What is the Annual Report?
A charity’s Annual Report describes its activities and financial affairs for the preceding twelve months. The contents of the report are published in the online Public Register of Charities and help to inform the donors and the general public of:
- What your charity has done over the last 12 months to further each of its charitable purposes
- Who your charity has helped
- How your charity raised and spent funds
- Where the benefits of your charity’s work were felt
Aside from complying with the law, submitting an Annual Report provides charities with an excellent opportunity to showcase the good work that they do and to demonstrate their commitment to good governance, transparency and accountability.
Annual Reports are due ten months after your charity’s financial year-end date. For example, if your charity’s financial year-end date is 31 December, the Annual Report is due on or before 31 October of the following year.
What information is needed for an Annual Report?
This information note includes guidance about what should be included in a charity’s Annual Report and includes recent changes to the Annual Report form. It should be read together with the information below.
Compliance with the Charities Governance Code: As part of the Annual Report you will be asked about your charity’s compliance with the Charities Governance Code
Charities are required to confirm their level of compliance with the Charities Governance Code when submitting their annual reports. However, if your charity is not fully compliant or has not finished its compliance process, you can still file your annual report. Input the actual status of your charity’s compliance with the Code at the time of filing the annual report and you can amend it later to reflect further progress by logging into your account and using the Maintain Charities Governance Code Status form.
Activities: You will need to describe your charity’s activities during the reporting period. Particular care should be taken to demonstrate that your charity has undertaken activities in furtherance of its charitable purposes. For example, a charity with the purpose ‘the prevention or relief of suffering of animals’ should make clear from the description of their activities that they are actively and exclusively pursuing this purpose. Where a charity has more than one charitable purpose, it should be able to demonstrate the pursuit of each purpose.
You will also be asked to indicate the section(s) of society that has benefited from your charity’s work, the number of people that have volunteered with your charity during the year and the number of staff employed by your charity.
Financial: You will be required to provide us with details of your charity’s gross income and expenditure. This includes the sources of your charity’s income and how much your charity has spent on staff costs over the year.
The calculation of these figures on an automatic basis will provide a simple visual check for the filer that the figures that have been entered on the Annual Report match the financial statements of the charity ensuring that figures are accurately reported.
You will be required to report on your total assets and liabilities including cash at bank and on hand, other assets and total liabilities. You will also be required to declare any audit opinions.
International Transfers of Funds:
You will be required to declare:
- Total income received by your charity from outside the state
- including, for example, donations, investment income etc.
- from which countries that income was received
- Total funds spent or transferred outside the state by your charity
- including, for example, transfers of funds to a foreign branch, purchase of supplies from abroad for use in Ireland, sending funds abroad in furtherance of your charitable purpose, payment of foreign wages etc._
- the countries to which those funds were transferred
- Methods used to transfer those funds in or out of the state (e.g. Irish bank, An Post etc.).
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an international body set up to develop measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. As per FATF Recommendation 8, not-for-profit organisations, which includes charities, have been specifically identified as entities that may be vulnerable to being used for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing. As set out in our guidance document, Guidance on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing for Charities, charities are expected to have systems and procedures in place to guard against money laundering and terrorist financing.
It is a statutory requirement that all charities keep proper books of account, but the Charities Regulator recognises that the accounts system in operation in some charities may not currently provide detailed reports regarding the source or destination of funds transferred in or out of the State. However, it would be expected that a charity would at least be generally aware of where funds received come from, and where funds paid out go to. At a minimum a charity should be aware if it has any financial transactions with high risk countries such as Albania, the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Pakistan etc. A full list of high risk countries is available from the FATF website. A simple review of bank IBANs, which could be found on supplier invoices or your online bank account, for example, should help identify what countries a charity transacts with.
Regarding the ‘International Transfers of Funds’ figures which are to be entered in the Annual Report, where it is impractical for a charity to provide an exact total due to available resources, or particular difficulties collating information, an estimate based on best knowledge and reasonable assumptions can be entered. However, charity trustees should discuss and approve the proposed estimated international transfers figures, and record this in the Board’s minutes along with the methodology and assumptions used to arrive at the figures submitted. This information may be requested by the Charities Regulator as part of our normal compliance monitoring processes.
