something that seems likely at least for the Bishop, it would be legitimate for you to question whether their ability to discharge their fiduciary responsibilities is threatened.
      • The same, although to a much lesser extent, applies to ‘David Cohen’ (9), Christopher Edwards (10), and Mark Thompson (9).

To whom is MTC accountable?

  • To Missions Interlink, because it’s an Associate member.
  • To the Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney.
  • MTC is also accountable to the ACNC.

 

 

  1. 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.
  2. To take the right amount of comfort from a ‘clean opinion’, please read here and here.

Vose Seminary: mini-charity review

Mini-charity review of Vose Seminary (VS), as an organisation that invites you, on its website, to donate to it (and is an Associate member of Missions Interlink). (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

Is VS registered?

Is VS responsive to feedback?

  • They have not responded to the draft I sent on 18 February.

What does VS do?

Do they share the Gospel?

  • No – at least not to those who haven’t heard it.

What impact are they having?

  • No information found.
    • A Google search of the website shows that an annual report must be produced, but it’s not on the website.

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

  • No calculation is possible – no financial statements for VS are available.
    • VS is an operating arm of The Baptist Union of Western Australia Incorporated. Its results are therefore included in their results.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Donations are sought only for ‘Vose’s ‘Invest in the Future’ Capital Campaign’. There it says that ‘All donations are tax deductible’.
    • Presumably this is referring to the two tax-deductible funds run by The Baptist Union of Western Australia Incorporated, ‘Vose Seminary’ and ‘Vose Seminary Library’.

Is their online giving secure?

  • NA – not offered.

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

  • Only the ‘Invest in the Future’ Capital Campaign’ is offered.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • They don’t report separately.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • They don’t report separately.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • There is no information about VS in The Baptist Union…’s reports.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • NA

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete?

  • NA

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Only the staff are shown on the website.
  • Here, from ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register, and the people who govern The Baptist Union…, and therefore presumably VS as well:
    • Vanessa Chang
      • Is it this Vanessa Chang?
    • Craig Eccleston
    • Bradley Entwistle
      • Is it this Brad Entwistle?
    • Gregory Holland
    • Karen Siggins
    • Darren South
    • Bruce Watkins
    • Mark Wilson
    • There are 12 directorships recorded for the name ‘Mark Wilson’, nine for ‘Gregory Holland’.  The ACNC Register has only charities, so if, after eliminating the entries in the Register that don’t belong to VS’s Mark Wilson and Gregory Holland, you are left with their total being more than a handful, it would be legitimate for you to question whether their ability to discharge their fiduciary responsibilities is threatened.

To whom is VS accountable?

  • VS is an Associate member of Missions Interlink. However, as VS is not an entity without even an ABN, presumably it is The Baptist Union…that should be shown as the member.

Tabor College of Higher Education: mini-charity review

Mini charity review of Tabor College of Higher Education (TC) as an organisation that invites you, on its website, to donate to it. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • They have not responded to the draft I sent on 17 February.

Is TC registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
    • But in a different name: Tabor College Inc.
      • TC does not have the name Tabor College of Higher Education registered as a business name.
  • It appears that TC controls another charity, The Trustee For Tabor College Inc Trust.
    • But TC hasn’t take advantage of the ACNC’s group reporting concessions, meaning that this subsidiary (and any others) must report separately.
  • Other registrations:
    • As a South Australian incorporated association (A6378).
      • Not to be confused with the Western Australian association of the same name.
    • An ARBN, allowing it to operate interstate.
    • TC operates, per the ACNC Register, in South Australia and Western Australia. It doesn’t have a fundraising licence in these two states, or in the other five that have a licensing regime[1].

What does TC do?

  • See the mission here, and the three commitments that the President thinks are reasons for a student to enrol with them.
  • Beside the campus in Adelaide, they have had one in Perth since 2015.

Do they share the Gospel?

  • No – at least not to show who haven’t heard it.

What impact are they having?

  • No information found.
    • No educational outcomes given in the Annual Information Statement 2015 (AIS 2015).

