Reviewing the Tier 3 and Tier 4 Reporting Standards – How to have your voice heard

Published 1 March 2021

[ 3 minutes to read] 


The External Reporting Board (XRB) is responsible for setting the financial reporting standards that all registered charities must report to. They’re reviewing the standards right now, to make sure they’re the right fit. This blog from guest writer Jamie Cattell explains the review, and what they’re looking for.

The Tier 3 and Tier 4 Standards occupy a special place in our Accounting Standards Framework. Unlike the standards used by Tier 1 and Tier 2 charities, they are not based on international standards. They exist only in Aotearoa and were written from scratch to make sure they would work for our many small not-for-profits. The XRB are now reviewing the standards and need your feedback to make sure things are working as intended.

What are the standards?

The standards set out what you need to report and how you should do it. The explanatory guides and the reporting templates are there to help you prepare a performance report by giving guidance and examples for each part of the report. You can find out more about the standards, and when they apply, on the Charities Services webpage which tier will I use?(external link)

What is being reviewed?

The review covers three things:

  1. The Tier 3 and Tier 4 standards
  2. The explanatory guides
  3. The optional reporting templates

Your feedback will be a key part of deciding the next steps to take in the review and critical to ensuring the standards work for both registered charities and the users of their performance reports.

The Standards – what’s working and what isn’t?

Your feedback is important and will give the XRB a better understanding of where the standards are working well and where the standards are not working so well for all charities. This may mean the requirements themselves need to be amended or simplified. It might mean additional requirements and guidance need to be introduced. Your feedback will shape the nature of these changes.

When you are giving your feedback, you might want to think about:

  • Which parts of the standards do or do not provide useful information?
  • Why is that part useful or not useful?
  • Which parts of the standard are difficult to apply and why?
  • How do you think the current requirements could be improved?

 The explanatory guides and reporting templates – what would help you?

While the requirements in the standards are an important part of the review, the explanatory guides and reporting templates are equally important. In some cases, providing additional guidance or enhancing the templates could be more helpful than amending the standards themselves. The XRB wants your feedback on how the guidance and template reports could be improved to help you prepare useful and informative performance reports using the standards.

When you give feedback, some helpful questions to keep in mind might be:

  • Which areas would you like to see more guidance provided?
  • What do you like and don’t like about the current reporting templates?
  • How could the reporting templates be enhanced to make them better suited to your activities?  

How do I give feedback?

There are three ways you can give feedback. You can:

Where can I find more information?

More information on the review can be found on the XRB website(external link).

You can also find the Tier 3 and Tier 4 standards, guidance, and templates on the XRB website at the below links.

Tier 3 standard, guidance, and templates(external link)

Tier 4 standard, guidance, and templates(external link)