Myth Busting: you need an accountant to prepare your Performance Report

Published 11 October 2022

When we’re out and about, we often hear myths about what charities, and Charities Services as the regulator, can and can’t do.

Our Myth Busting series is a regular feature where we address some misconceptions and bust some myths about registered charities, the Charites Act 2005, and Charities Services. This month, we’re looking at the myth that all charities needs an accountant to prepare the thier performance reports.

The truth is that you don’t always need an accountant to prepare your Performance Report. The Tier 4 reporting standards were written in such a way that most small charities should be able to report successfully without paying for specialised accounting help. There is guidance on our website(external link) and if you are stuck you can book into a clinic(external link) to discuss financial reporting with our team. If your charity however has complex transactions, you may wish to engage with an accountant to help you.

Charities that are reporting under Tier’s 1-3 may be required to have a statutory audit or review(external link). An audit or review is a legal requirement when the total operating expenditure is over $550,000 for each of the previous two accounting periods (e.g. the two years prior to the year you are reporting on). If your charity is legally required to have an audit or review, you will need to get in touch with a qualified auditor. Your rules also may stipulate that you need an audit or a review even if you are below the statutory threshold, so remember to check them too.