International Support Aid Australia, charity review

The charity's Annual Information Statement current at the time of this review has since been superseded.  Please start with the updated review published in January 2017, and come back to this one as needed.

This is a charity review, a review for those with an interest in the Australian charity International Support Aid Australia (ISA).

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 ISA.

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 March 2016, and invited them to comment. This was their reply:  ‘Thank you for your email regarding your review of our Charity.   Your findings will be addressed by the Board.’

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. (Go straight there.)

Sources

  • ACNC Register (including links)
  • Google search on the charity’s names.
  • No website content. FaceBook page, but out-of-date. Not on LinkedIn.
  • Victorian government fundraising licence register.
  • No reviews yet on Glassdoor.

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Entity Subtype

  • Not a type that suggests that ISA shares the Gospel.
  • The choice here does not match the ‘Principal Purpose’ in the constitution:
    • The Principal Purpose of the Company is to operate a public fund that is to be a public developing country relief fund providing relief to persons suffering from the effects of absolute poverty and its life altering impact in certified developing countries [clause 1.3(a)].
  • The ACNC’s ‘Charity to select subtype’ is a mistake?
  • There is no mention of Christianity in the constitution.

CHARITY DETAILS

Legal Name

  • ISA is a company limited by guarantee.
    • It is permitted to omit ‘Ltd/Limited’ at the end of its name.

Other Name(s)

Charity ABN

  • You will not be entitled to a tax deduction for a donation to EMS.

Charity Address for Service

  • This does not work. The one under ‘Email’ should.

Charity Street Address

  • No website content to check for a postal address.

Email

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

Website

  • No content yet.

ANNUAL REPORTING

  • AIS 2014
    • This is ISA’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2014 (AIS 2014).
    • It gives basic financial information. If you think that this is all you need
      • There is no obvious reconciliation between ‘Donations and bequests’ and the income in the Income Statement.
      • There are two minor transcription errors.
    • IAS says it used cash accounting.
    • The statement was lodged nearly four months after year end. (With the Financial Report (see below) coming two months later.)
    • The coverage of finances in this review is left until the financial report proper (see Latest financial report – detail, below)
    • The constitution (clause 5.2(a)) requires ‘books [that] give a true and fair view of the state of the Company’s affairs and explain its transactions’
      • The report that ISA has lodged does not meet either of these requirements. See Latest financial report – detail, below.
    • As there is no directors’ declaration included in the Financial Report, we don’t know when the directors approved the financial report – or even if they did approve it
  • Financial Report 2014
    • Although not required to submit a financial report to the ACNC, ISA is, as a member of Missions Interlink[ii] required to ‘have available for its members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor [Standards Statement, 4.1]

ABOUT THE CHARITY

  • Statement of Faith
    • There is no mention of a statement of faith, or similar, in the constitution.
    • No website content to check there.

Date Established

  • Their FaceBook page says 2005.

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision/Mission
    • No website content to check.
  • Activities (What did ISA do?)
    • From Section B in the AIS 2014:
      • Providing ongoing resources to enable continued education, community training in Jinja Uganda.
  • Outcomes (What did ISA deliver?)
    • ISA did not respond to the request in the AIS 2014 for a description of its outcomes.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)
    • No website content to check.

Size of Charity

  • Revenue is well under the threshold for the next size up (and therefore the compulsory lodgement of reviewed financial statements).

Financial Year End

  • This means that the next financial report is due by 30 September 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]

  • ISA raised greater than $10K from fundraising yet it does not hold a fundraising licence in this state.

CHARITY’S DOCUMENT (SIC)

  • There is no Annual Report/Review available on the ACNC Register.
  • No website content to check for one.

RESPONSIBLE PERSONS

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

Glynis Dickins                This function was not working at the time of publication

Paul Tsiros

Jim Zacharias

Voula Zacharias

George Vassilopoulos

Colleen Kelly

Janina De Silva

  • Is Janina De Silva this one?
  • And Voula Zacharias this one?

(End of review of the ACNC Register information)

Latest financial report – detail

  • This report is grossly deficient.
    • There is no audit report. Was an audit performed?
    • There is no Statement of Cash Flows.
      • IAS says in the AIS 2014 that it uses cash accounting, so may think that such a statement is not necessary. However, the financial statements in the report are not consistent with that basis.
    • There is no Directors’ Declaration.
    • The Notes are totally inadequate to explain the figures, especially as the most important note, Note 1 is missing.
      • This is the Note that describes the financial reporting framework, and the consequent accounting policies, adopted by the directors.
    • With the Income Statement
      • The classification of expenses combines the two permissible methods.
      • What are ‘Project expenses’, especially as distinguished from ‘Development trip expenses’?
      • At 16K, ‘Other operating expenses’ are too large a percentage of the total to be unexplained.
      • The AIS 2014 shows the number of employees as zero; why then are there ‘Payroll expenses’ in the Income Statement?
      • How are they making money from ‘administration’?
      • Administration, fundraising and superannuation expenses are not disclosed.
      • Other comprehensive income is not shown.
    • With the Balance Sheet, if any of the ‘leasehold improvements’, ‘communications hardware’, or ‘computer software’ are still being used they should be given a value in the books.

 (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.