The Registered Organisations Commission (the ROC) and the Fair Work Commission measure compliance trends in financial reporting and annual returns of registered organisations.
The ROC publishes a list of registered organisations online. Registered organisations and their branches make up reporting units for the purposes of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (the RO Act).
Under the RO Act, reporting units are required to lodge financial reports within specified timeframes. Registered organisations are also required to lodge an annual return by 31 March every year.
The information in those documents is critical to making sure that each organisation's members can understand how their organisation is performing. They also allow members to be involved in the financial management of their organisation.
The Registered Organisations Commission helps federally registered organisations comply with legislative requirements, and we monitor their performance to help inform our priorities, services and other activities. Registered organisations can also use data to understand their own achievements and priorities, and to see how they compare against other organisations.
Report card – financial reporting
The report card for financial reporting identifies the common financial reporting compliance issues of the relevant year. When preparing the financial report, reporting units and registered auditors should pay close attention to the focus areas identified in the report card.
Of the financial returns with a 2022 year end date that were lodged and assessed for compliance by 31 December 2022, 74% met the key compliance measures, compared to 70% in 2021, 84% in 2020 and 81% in 2019. A range of factors can influence the extent to which lodged financial reports comply with relevant financial reporting guidelines, and the ROC continues to work productively with organisations and auditors, seeking to ensure continuous improvements in compliance.
In 2021–22, 100% of organisations lodged their annual returns by the statutory deadline of 31 March. While the ROC will continue to intervene in the period immediately prior to 31 March as appropriate by directly engaging with organisations who may be experiencing issues with lodging on time, we anticipate our intervention won’t be required in future years and voluntary compliance will continue.
Officer and Related Party (ORP) disclosure statement
We have seen improvement in compliance with the obligation to lodge an Officer and Related Party disclosure statement. In 2021–22, 99.7% of organisations and branches lodged their statements with the ROC within the statutory timeframes compared with 99% the previous year. This an excellent result.
Although the non-compliance numbers are small, the ROC is continuing to work with organisations in relation to this, and is taking appropriate action in each specific case.
The ROC understands that lodging within the specified time frames is just one measure of compliance, and it does not address the qualitative aspects of the reports.
The ROC is now working with organisations to increase both voluntary levels of compliance, and the qualitative levels of compliance with, for example, the RO Act, the Commissioner’s Reporting Guidelines and AASB standards.