Working for a not-for-profit organisation can be a great experience – most people involved are contributing their time, effort and money because they believe in the cause and have common interests at heart.
The bookkeeping for non-profits can be challenging, and I wrote about some of the differences in my post Not-for-profits – 6 ways your bookkeeping differs from other organisations.
Just because they aren’t operating to make a profit for owners, does not mean they are not financially accountable. In fact there are usually many different stakeholders to be accountable to – including Board members, government, volunteers, staff, members and donors.
I personally love the challenge of bookkeeping in the non-profit sector and have worked with wonderfully supportive board members and volunteers.
I thought I would share some interesting facts about non-profits in Australia.
- There were 56,894 not-for-profit organisations in Australia registered with the ATO at June 2013.
- At present it is estimated there are approximately 700,000 non-profit/community groups in Australia.
- Not-for-profits employed 1,081,900 people in 2012-13 with social services employing the most people.
- Charities must have an ABN (Australian Business Number).
- To be a registered charity, your organisation must be a not-for-profit that has a charitable purpose that is for the benefit of the public.
- A public benevolent institution (PBI) is a type of charitable institution whose main purpose is to relieve poverty or distress (for example, sickness, suffering or disability).
- The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) is the independent national regulator of charities in Australia.
Have you been a Treasurer, bookkeeper or accountant in the not-for-profit sector? What differences and challenges did you face compared to other sectors?