Courtesy of the Office of Fair Trading Queensland
More than 20,000 Queensland incorporated associations will save time and money due to changes to their financial reporting thresholds that began on 1 July 2023.
The changes, which were made in consultation with the sector, have increased the level of assets an association can hold and the revenue it can receive without having to engage a registered auditor to review its financial statements, and created new revenue-based reporting rules for charities.
Changes to financial reporting thresholds
The changes to incorporated association financial reporting thresholds for each level have been set out in the table below. While the thresholds for each level have changed, the applicable reporting and auditing requirements have not.
If your association is also registered as a charity, you may no longer need to have your financial records audited under the Collections Act 1966.
The new reporting rules for charities are set out below and apply to charities that are not exempt from reporting to the Office of Fair Trading.
If your association is required to have an audit conducted under another law such as the Charitable and Non-Profit Gaming Act 1999, that auditing requirement still applies.
Other changes around grievance procedures and remuneration disclosure will begin on 1 July 2024, giving associations a year to prepare for the changes.
Internal grievance procedure
From 1 July 2024, incorporated associations will need to need to follow the grievance procedure in the model rules or adopt a compliant formal grievance procedure in their own rules.
Your association can adopt a grievance procedure at any time, but it must meet the requirements set out in section 47A of the Associations Incorporation Act 1981, including:
- allowing a member to appoint any person to act on their behalf
- giving each party involved an opportunity to be heard
- providing for unbiased mediation if the dispute cannot be initially resolved amongst parties
- if the grievance procedure provides for a person to decide the outcome of the dispute, the decision maker must be unbiased.
This requirement will provide associations with a formal process to address internal conflicts and help parties to settle them before they incur legal costs.
It is important to note that the Office of Fair Trading cannot assist in resolving internal disputes. The Supreme Court of Queensland is the only body that can intervene in the operation of an incorporated association.
From 1 July 2024, to help improve transparency and accountability, associations must disclose at their annual general meeting, any remuneration or other benefits given to:
- management committee members
- senior staff
- relatives of management committee members and senior staff.
This information may be disclosed as a total value given to all persons but must include the number of people who benefitted.
This requirement will provide greater transparency and accountability within associations and enable members to assess whether remuneration and benefits paid to key individuals are an appropriate use of the association’s resources.