Information for reviewers and auditors for tier 2 and 3 associations

This publication is for: 
Not for profit

The Associations Incorporation Act 2015 (the Act) includes specific responsibilities for auditors and reviewers appointed by an incorporated association. These requirements have been listed below for your information.

NOTE

  • An incorporated association is a tier 2 association if its annual revenue is greater than $250,000 but less than $1,000,000.
  • An incorporated association is a tier 3 association if it’s annual revenue exceeds $1,000,000.

Auditor and reviewer responsibilities

78. Review or audit to be conducted in accordance with auditing standards

A reviewer or auditor must conduct a review or audit under this Part in accordance with the auditing standards.   Penalty: a fine of $5 500.

79. Working papers to be retained for 7 years

A reviewer or auditor who conducts a review or audit under this Part must retain all working papers prepared by or for, or considered or used by, the reviewer or auditor in accordance with the requirements of the auditing standards for at least 7 years after the date of the report prepared in relation to the review or audit.   Penalty: a fine of $5 500.

80. Reviewer’s or auditor’s independence declaration

  1. A reviewer or auditor who conducts a review or audit of financial statements or a financial report of an incorporated association under Division 3 must give the management committee of the association with the report of the review or audit —
    1. a written declaration that, to the best of the reviewer’s or auditor’s belief, there have been no contraventions of any applicable code of professional conduct in relation to the review or audit; or
    2. a written declaration that, to the best of the reviewer’s or auditor’s belief, the only contraventions of any applicable code of professional conduct in relation to the review or audit are those contraventions details of which are set out in the declaration.
    • Penalty: a fine of $5 500.
  2. The declaration must be signed by the reviewer or auditor.
  3. The reviewer or auditor is not excused from giving a declaration under this section on the ground that giving the declaration might tend to incriminate the reviewer or auditor or expose the reviewer or auditor to a penalty.
  4. However, neither —
    1. the information included in the declaration; nor
    2. any information, document or thing obtained as a direct or indirect consequence of including the information in the declaration,

    is admissible in evidence against the reviewer or auditor in any criminal proceedings, or in any proceedings that would expose the reviewer or auditor to a penalty.

81. Reviewer’s report on financial statements or financial report

A reviewer must include in the reviewer’s report on financial statements or a financial report of an incorporated association —

  1. a statement as to whether the reviewer became aware of any matter that causes the reviewer to believe that the financial statements do not, or the financial report does not, satisfy the requirements of Division 3; and
  2. a description of any matter that causes the reviewer to believe that the financial statements do not, or the financial report does not, satisfy the requirements of Division 3; and
  3. a statement as to why that matter causes the reviewer to so believe.
  • Penalty: a fine of $5 500.

82. Auditor’s opinion and report on financial statements or financial report

  1. An auditor who conducts an audit of financial statements or a financial report of an incorporated association under this Part must form an opinion about the following —
    1. whether the financial statements satisfy, or the financial report satisfies, the requirements of this Part;
    2. whether the auditor has been given all information, explanations and assistance necessary for the conduct of the audit;
    3. whether the association has kept financial records sufficient to enable financial statements or a financial report to be prepared and audited;
    4. whether the association has kept other records as required by this Part.
  2. An auditor who audits the financial statements or the financial report of an incorporated association must report to the members of the association in accordance with subsection (3).
    • Penalty: a fine of $5 500.
  3. The auditor’s report must —
    1.  include a statement as to —
      1. whether the auditor is of the opinion that the financial statements are, or the financial report is, in accordance with this Part; and
      2. if not of that opinion, why not;
        and
    2. describe —
      1. any defect or irregularity in the financial statements or the financial report; and
      2. any deficiency, failure or shortcoming in respect of the matters referred to in subsection (1)(b), (c) or (d);
        and
    3. include any statements or disclosures required by the auditing standards; and
    4. specify the date on which it is made.
  4. If the auditor is of the opinion that the financial statements have not, or the financial report has not, been prepared in accordance with this Part, the auditor’s report must —
    1. to the extent that it is practicable to do so, quantify the effect that non-compliance has on the financial statements or financial report; and
    2. if it is not practicable to quantify the effect fully, say why.

83. Reporting breaches of act to commissioner

  1. If —
    1. a reviewer or auditor conducting a review or audit of the financial statements or the financial report of an incorporated association under this Part is aware of circumstances that —
      1. the reviewer or auditor has reasonable grounds to suspect amount to a contravention of this Part; or
      2. amount to an attempt, in relation to the review or audit, by any person to unduly influence, coerce, manipulate or mislead a person involved in the conduct of the review or audit; or
      3. amount to an attempt, by any person, to otherwise interfere with the proper conduct of the review or audit;
        ​AND
    2. if paragraph (a)(i) applies —
      1. the contravention is a significant one; or
      2. if the contravention is not a significant one and the reviewer or auditor believes that the contravention has not been or will not be adequately dealt with by commenting on it in the reviewer’s or auditor’s report or bringing it to the attention of the management committee of the incorporated association,

the reviewer or auditor must notify the Commissioner in writing of those circumstances as soon as practicable, and in any case within 28 days, after the auditor becomes aware of those circumstances.

