Managing charity money: useful resources to help with financial information

A key responsibility for those governing a charity is to make sure that the charity has the resources it needs to carry out its work – so it can achieve its charitable purpose. The governing body (such as a board or committee of management) must work to gather the resources necessary for a charity to undertake its work, but also to ensure that these resources are protected from abuse and used in an efficient and lawful way.

What understanding of finances must a charity’s responsible person have?

Responsible persons, like board or committee members, must have a level of financial literacy that will enable them to make informed decisions about their charity’s finances. While many boards appoint treasurers and board members with financial expertise, every board member must be able to read and understand a charity’s financial information.

If you are a responsible person you can participate in some training to improve your financial literacy, as part of your role. You must be appropriately informed about the matters on which you may make a decision. You cannot make informed decisions about your charity’s finances without an understanding of the concepts that relate to them. At the very least, you should be able to determine whether your charity is solvent and what the impact of any decision you make will be on your charity’s financial health.

Governance standards and financial management

Charity board members have particular duties under the ACNC governance standards. These particular duties are spelt out in governance standard 5, specifically to:

  • ensure that the financial affairs of the charity are managed responsibly, - under Duty 6, and
  • not to allow the charity to operate while it is insolvent – under Duty 7.

A related duty under this standard is to disclose conflicts of interest.

Learn more about managing charity money

ACNC resources

Guides (external)

Financial education and support (external)

Financial management tools and tips

ACNC Managing money guide

ACNC templates

Tools and tips (external)

Financial report templates (external)

Other (external)

Attention - Important information!This page contains links to external websites. Any external links used by the ACNC are inserted for convenience and do not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of any material at those sites. Information and resources provided by the ACNC is for general information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice regarding your charity's particular circumstances.