Care: At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current. Use the ‘Search charity names’ box to see if there is a later review. If the latest review has a message like this, you are welcome to make your case for an updated review via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a charity review of Crossview Australia Limited (Crossview), an organisation that seeks donations online, and is exempt from Australian income tax via its membership of Missions Interlink. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)
For the previous review, see here.
Is it responsive to feedback?
- There is no invitation to give feedback, or to complain, on the website.
- Accountability is not mentioned on the website.
- I sent them a draft of this review. Like last year, they did not respond.
Is Crossview registered?
- As a charity, yes.
- And as a public company (a company limited by guarantee).
- Crossview has the necessary provisions in its constitution to allow it to omit ‘Limited/Ltd’ at the end of its name.
- Because they have the name registered as a business name, they can shorten their name even more, to Crossview.
- Crossview operates, per the ACNC Register, in New South Wales (NSW) and Western Australia. And it seeks donations online.
- It is licensed to fundraise only in NSW. It doesn’t explain why it holds no other fundraising licences.
What do they do?
- ‘Training’, ‘Sending + Support’, ‘Resourcing’, and ‘Advocacy’. For details, see ‘What We Do’.
- The same thing is said, using different headings, elsewhere on the website as ministries.
- Although it was meant to be about what they did in 2017, I think the Annual Information Statement (AIS) has yet another version of what they do:
- We run a ministry training program called CONNECT and host regular events to equip Christians for cross-cultural ministry. We advocate for the needs of minority people groups through developing media and resources and by sharing at local churches and events. We stay aware of the latest issues and news related to crosscultural (sic) ministry by keeping connected with our ministry partners who work around the world. We also seek to encourage the ongoing work of our ministry partners through consultancy and financial support.
- They collect money ($1.36 m this year) for missionaries, but their accounts imply that these missionaries don’t belong to Crossview. So, based on that, no, they don’t share the gospel.
What impact are they having?
- No information found.
What do they spend outside the costs directly incurred in delivering the above impact, that is, on administration?
- The expenses are not classified to allow this calculation.
Do they pay their directors?
- This is not allowed by their constitution.
- There is no line item ‘directors’ fees’ (or similar) in the expenses.
Can you get a tax deduction?
Is their online giving secure?
- Security is not mentioned.
Where were your (net) donations sent?
- As you can see from the ‘What do they do?’ section above, donating money is not normally a big part of Crossview’s work. However, this year, in addition to the $38K (3% of expenses) with an unspecified destination, they donated $650K to ‘a related party’, AccessTruth Limited.
- This was 86% of Crossview’s revenue.
- They give no explanation for this gift.
- How is it consistent with Crossview’s objects?
- AccessTruth Limited is, as Note 2 d. says, controlled by Crossview. (Why Crossview has not therefore consolidated this subsidiary is nowhere explained.)
What choices do you have in how your online donation is used?
- ‘Give to an individual or family’
- The next page requires you to know the name of the person or, despite the previous page, the ‘specific project’.
- ‘Give to a specific project or cause’
- ‘General Fund’
- ‘Connect Training Fund’
- ‘Support the work of Crossview’
- ‘General Fund’
Is their reporting up-to-date?
- Yes (seven months after year end, a day after the deadline, and about the same time as last year).
Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?
- AIS 2017: No
- Most of the figures under in the ‘Comprehensive Income Statement summary’ do not agree with those in the Statement of Profit or Loss and Other Comprehensive Income.
- With the ‘Description of charity’s activities and outcomes’
- It does not appear that the information is particularly about 2017.
- No outcomes are reported.
- Financial Report 2017: No. Like last year
- Crossview controls Access Truth Ltd [Note 2 d.] but does not explain why it has not consolidated this organisation.
- No depreciation is provided on the buildings in the $11.95 m property portfolio. Assets and surplus are therefore overstated.
- There is no explanation of why a gain of $677K was made on ‘investments’, nor how this fits with ‘Financial assets’ and ‘Property, plant and equipment’.
- There is no explanation why the $1.36 m ($1.35 m last year) received by Crossview for missionaries was not included in revenue. And the payments to missionaries excluded from expenses.
- The directors say that Crossview doesn’t have to produce general purpose financial statements (the type that complies with all the Accounting Standards), because ‘there are no users who are dependent on’ such statements. Effectively they are saying that any user, current or prospective, can request Crossview to tailor a set of financial statements to suit them. Given that this is a charity that seeks donations from the public, operates in two states, has a big real estate holding, and received $2.07 m in cash from supporters, members, and lessees.
- There is no explanation for the large holdings of cash and real estate.
- And this year, there is no explanation for giving 86% of revenue to AccessTruth Ltd, especially when this contributed to a loss of $485K.
What financial situation was shown in that Report?
- The directors’ and auditor’s comfort with a Financial Report that is highly questionable as a true and fair view, means that you should be careful drawing any conclusions about Crossview’s financial situation based on that Report.
What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?
- The auditor, Jason Sharp, of Macquarie Business Accountants, gave a ‘clean’ conclusion on the Financial Report. Given the issues identified above, this opinion is questionable.
- See his fourth paragraph for what he did to reach his conclusion.
- A review, rather than an audit is permitted by the ACNC because Crossview’s revenue is less than $1 m. (If the money for missionaries was revenue, an audit would be required.)
- Even if it were the more rigorous audit rather than a review, you still must be careful to take the right amount of comfort from a ‘clean opinion’. See here and here.
If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete?
- Almost – ‘Who the Charity Benefits’ is blank.
- Are the four countries that are listed the destination of the $38K sent overseas? Or is one or more of these countries the home of Crossview missionaries?
Who are the people controlling the organisation?
- The directors are no longer shown on the website.
- Here they are from the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’).
- Three of these directors are also three of the four directors of AccessTruth Limited. Although Crossview admits to controlling this charity, it does not incorporate its finances into its Financial Report.
- Crossview has only 13 members. Since directors must be members, there is only limited accountability from the membership.
To whom is Crossview accountable?
- As a charity, to the ACNC.
- And, as a company, still accountable to ASIC for some things.
- Not mentioned on the website, but they are a member of Missions Interlink.
- For one opinion of the strength of that accountability, see the section Activities in this review.
- “Good living and social concern are important [to the cause of evangelism], but they are not uniquely Christian graces…I’ve met a lot of fine Hindus, Muslims and atheists. Just living the life is not going to bring someone to Christ. There is much more to it than that. We must help people, certainly, but we must also share with them why we are motivated to do so. We must stand against injustice, poverty and need, but we must at the same time point to the One who brings justice and who can meet the deepest need. Until they know our reasons, how can they come to know our Lord?” [Dan Armstrong, the Fifth Gospel: The Gospel According to You, Anzea Books, pp. 13-14. ↑