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ACNC launches the 2017 Annual Information Statement

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A new Hub, re-designed guidance material and an enhanced online form are among the key improvements to the 2017 Annual Information Statement, recently launched to the public by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.
The launch of the 2017 Annual Information Statement is significantly earlier than that of the 2016 version of the online form, with the improvements coming after extensive feedback from charities and those that work with the sector.
The development of the 2017 Annual Information Statement Hub ( creates a one-stop shop for charities wishing to complete their reporting.
It contains a comprehensive range of support and guidance materials and aims to make it easier for charities to fulfil their reporting requirements and provide accurate, high-quality and timely information through their Annual Information Statement.
Improvements to guidance materials include:

  • A complete re-design of the Annual Information Statement Guide, with the 2017 document broken up into shorter sections corresponding with the Annual Information Statement form itself. New menus help charities navigate more easily around the online document.
  • Expanded help text throughout the Annual Information Statement, with nearly 50 direct links from the help text to relevant sections of the Guide. This enhances charities’ ability to cross-reference relevant guidance material – and minimise errors – as they complete their 2017Annual Information Statement.
  • Updates to the Annual Information Statement Checklist, providing a reference point for the information and documents charities need to have handy before they start their Annual Information Statement.
  • A tip sheet outlining some of the common mistakes charities make when filling in their Annual Information Statement, and how to avoid them.

Key improvements to the Annual Information Statement include:

  • Easier-to-understand questions, especially those related to charity finances, activities and beneficiaries.
  • Improved auto-filling and auto-calculation of responses to certain questions, allowing charities to quickly progress through sections of the Annual Information Statement.
  • The ability for charities to view and update their Responsible Persons as they complete their Annual Information Statement, ensuring their organisations’ details are up to date.
  • A new preview function, so charities can check over their responses to the Annual Information Statement before submission.
  • An improved layout, including a more prominent ‘Submit’ button to ensure charities don’t forget to submit their Annual Information Statement after completion.

ACNC Commissioner Susan Pascoe said, “Completing and submitting an Annual Information Statement is a major part of registered charities’ ongoing obligation to report annually.’
“In addition, the information gathered through the Annual Information Statement process helps us cut red tape and helps contribute to a greater understanding of the sector,” she said.
“We are pleased that we’ve been able to act on feedback from the sector, and from those who work with charities, to improve the 2017 process. We hope that all charities completing their Annual Information Statement find it quicker and easier to do so, and are able to easily find support resources.
“We see the Hub as a landing place for those charities completing their 2017 Annual Information Statement – a place where they can easily access the information and guidance they need.”
The first charities able to complete their 2017 Annual Information Statements are those that report on a standard financial year – 1 July to 30 June.

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