Tena koutou, talofa lava
This newsletter is to let you know about some of the things going on at Charities Services and in particular to remind you about a big change that affects the way we work together.
Many people who donate or who are thinking about donating to charities such as yours want reassurance that the organisations they are interested in have a genuine commitment to do good for the cause they stand for.
At Charities Services our role is to help promote this trust and confidence and one way to do this is by providing the public with accurate and up to date information on your organisation.
A key part of this information is being open and transparent about where your income came from and what you did with it. There are over 27,000 registered charities in New Zealand so to try and capture consistent and standardised financial information on every charity, regardless of size or shape, the External Reporting Board has introduced New Reporting Standards. We have mentioned these standards in this newsletter before, but it’s crunch time as many charities now have to prepare financial statements in line with them.
There are four different reporting tiers based on annual operating expenditure. This allows smaller charities to prepare financial statements on a simplified basis and also include non-financial information which helps you to tell the story of your charity in a way that financial information alone cannot.
We recognise that these changes may take some time to get used to and to become part of the way we work together. It’s important for you to know that during this transition we will do our best to provide the information and support you need to comply with the standards and on raising awareness of them.
We appreciate that many aspects of the standards require a degree of judgement in terms of their application to a particular charity. We expect officers of charities will act in good faith, exercising their own judgement in a reasonable manner, taking into account their charity’s particular circumstances and relationships with other entities, and calling on professional advice if their situation is complex or unique.
I would encourage you to watch the video and review the information available on our website to make sure you understand what we need from you and to let us know if there is anything you don’t understand or need help with.
While these changes may be a bit disruptive in the short term we are confident that in the long term they will improve public confidence and strengthen the credibility of the charitable sector.