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, ‘Salaries & Wages are not classified by the function of the employee.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Yes
    • Also to a fund that TC runs, The House of Tabor Building Fund Inc.
      • This is not, as the name suggests, an incorporated association.
      • There is no mention of this fund on the website.

Is their online giving secure?

  • Secured by Commonwealth Bank’, so yes.

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

  • None shown online.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (six months after year end, a day late).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2015: No
    • Business names are missing.
    • No outcomes are reported.
    • ‘Other Income’ does not match the figure in the financial statements.
  • Financial Report 2015: No
    • Neither the directors nor the auditor comment on what the poor results and financial position mean for the going concern assumption.
    • Why isn’t their subsidiary included in the results?
    • It is implausible for an organisation that has revenue of $6.43 m, including money from the taxpayer of $1.32 m, campuses in two states, 143 employees (AIS 2015), and hundreds of students, to say that it is reasonable to produce the type of financial statements that don’t have to comply with all the Accounting Standards.
      • Not only that, but then only one of these Standards has been followed, rather than the usual subset of those required for the type of statements they have produced.
    • Balance Sheet
      • There’s an unexplained treatment of borrowing costs.
      • The valuation basis of the land and buildings is not given.
      • ‘Registration and Accreditation’ is included as an asset without explanation.
    • Income Statement
      • A ‘Transfer From Reserves’ is shown as income.
      • There is no ‘Other Comprehensive Income’ section.
      • There’s an unexplained treatment of prior year adjustments.
    • Notes to the Financial Statements
      • Note 1 is missing most of the required Notes.
      • There is no related parties’ disclosure.
    • Statement of Changes in Equity
      • The deficit does not match the amount shown in the Income Statement.
    • The Statement of Cash Flows should be included as a statement, not as a Note.
    • The directors do not say why the think that PBC is not a reporting entity.
    • The audit report is deficient (see below).
    • Neither the directors nor the auditor mention the ACNC Act.
    • The name of the entity is wrong in the directors’ declaration.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • Keeping in mind what is said in the previous section
    • A surplus of less than 1% of revenue was turned into a deficit of 3% of revenue.
    • ‘Salaries & Wages’ (actually ‘employee benefits expense’ I think) were 83% of expenses.
    • For at least the last two years, working capital (current assets less current liabilities) has been negative.
    • Non-current borrowings increased from $1.66 m to $1.91 m.
    • Is the going concern assumption valid?

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • He gave a ‘clean’ opinion[2].
    • However, he
      • makes no comment on the going concern assumption,
      • agreed with the directors’ decision to produce the lower disclosure special purpose financial statements,
      • excludes the directors’ declaration from the scope of his audit,
      • gives contradictory information on whether he assessed TC’s accounting policies, and
      • has not included an Emphasis of Matter paragraph.

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete?

  • Almost – the business names are missing.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

To whom is TC accountable?

  • To Missions Interlink, because it’s an Associate member.
  • TC is also accountable to the ACNC, and to the South Australian associations regulator.

 

  1. 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.
  2. To take the right amount of comfort from a ‘clean opinion’, please read here and here.

Perth Bible College Inc: mini-charity review

Mini charity review of Perth Bible College Inc (PBC) as an organisation that an organisation that invites you, on its website, to donate to it.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, they…did not respond.

Is PBC registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
    • With a slight mistake in the name though – there are no brackets.
  • Other registrations:
    • As a WA incorporated association (A0390019Y).
      • The website is in the name Perth Bible College. It is likely they use this name elsewhere. They don’t have this name registered as a business name, so are contravening their enabling legislation.
    • PBC doesn’t have a fundraising licence in the state in which, per the ACNC Register, it operates[1].

What does PBC do?

Do they share the Gospel?

  • No – at least not to show who haven’t heard it.

What impact are they having?

  • No information found.
    • No outcomes given in the AIS 2015.

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.

