Crossview Australia Limited: mini-charity review for donors

The charity's Annual Information Statement current at the time of this review has since been superseded.  Please contact me if you are facing a significant decision with this charity and an updated review would be of help.

Mini-review[1] of Crossview Australia Limited[2] (Crossview) as an organisation seeking donations. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

Is Crossview registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • Other registrations:
    • As a public company (a company limited by guarantee)[3].
    • Not licensed to fundraise in the three states in which it says it operates.
      • 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.

What do they do?

  • “CrossView Australia exists to equip, assist and facilitate believers moving out into cross-cultural ministries from their local church base, with a focus on seeing mature churches established among the world’s neediest people groups” [Mission].
  • This includes looking after the missionaries after they are in place overseas (see ‘We are committed to’ on the same page.)

Do they share the Gospel?

  • Via their missionaries, yes. But it is not the focus until seven years after the missionary begins with Crossview.
    • This time frame reflects the ‘principal object’ in the constitution:
      • the advancement of the Christian faith by resourcing Christians and Christian Organisations (sic) to relate cross-culturally in accordance with the Statement of Faith and Core and Ministry Values.

What impact are they having?

  • They did not respond to the regulator’s request for outcomes in the AIS 2015. No other information found.

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

  • I am unable to match the information under ‘What do they do’ (above) with the expenses in order to isolate administration.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No.

Is their online giving secure?

  • Given that PayPal is used, yes.

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

  • Three: ‘Crossview general funds’, ‘A specific ministry area’, or ‘A person or family’.

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
    • No outcomes are reported.
    • The figures under ‘Gross Income’ are materially different to those in the Statement of Profit or Loss…
  • Financial Report 2015: Doubtful.
    • The directors say that Crossview doesn’t have to produce general purpose financial statements (the type that complies with all the Accounting Standards), because any user, current or prospective, can request Crossview to tailor a set of financial statements to suit them. There is no explanation of how this fits with the fact that the charity operates in three states, has a big real estate holding, and receives approximately $1.4 m cash each year from supporters, members, and lessees.
    • The $1.34 m donated to Crossview for their missionaries[4] is not included in revenue, presumably because it is judged to be money collected for third parties. There is no defence of this atypical policy.
      • One consequence is that Crossview is classified by the ACNC as a ‘Medium’ charity rather than ‘Large’, and is therefore only required to get a review rather than an audit of its accounts.
    • A $1.28 m loss on term deposits is not explained.
    • Investments properties are included in property, plant and equipment rather than separately as is required.
    • No depreciation is provided on many of the buildings in the $12.60 m property portfolio.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • A deficit 51% greater than revenue.
  • A loss on investments of $1.28 m, 39% of the beginning balance.
  • $3.16 m held in cash and short-term deposits. With a turnover of $194K (or even the larger amount with money for missionaries included), you might reasonably ask why such a large amount is held.
  • A $12.6 m property portfolio.
    • There is an unaudited breakup (in the attached depreciation schedule), but no explanation of the use of the properties.
    • The depreciation schedule shows that some of the properties are held as investments. These should be a separate item in the Statement of Financial Position.
  • As a consequence of the above holdings, both short-term or long-term financial structure are very sound.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • This is a ‘clean’ conclusion. Note ‘conclusion’, not ‘opinion’, for this is a review, not an audit. See his fourth paragraph for what he did to reach his conclusion[5].
  • You might want to question this conclusion. He approved of the directors’ decision to
    • produce the type of financial statements that require less disclosure,
    • exclude, without explanation, the donations for their missionaries from revenue,
    • not show the investment properties separately, and
    • report, without explanation, a $1.28 m loss on term deposits.
  • He’s also allowed the directors to include a 14-page depreciation schedule in the Financial Report without comment[6].

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

  • Yes.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

To whom is Crossview accountable?

  • They are, apart from the ACNC, accountable because of their membership of Missions Interlink.
    • For one opinion of the strength of that accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, the Events Coordinator replied very quickly (but rudely) to say that they didn’t want to respond to the review.

 

 

  1. Minor changes made from the draft sent to Crossview, but nothing substantive.
  2. The constitution has the name as ‘CrossView’.
  3. Click on the ABN in the ACNC Register entry.
  4. The website – here and here – leaves no doubt that the missionaries are ‘working for’ Crossview.
  5. Even if it were the more rigorous audit rather than a review, you still have to be careful to take the right amount of comfort from a ‘clean opinion’. See here and here.
  6. The footnote says that ‘This Statement is to be read in conjunction with the accompanying Notes and the Accountant’s Disclaimer’, but neither are included.

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