Penalty: a fine of $5 500.

  1. In determining for the purposes of subsection (1) whether a contravention of this Act is a significant contravention, regard must be had to the following —
    1. the level of penalty provided for in relation to the contravention;
    2. the effect that the contravention has, or may have, on the following —
      1. the overall financial position of the incorporated association;
      2. the adequacy of the information available about the overall financial position of the incorporated association;
      3. any other relevant matter.

Responsibilities of the association

An association also has specific responsibilities with respect to appointing, removing and providing information to its reviewer or auditor.

Appointing the auditor or reviewer

87. Appointment of reviewer or auditor

Section 87(1) of the Act requires the reviewer or auditor to be appointed by a resolution of the members at a general meeting of the Association.

A reviewer or auditor appointed at a general meeting holds office until the reviewer or auditor

  1. dies; or
  2. becomes an insolvent under administration as that term is defined in the Corporations Act; or
  3. ceases to be qualified for appointment as provided by section 88(2); or
  4. is removed from office under section 89; or
  5. resigns from office under subsection (5).  (s87(3))

In a situation where the Association is required to have its accounts reviewed or audited and there has been no appointment made by the members, the committee may make the necessary appointment so that the reporting requirements of the Act can be met (s87(2)).

Under these circumstances the reviewer or auditor will hold office until their report has been presented for consideration at the association’s AGM (s87(4)).

Section 87 of the Act also states that:

(5)  A reviewer or auditor of an incorporated association may, by notice in writing given to the association, resign as reviewer or auditor of the association.

(6)  An incorporated association must, within 14 days after being given a notice of resignation by a reviewer or auditor, lodge with the Commissioner notice of the resignation in the approved form.

Penalty: a fine of $1 000.

88. Qualifications for appointment

  1. An incorporated association or management committee must not appoint a person as the reviewer or auditor for the association if the person is not qualified for appointment.

Rights to receive information

85. Information and assistance

  1. An officer of an incorporated association must allow a reviewer or auditor of the association access at all reasonable times to the books of the association.
    Penalty: a fine of $2 750.
  2. A reviewer or auditor of an incorporated association may require an officer of the association to give the reviewer or auditor information, explanations or other assistance for the purposes of the review or audit.
  3. A requirement under subsection (2) must be a reasonable one.
  4. An officer of an incorporated association must comply with a requirement under subsection (2).
    Penalty: a fine of $2 750.

86. Right to attend general meeting and be heard

  1. A reviewer or auditor of an incorporated association, or an agent of a reviewer or auditor authorised by the reviewer or auditor in writing for the purpose, is entitled —
    1. to receive all notices of and other communications relating to any general meeting of the association that a member is entitled to receive; and
    2. to attend any general meeting of the association; and
    3. to be heard at any general meeting that the reviewer or auditor attends on any part of the business of the meeting that concerns the functions of the reviewer or auditor under this Part.
  2. Subsection (1) applies despite the fact that the reviewer or auditor retires at the meeting or a resolution to remove the reviewer or auditor from office is passed at the meeting.
  3. An incorporated association must ensure that a reviewer or auditor is afforded the rights conferred by this section.
    Penalty: a fine of $2 750.

Removing the auditor or reviewer

89. Removal of reviewer or auditor by resolution

  1. A reviewer or auditor of an incorporated association may be removed from office by resolution at a general meeting of the association in accordance with this section but not otherwise.
  2. Written notice of an intention to move a resolution referred to in subsection (1) must be given to every member of the association at least 2 months before the general meeting is to be held.
  3. The notice must state in full the proposed resolution.
  4. As soon as possible after being given the notice of the resolution, the committee of management of the association must —
    1. give a copy of the notice to the reviewer or auditor; and
    2. lodge a copy of the notice with the Commissioner.
  • Penalty: a fine of $1 000.

90. Reviewer or auditor may make representations

  1. A reviewer or auditor of an incorporated association who receives a notice from the association under section 89(4)(a) may, within 30 days after receiving the notice, make a written representation, not exceeding a reasonable length, to the management committee of the incorporated association.
  2. Subject to section 91, if the reviewer or auditor makes a representation under subsection (1), a resolution proposing the reviewer’s or auditor’s removal is of no effect unless —
    1. the management committee gives a copy of the representation to all members of the association at least 7 days before the meeting at which the resolution is to be considered; and
    2. the reviewer or auditor is allowed to attend the meeting and address the members present before the vote on the resolution.
  3. A document required to be given to a member of an incorporated association under this section may be given —
    1. personally; or
    2. by post; or
    3. by any other means authorised under the rules of the association.
  4. All costs associated with giving a document to the members of an incorporated association under this section are to be borne by the association

If the association does not wish to give members copies of the information submitted by the reviewer or auditor referred to in s90(2)  the committee can apply to the Commissioner for Consumer Protection to request an exemption (s91).

More information

The association may wish to refer to the Accounts and Auditing chapter of the INC Guide for more information. 

Consumer Protection
Information
Last updated 05 Jul 2017

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