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 (six and a half months after year end, half a month late).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2015: Not quite. ‘Email address’ is blank, and no outcomes are reported.
  • Financial Report 2015: No
    • The ‘Going Concern’ Note does not explain what, if anything, is being done to overcome the fact that PBC is currently a loss-making operation.
    • 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’.
      • A major expense, ‘SCD Course Expenditure’, is unexplained.
      • Neither buildings nor the library are depreciated.
    • The directors do not say why the think that PBC is not a reporting entity.
    • The audit report is deficient (see below).
    • Neither the directors nor the auditor mention the ACNC Act.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • A surplus of 6% of revenue was turned into a deficit of 10% of revenue.
  • ‘Personnel expenses’ were 67% of expenses.
  • Working capital (current assets less current liabilities) decreased from a positive 1.2 times to negative 0.7.
    • The amount owed to the Department of Education increased from $67K to $301K.
    • The negative working capital has been addressed by borrowing against the property.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • He gave a ‘clean’ opinion[2].
    • However, he
      • Makes no comment on the fact, acknowledged by the directors, that PBC’s financial situation means that the validity of the going concern assumption is under question.
      • Allowed PBC to omit a Statement of Changes in Equity;
      • Agreed with the directors’ decision to produce the lower disclosure special purpose financial statements;
      • Excluded the Statement of Cash Flow from the scope of his audit.

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete?

  • No – ‘Email’, ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are blank.
  • There’s a country under ‘Where the Charity Operates’, but there should be four more: Kenya, South Sudan, Uganda, and Ethiopia.
  • The board (see Responsible Persons) is, compared to the constitution, one member short.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not shown on the website, but
  • From ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register:

To whom is PBC accountable?

  • To Missions Interlink, because it’s an Associate member.
  • RTC is also accountable to the ACNC, and to the WA associations regulator.

 

  1. 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.
  2. To take the right amount of comfort from a ‘clean opinion’, please read here and here.

Eastern College Australia Incorporated: mini-charity review

Mini charity review of Eastern College Australia Incorporated (EC) as an organisation that invites you, on its website, to donate to it.

  • You may know EC as Tabor College Victoria. It changed its name in August 2015.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, on 13 February, they…did not respond.

Is EC registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • Other registrations:
    • As a Victorian incorporated association (VIC A0017676J).
      • On its website and Facebook, it uses its name without ‘Inc/Incorporated’ at the end. This is arguably a contravention of section 23 of its enabling legislation.
    • Someone else holds the business name ‘Eastern College’[1].
    • It operates, per the ACNC Register, in all states. It is exempt from having to register for fundraising in its home state, but has no licences in the other six states that have a licensing regime[2].

What does EC do?

  • The header and body of the home page assumes that we know what they do, but from a link in the footer:
    • EASTERN COLLEGE AUSTRALIA is a Christian Higher Education Provider that exists to equip individuals through provision of accredited teaching, training and research that contribute to the transformation of church (local and global), society and marketplace through the lives of its graduates.
  • More specifically, from their constitution:
    • The Association believes that the Bible is the written word of God and the standard by which the validity and philosophy of all subjects taught must be evaluated. The approach to interpreting scripture adopted by the Association may be generally described as evangelical, charismatic and Pentecostal.

Do they share the Gospel?

  • NA – students would have already heard it.

What impact are they having?

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, there is only one figure for employee benefits expense.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Yes

Is their online giving secure?

  • ‘When you press “Submit Form” you will be taken to a secure area where you can safely enter your credit card information.’ Provided by NAB, so should be secure. (Still in EC’s old name though.)

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

  • None

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (four months after year end).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2015: Except for specifying the wrong type of financial statements, yes.
  • Financial Report 2015: Only if you
    • agree that it is reasonable for the directors to conclude that all the users of its accounts, both present and prospective, can command EC to prepare accounts to suit them.
    • Also
      • a related parties’ Note, suggested by the ACNC, is not included.
      • property, plant and equipment is carried at cost, yet there an Asset Revaluation Reserve.
      • ‘Other expenses from ordinary activities’, over 9% of expenses, is perhaps a little large to have no breakup.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • The surplus increased slightly, but is still less than 1% of revenue.
  • ‘Employee benefits expense’ is 56% of expenses.
  • ‘Trade and other receivables’ have increased from less than 1% of assets to 8%. (No explanation is given).
  • Current assets are 1.3 times current liabilities.
  • Longer term financial structure is sound.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • He gave a ‘clean’ opinion[3].