Documents: You may wish to upload a copy of your accounts when you are submitting your annual report. If so, please ensure they are in PDF format and less than 5mbs in size.
Schools: Schools are required to complete and submit Annual Report. Some of the information required in the Annual Report form for schools has been pre-filled – for more details please see the Schools Annual Report user guide.
- the Charities Regulator may, in some circumstances, require additional information or documents
- annual activity reports & accounts submitted will be made available on the Public Register of Charities
If you have noticed any issue with an Annual Report you have submitted please contact us through your MyAccount correspondence.
- Total income received by your charity from outside the state
How to submit an Annual Report?
Annual Reports are submitted through your charity’s online Charities Regulator account. We have a range of resources to help you in this process. Our step-by-step guide provides a visual overview while our ‘How to’ video takes you through each stage of the process. Our User Guide for Charities also offers guidance on this process while our Schools Annual Report User Guide provides guidance for schools. You must be logged into MyAccount to file reports and forms on behalf of your charity.
Once logged in, you will see a section called new filing on the left side of the screen. Click on New Filing and there will be a pop-out from the right hand side, click on Existing Charity at the top and then click on Start for your charity.
Can’t log in ?
There are three common issues that users have logging into MyAccount. They have forgotten their password, they have forgotten their username or they are not set up as an authorised filer. Our ‘How to’ videos will guide you in recovering your password / user name or becoming an authorised filer.
If you cannot remember your Password, click the ‘Forgot Password’ link on the MyAccount Login page.
Then enter the Login Name for your customer account.
We will send you an email with instructions to change your password.
This link will only work if you have provided a valid Login Name and have access to the email address linked to your customer account.
Important: If you do not receive an email from us, you may not have provided the correct Login Name linked to your customer account.
If you cannot remember your Login Name, click the ‘Forgot Password’ link on the MyAccount Login page.
Then click ‘Forgot Login Name’ and enter the email address linked to your customer account.
This link will only work if you know and have access to the email address linked to your customer account. We will send you an email with the list of Login Names registered on this email address.
Important: If you do not receive an email from us, you may not have provided the correct email address linked to your customer account.
Create new user
If you cannot remember your login details and/or you cannot access the email address linked to your customer account, you will need to create a new user account by clicking on Create Account link. You do not need to be a trustee to be an authorised filer and it is open to anyone the charity wishes to submit filings or information on their behalf including external persons or organisations.
An email will then be sent to the email address you have provided. This email contains a verification link.
When you have verified your new customer account, you should file an Authorised Filer form to access your charity’s account. This step-by-step guide will assist you in competing the authorised filer form
Once logged in to your new customer account, click on New Filing.
There will be a pop-out from the right hand side, click on Existing Charity at the top.
Then enter your Registered Charity Number in the Search Charity Name or Registered Charity Number box.
You can then file an Authorised Filer form on behalf of the charity.
You must upload a letter of authorisation on the charity’s headed paper, signed by at least one current charity trustee, registered with the Charities Regulator. Please note, we do not accept digital signatures e.g. typed signatures.
You can review the information on the Register of Charities, including registered charity trustees, by clicking here and searching for the charity.
Suggested wording for the letter of authorisation is available on page 3 of the English user guide.
After submission of an Annual Report
How do I update my Charity’s details?
For further information on changing your charity’s details including updating or removing trustees, changing your financial year end date, changing your charity’s purpose etc., please go to: Amending charity details
I made a mistake in the annual report, can I correct it?
Yes. However, you do not have access to the annual report once it has been submitted and registered on our system so you will be unable to edit the report or add any documents. You should contact the Charities Regulator through MyAccount to request the return of the report. You will be contacted directly when the annual report is available for you to access and edit.
We have published a number of resources to help charity’s submit their Annual Report: