Financial reporting


The financial reporting requirements

The Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (the RO Act) requires organisations and their branches to prepare financial reports. Financial reports must be prepared in accordance with:


The reporting guidelines

The reporting guidelines are deemed to be issued by the General Manager of the Commission. They set out the disclosures that must be made in financial reports. They are also referred to as the section 253 guidelines.

The section 253 guidelines apply unless a section 270 certificate is in force for the financial year.  

The reporting guidelines were gazetted in the Federal Register of Legislation External link (opens in new window) on 4 May 2018.

Section 270 reporting guidelines

The section 270 reporting guidelines only apply where a section 270 certificate has been issued for that financial year. A certificate can only be issued to an organisation which is a single reporting unit and where income was less than $100,000 for that financial year. 

These reporting guidelines were gazetted in the Federal Register of Legislation External link (opens in new window) on 4 May 2018.

For information on how to report under section 270 please contact us at

Download the section 253 and section 270 reporting guidelines.  


The financial reporting process

The financial reporting process has 6 steps: 

  1. Prepare the financial report.
  2. Finalise the committee of management statement.
  3. Submit the financial report to audit.
  4. Distribute the full report to members.
  5. Present the full report to a meeting.
  6. Lodge the full report with the Commission.

The steps are explained in further detail in factsheets and other education material


What is the full report?

The full report consists of:

  • operating report
  • general purpose financial report which includes:
    • committee of management statement
    • subsection 255(2A) report
    • officer's declaration statement (if applicable)
  • auditor's report

Before providing a copy of the full report to members, presenting to a meeting and lodging it with the Commissioner, all documents within the full report must be signed and dated.


Model financial statements

To help registered organisations comply with the requirements, the Commission develops a set of model financial statements for the financial year. They are based on a financial year ending on 30 June.

There is no requirement for reporting units to use the model, but it may be a useful resource to ensure compliance with the RO Act, the section 253 reporting guidelines and the Australian Accounting Standards.


Assessment of financial reports

The Commission uses a risk-based approach when reviewing the financial reports lodged by a reporting unit. 

Financial reports are assessed with an advanced review or a primary review. The Commission allocates a reporting unit for advanced review based on several factors, including where the reporting unit has not addressed previously raised non-compliance issues or is under inquiry or investigation.

This risk-based approach focusses regulatory activity and public resources more efficiently by ensuring each reporting unit’s financial report has an advanced review based on the level of risk.

Advanced review

The advanced review involves confirming that financial reports satisfy all requirements set out in the Australian Accounting Standards, the financial reporting guidelines, the RO Act and the Regulations. Based on the advanced review, a reporting unit may be required to amend their financial report and provide members and the Commission with a copy of the amended financial report before this can be filed and published on this website.

Primary review

If a reporting unit is not subject to an advanced review, it will go through a primary review. A primary review does not examine all disclosure requirements.

The primary review considers whether:

  • the financial reporting timelines required under section 253, section 265, section 266 and section 268 of the RO Act have been satisfied
  • all documents required under section 268 of the RO Act were lodged
  • some disclosure requirements under the Australian Accounting Standards, RO Act and financial reporting guidelines have been complied with. 

Download the advanced and primary review checklists.


Loans, grants and donations

Registered organisations and branches must report information about loans, grants and donations that exceed $1,000 during the financial year. This is done by lodging a loans, grants and donations statement within 90 days at the end of the financial year.