Community & Not-For-Profit
The Not-For-Profit sector is crucial to the Australian landscape – employing more than 600,000 people and contributing more than $43 billion to the Australian GDP. While there are over 4.5 million volunteers working within Not-for-Profits, they also employ around 8% of the Australian workforce.
A fast growing hybrid of the sector (43% per year) are businesses that are run as social enterprises. These mainly consist of profitable businesses that operate purely for social outcomes e.g. employing disadvantaged workers or profit distributed to charities etc.
What we do for this industry
While we provide assistance with the preparation of financial reports and conducting audits, we also:
Assist with completion of regulatory and compliance reporting obligations and grant acquittals
Help with the establishment of organisational policies
Review the ‘business engine’ of the organisation to assist with the organisations future viability.
Provide assistance with board composition, directors training and assessment of board performance
Help bring clarity to business risk and control frameworks
Challenges & Opportunities
Over the last 7 years, this sector has seen some unique challenges. As both Federal and State grants are reducing, access to traditional forms of funding is becoming increasingly difficult. As a result, many NFP’s have found a reduced ability to fund the organisation’s management and administration functions from funding agreements.
A continually changing regulatory landscape requires the organisation to monitor outcomes and spend time keeping up to date with funding requirements. This can mean less time to actually focus on the core activities of the NFP or, in the case of a Social Enterprise, the business engine of the organisation.
Attracting the right people to drive the organisation’s strategic objectives both at a board and a management level can be a challenge. The balance between the social benefit orientation and creating a viable business model is fundamental to success.
Case study 1: Keeping compliant
Our client grew from a community’s need and was unaware of their legal responsibilities in both establishment and reporting requirements and were unintentionally non-compliant.
We reviewed their accounts and procedures to determine where they were being non-compliant and were able to determine what legislation was applicable and assist the organisation with understanding their responsibilities.
After five years of being non-compliant the organisation is now working with the knowledge that it is meeting its responsibilities under the legislation and can now operate with confidence in the community providing its much needed services.
Case study 2: Helping to manage a small volunteer association
The new treasurer of a small volunteer association contacted us regarding their upcoming audit. The treasurer was unable to operate the software used by the previous treasurer and did not fully understand the function of their role.
We were able to advise the treasurer of the general responsibilities of their role and provide adequate training on the use of the software.
The treasurer is now able to carry out the functions of their role and maintain all the appropriate records and documents.