Not For Profit: Transparency worth reporting

23/04/2008 - 22:00

Bookmark

Upgrade your subscription to use this feature.

The inaugural Australian PricewaterhouseCoopers Transparency Awards were held in Sydney last week, recognising the best-reporting not-for-profit organisations in the country.

Not For Profit: Transparency worth reporting

The inaugural Australian PricewaterhouseCoopers Transparency Awards were held in Sydney last week, recognising the best-reporting not-for-profit organisations in the country.

 

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which has a busy Western Australian branch that organises the annual Walk to Cure Diabetes charity event around the Swan River, took top honours and a $20,000 cheque.

 

PwC partner Rick Millen told WA Business News openness and transparency had eluded NFP organisations for too long.

 

“Talking to people in the sector, clearly there’s a frustration in the differences when people make comparisons about the quality of their reporting,” he said.

 

“The idea for the transparency awards is that by shining a spotlight on quality reporting, we can draw attention to it and motivate these organisations to make openness and transparency part of the process, then give a report back to them with feedback.

 

“The quality of reporting in the not-for-profit sector in Australia is highly variable. Some organisations produce good quality, transparent reporting, but the general standard needs improvement in order to meet the information needs and expectations of all stakeholders.”

 

Mr Millen said while only 35 submissions for the awards were received from the 700,000 NFP organisations in Australia, PwC had received strong backing from the sector.

 

He said most charitable organisations viewed the initiative as a support base for setting measurably accepted benchmarks and consistency in reporting, and that the perceived low number of award nominees was expected.

 

JDRF won the transparency accolade for its ability to set a five-year strategy and for setting quantifiable indicators to measure outcomes against that strategy.

 

The foundation’s CEO, Mike Wilson, who was in Perth last week meeting WA businesses, said receiving the award had strengthened JDRF’s resolve to remain open and accountable.

 

“The transparency awards recognise best-practice reporting,” he told WA Business News.

 

“I believe that the not-for-profit sector is yet to adopt these, so the awards have a lot to do with requests from charities and not-for-profit organisations wanting the sector to be more responsible.

 

“We pride ourselves on being able to interact on a business level and building on a good reputation not only throughout Australia, but in WA as well.

 

“It’s a pleasure to be open and transparent when you’ve got a good message to tell.”

 

Mr Wilson said JDRF, which had national annual revenue of $14 million, including about $1.5 million from WA, had unyielding support from its state branches.

 

He said many NFP organisations in WA still didn’t employ best-practice procedures of the kind the private sector was legally required to.

 

Institute of Chartered Accountants CEO Graham Meyer said the annual awards would also help progress the leadership work the institute was doing in improving reporting standards.

 

The jury found that JDRF: “Demonstrated clear, well-written and easily accessible reporting with the inclusion of a five-year strategic plan on their website, allowing readers to understand the future plans of the organisation.”

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options