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete?

  • Yes

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Those shown here.
  • Or, per the ACNC Register, those nine, plus Michael Wong, and Glenn Ward instead of David Ward:
    • Geoffrey Cox
    • Joanna Cruickshank
    • Jame Lewis
    • Cheryl McCallum
    • Timothy Meyers
    • Gregory Restall
      • It is this Greg Restall?
    • David Rietveld
    • David Ward
      • There are 17 directorships recorded for this name.  The ACNC Register has only charities, so if, after eliminating the entries in the Register that don’t belong to EC’s David Ward, you are left with his total being more than a handful, it would be legitimate for you to question whether his ability to discharge his fiduciary responsibilities is threatened.
    • Michael Wong
    • Rosemary Wong
  • Four of these people are also on the board of Melbourne School of Theology. Something to do with this (undated) announcement of a ‘partnership’ with MST?

To whom is EC accountable?

  • To Missions Interlink, because it’s an Associate member.
  • EC is also accountable to the ACNC, and the Victorian associations regulator.

 

 

  1. It is a little surprising that the authorities allowed the registration of this name, six months after ECA had changed its name to ECA.
  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. To take the right amount of comfort from a ‘clean opinion’, please read here and here.

Adelaide College of Ministries (ACM): mini-charity review

N.B. The following appears on the website of this ministry:

The board of Adelaide College of Ministries have made the difficult decision to close the College at the end of 2016 due to a number of significant factors. The finances have reached a stage where it is impossible to continue without going into debt, the search for a new Principal has been unsuccessful, and student numbers have become dangerously low.

The ministry is still a member of Missions Interlink (‘the Australian network for global mission’), and it intends to continue to pursue its mission:

The continuing mission of ACM is to teach the Word of God by training and equipping leaders for the Kingdom. The ACM board believes that scholarships and assistance in such a way will fulfil the wishes of the many donors and supporters we have had over the years. This Fund will be administered by godly men who have a deep commitment to the foundational principles of ACM. Further details will be available in the days ahead, but we feel confident that this is God’s direction for us.

A review in the series ‘Associate members of Missions Interlink’ is therefore still appropriate.

When sent a draft of this review, they…did not respond.

Is ACM registered?

  • Still registered as a charity.
  • Still registered as a South Australian incorporated association (A7728).

What does ACM do?

Until the end of 2016 it was a bible college. It is now reorganising as a fund to provide scholarships and assistance to ‘leaders for the Kingdom’ (see the introduction, above).

Do they share the Gospel?

  • NA – either in the past or their intended future.

What impact are they having?

  • Now irrelevant for the College; no activity yet for the fund.

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

  • Now irrelevant for the College; no activity yet for the fund.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • They are not calling for donations at the moment, but if they do, then it won’t be for either of the tax-deductible funds (one for building, the other for the library).

Is their online giving secure?

  • NA at the moment.

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

  • NA

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (six months after year end, the day before the last day).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2015: Except for the lack of outcomes, yes.
  • Financial Report 2015: Yes
    • The audit report is unsigned.
    • There is no related parties’ disclosure.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • Past performance is largely irrelevant now, but at 31 December 2015 they had net assets of $3.05 m at going concern values. Land and buildings were $2.75 m of this, with buildings valued at cost and the land ‘at board’s valuation’ (undated).

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • He gave a ‘clean’ opinion[1].

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete?

  • Almost – ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are blank.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

To whom is ACM accountable?

  • To Missions Interlink, because it’s an Associate member.
  • ACM is also accountable to the ACNC, and the South Australian regulator of associations.

 

 

  1. To take the right amount of comfort from a ‘clean opinion’, please read here and here.

Reformed Theological College: mini-charity review

Mini charity review of Reformed Theological College (RTC) as an organisation that invites you, on its website, to donate to it.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, they…did not respond.

Is RTC registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • Other registrations:
    • ITA is a public company, a company limited by guarantee.
      • Its name: It is permitted to omit ‘Ltd/Limited’ at the end.
    • It operates, per the ACNC Register, in all states. No fundraising licences are held[1].

What does RTC do?

  • It is a “reformed, evangelical theological college”.
  • Or as they say in the Annual Information Statement 2015 (AIS 2015):
    • The Reformed Theological College is committed to training people to serve God in the whole of life.

Do they share the Gospel?

  • NA – students would have already heard it.

What impact are they having?

  • No information 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.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Yes

Is their online giving secure?

  • Security is not mentioned.

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

  • None

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (five and a half months after year end).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2015: No
    • A number of the financial figures do not match those in the Income Statement.
    • No outcomes reported.
  • Financial Report 2015: No
    • Why not consolidated reports? Both Pigdons Road Pty Ltd and The Trustee for the Reformed Theological College Foundation are subsidiaries.
    • Other comprehensive income is not shown.
    • The item ‘Other expenses…’ is 35% of expenses, yet there is no breakup.
    • There is no related parties’ disclosure.
    • RTC says that the financial statement are general purpose; the auditor says they are special purpose.
    • Why are the two ‘Non-Operating Activities’ any less part of the College’s operations than the ones under ‘Operating Activities’? (This is not a distinction used by the ACNC.)
    • Buildings and the library are not depreciated. (The surplus is therefore overstated.)
    • $116,966 in Note 2 is not ‘Net cash provided by from (sic) investing activities’.
    • The land and buildings valuation is long out-of-date.
    • How does an ‘Overseas student assist (sic) fund’ meet the definition of a liability? Likewise, the ‘Other’ provisions?

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • With the knowledge that
    • the Report, because it omits RTC’s two subsidiaries, shows an incomplete picture, and
    • adjustments to the figures and disclosures are needed (see just above) –
      • The deficit was again approximately 1% of revenue.
      • Current assets are 1.8 times current liabilities.
      • Longer term financial structure is sound.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • He gave a ‘clean’ opinion[2].
    • However, he says he audited ‘a special purpose financial report’ when Note 1 to the accounts says that the report is a general purpose financial report.
  • The inclusion of an Auditor’s Compilation Report implies that he also produced the financial statements.

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete?

  • No
    • One business name is missing
    • ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are blank.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • The composition of the board is given on the website, but no names.
  • From ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register:
    • John Barkley
    • Johannes Berends
    • John Bylsma
    • Anthony Deenick
    • John Hoogenhout
    • Peter Van Der Schoor
    • Cornelis Van Garderen
    • Dirk Van Garderen
    • Dawid Van Vuuren
    • Harry Westendorp

To whom is RTC accountable?

 

 

  1. 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.
  2. To take the right amount of comfort from a ‘clean opinion’, please read here and here.

Worldview Centre For Intercultural Studies: mini-charity review

Mini charity review of Worldview Centre For Intercultural Studies (WC) as an Associate member of Missions Interlink. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, they…did not respond.

Is WC registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • Other registrations:
    • WC is a public company, a company limited by guarantee.
    • It is permitted to omit ‘Ltd/Limited’ at the end of its name.

What do they do?

Do they share the Gospel?

  • No – they educate Christians.

What impact are they having?

  • There is no mention of impact, outcomes or results on the website.

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.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No

Is their online giving secure?

  • There is no online giving.

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

  • Donations are not sought.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes. (Six months after year end, two days before the deadline.)

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2016: Not quite
    • ‘Other Income’ does not match the same item in the financial statements.
    • There are no outcomes.
  • Financial Report 2016: Questionable
    • The Statement of Comprehensive Income is missing an ‘Other comprehensive income’ section.
    • They report no employee benefits. Although this matches their reporting of zero employees, in the AIS, it is based on their belief that their workers, being ‘religious practitioners’ or ‘members of religious orders’, are not employees at common law. But even if this is true, it does not provide an exemption from the statues that govern staff.
    • Note 3b does not match the body of the statement.
    • Inventories are not valued correctly.
    • There is no breakup of the $978K of ‘Property, Plant & equipment’.
    • There is no related parties’ disclosure.
  • WC must report to the ACNC because its parent, W.E.C. International has not taken advantage of the ACNC’s group reporting concessions.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • Last year’s deficit of 10% of revenue blew out to 23% this year.
  • Working capital (current assets less current liabilities) is strongly positive.
  • There are no long-term liabilities.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • He gave a ‘clean’ opinion[1].
    • This means that he agreed with WC’s non-reporting of employee benefits (see above).

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete?

  • Yes

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not mentioned on the website. But
  • From ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register:
  • If you ‘search the (ACNC) register by responsible person’, you will find that, other than ‘Stephen Brown’, who has eight, these directors have no more than one other charity directorship.  WC’s Stephen Brown has at least two non-charity directorships; if, after eliminating the entries in the Register that don’t belong to him, you are left with his total being more than a handful, it would be legitimate for you to question whether his ability to discharge his or her fiduciary responsibilities is threatened.

To whom is WC accountable?

  • WC is an Associate member of Missions Interlink. Missions Interlink has an accountability regime[2].
  • WC is also accountable to the ACNC.

 

 

  1. To take the right amount of comfort from a ‘clean opinion’, please read here and here.
  2. For one opinion on the strength of that accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

Melbourne School of Theology: mini charity review for donors

Mini charity review of Melbourne School of Theology (MST) as an organisation that seeks donations online. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

(To see the situation last year, read this review.)

Are they responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, they asked whether MST had requested the review and where it would be published. I answered the same day but 11 days later I have not heard from them again.

Is MST registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • Other registrations:
    • As a public company, a company limited by guarantee.
      • It is permitted to omit ‘Ltd/Limited’ at the end of its name.
      • It’s use of ‘MST’ – see, for instance, Facebook – is not registered.
    • Raises funds in its home state, Victoria, but doesn’t hold a fundraising licence there. It solicits donations via the internet, so it may be that one or more of the other six states that have a licensing regime require registration[1].

What does the group do?

  • ‘MST exists to equip God’s people with transformational theology, biblical depth, and a missional heart, to effectively communicate the Gospel of Christ to a diverse and changing world.’

Does the group share the Gospel?

  • To students, undoubtedly. But the grant of tax-deductible status to both charities suggests that the use of the money raised shouldn’t include proselytising.

What impact are they having?

  • Nothing found.

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

  • The expenses are not classified to allow the calculation of the direct cost of achieving a change in the students.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Yes. Both MST and MSTMF are Deductible Gift Recipients.
    • As are MST’s two funds Bible College of Victoria Building Fund and Bible College of Victoria Library.
      • There is, however, nowhere in the online donation form to specify the charity or fund.

Is the group’s online giving secure?

  • PayPal is used, so yes.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (on the last day, six months after their year-end).
    • 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 12 months in the past.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2015: No
    • No outcomes, and activity not linked to purposes in question 5.
    • Questions 10 and 11 are unanswered.
    • The first part of question 13 is answered incorrectly.
    • ‘Other income’ in Question 13 is incorrect. (With a consequence that ‘All other revenue’ and ‘Total revenue’ are also incorrect.)
  • Financial Report 2015: No
    • The Report is lodged as a ‘Group Financial Report’ yet is identical to the one lodged for MST. Not a consolidated report?
      • The titles of the financial statements do not support the idea that it is a consolidated report, Note 1 says that the Report is for the ‘individual entity’, and there is no Note giving the figures for the subsidiary.
    • The directors say the company is a ‘not a reporting entity’ because ‘there are no users who are dependent on its general purpose financial reports’.
      • They are in effect saying that anybody who is interested in this company has the power to contact the company and request a report tailored to their needs. This for an organisation with hundreds of students, 38 staff and donations of $1.61 m.
      • The result of the decision is that the accounts don’t comply with all the Australian Accounting Standards, and can disclose considerably less than that required for a general purpose report, a report designed for those people who are dependent on the charity’s report for the information they need.
    • Three of the four financial statements have no prior year figures.
    • No explanation for ‘Investments’ $517K.
    • Don’t student fees have to be repaid under certain circumstances?

What financial situation was shown by that Report?

  • The surplus as a percentage of income was 24%. (No prior year figures so no comparison possible.)
  • No obvious concerns with the financial structure.

What did the auditor say about the group’s last financial statements?

  • He gave a ‘clean’ opinion[2]. But
    • He says he audited a ‘consolidated financial report’ yet none of the statements are consolidated statements.
    • In accepting the engagement, he implicitly agreed with the directors’ decision that there were no users dependent on kind of financial statements that complied with all the Accounting Standards.

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

  • MST: Yes
  • MSTMF: Yes

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

  • None

Who are the people controlling the group?

  • The people shown on the website here.
  • The same list as under ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register, except without Tim Meyers.
  • The same ten people are MSTMF’s responsible persons.

To whom is the group accountable?

  • Not claimed on the website, but MST is a member of Missions Interlink
    • Missions Interlink is an organisation that has standards with which MA must comply[3].
  • Both charities are also accountable to the ACNC.

 

 

  1. The law in this area is not straightforward and advice varies, so check with the charity before drawing any conclusions.
  2. To take the right amount of comfort from a ‘clean opinion’, please read here and here.
  3. For one opinion on the strength of this accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

Morling College Ltd: mini charity review for donors

Mini charity review of Morling College Ltd (MC) as an organisation that seeks donations online. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

(To see the situation last year, read this review.)

Are they responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, they…did not respond.

Is MC registered?

  • Yes, as a charity.
  • Although not disclosed in the Financial Report, MC is ‘owned’ 100% by the Baptist Union of NSW. It appoints the MC board.
  • There are three other ‘Morling’ charities with the same address and email as MC:
  • MC is a public company, a company limited by guarantee.
    • As it appears to have the necessary provisions in its constitution, MC is entitled to omit ‘Limited/Ltd’ when it uses its company name.
  • Other registrations:
    • MC has an internet invitation to give and operates in NSW. It does not have a fundraising licence there, or in any of the other six states that have a fundraising licence regime[1].

What does MC do?

  • “Morling College is the Baptist Bible & Theological college of NSW & ACT, training pastoral and related ministries in NSW & ACT churches.”

Do they share the Gospel?

  • Not to those who haven’t already heard it.

What impact are they having?

  • Nothing systematic found on the website.

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.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Even though MC’s ‘Entity subtype’ with the ACNC is ‘Advancing Religion, yes, at least per MC’s ABN record, you can.

Is their online giving secure?

  • GiveNow.com.au is used, so yes.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (lodged on the last day, six months after their year-end).
    • 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 over 10 months ago.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2015: No
    • No outcomes are given.
    • The business name is missing.
    • Only one of the ‘Gross Income’ figures match the accounts.
  • Financial Report 2015: No.
    • There is no audit report.
    • There is no explanation why the three charities they control are not consolidated, that is, included in the MC accounts.
    • The $8.48 m grant received from Morling Foundation Limited continues to be misclassified in the Statement of Income and Comprehensive Income.
    • ‘Commitments for Capital Expenditure’ of $7.00 m are disclosed without any comment on how they are to be met.
    • There is no explanation of the $9.86 m asset ‘Construction in Progress’.
    • The accounting for reserves described in the Notes is (still) contrary to the Accounting Standards.
    • The Note on related parties does not identify the relationship between MC and those related parties.
    • $45K ‘Prior year adjustments’ are again included in both accrual and cash reports without explanation.

What financial situation was shown by that Report?

  • Working capital (current assets less current liabilities) is 30K negative.
  • The library is not capitalised, that is, all purchases are expensed.
  • No obvious concerns with the longer term financial structure.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • (No audit report is included in the Financial Report.)

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

  • Almost – the business name (Morling Vocational College) is missing.

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

  • ‘…Morling Foundation’
  • ‘The Morling Postgraduate Scholarship Fund’ (also the Morling Foundation Ltd)
  • There is no explanation to potential donors for why their money is sought when the Foundation already has $17.06 m of current assets (including $12.49 in ‘Cash and cash equivalents’)

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not shown on the website, but listed under ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register.

To whom are MC accountable?

  • Not claimed on the website, but they are members of Missions Interlink, an organisation that has a set of standards with which MC must comply.
  • MC is also accountable to the ACNC.

 

 

  1. The law in this area is not straightforward and advice varies, so check with the charity before drawing any conclusions.