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Archived: One Mission Society Australia Inc, charity review

Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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 ted@businessbythebook.com.au.

This is a charity review, a review for those with an interest in the Australian charity One Mission Society Australia Inc (OMS).

It is structured according to the charity’s entry on the ACNC Register, and its purpose is to supply some information extra to what is there, information that may be helpful in your decision about OMS.

It is up to you to decide whether any or all of the information presented here is what you need in order to make that decision, and whether you should seek any other information, either from the charity itself or from other sources.

Ministry response

Prior to publishing this review, I sent my observations to the charity, on 6 June 2016, and invited them to comment. They responded, but chose to submit neither corrections nor comments for publication.

Organisation of this review

  • The first part of this review is organised according to the headings in the Register entry. This is how to use this section of the review:
    1. For each heading in the register entry, first read the information under that heading.
    2. Then check if that heading is included below. (Headings for which there is no comment are not included. This also applies to the information in the Financial Report.)
  • There is then a more detailed comment on the Financial Report.
  • Lastly, there is a section Membership of accountability organisations


  • ACNC Register (including links)
  • Google search on the charity’s name.
  • OMS website.
  • Facebook, and Instagram. (The other button in the webpage footer, YouTube, is not for OMS, but the international organisation. Same for LinkedIn.)
  • State government fundraising licence registers.
  • The reviews of One Mission Society on Glassdoor are not on OMS, but the US organisation.


Entity Subtype

  • A subtype consistent with sharing the Gospel.
  • The constitution doesn’t specify which religion is to be advanced:
    • The purposes of the association are – To promote missionary interests and work in the State of Victoria, other states of Australia and foreign lands through any or all of the following activities…


Legal Name

  • OMS is a Victorian incorporated association (A0029551N).
  • It changed its name from OMS International Aust Inc three years ago.

Other Name(s)

  • No business names are held, yet OMS uses other names.
    • For instance on its page on GiveNow, there are no less than four: OneMission, OMS, One Mission Society,  and One Mission Society Australia.

Charity ABN

  • Tax deductibility: No, you cannot claim a tax deduction for a donation to OMS.
    • Although the ABN record for OMS Overseas Aid Fund still shows the fund as a charity, and one that allows a tax deduction for your donation, the registration of this fund was voluntarily revoked nearly three years ago.

Charity Address for Service

  • This address works.

Charity Street Address

  • Not the same as the one on the website: 44 Dublin Road, Ringwood East, Vic 3135.
  • Postal address, from the website: PO Box 897, RINGWOOD, VIC 3134.


  • This address works.
    • There is an alternative on the website: info@oasaus.org.


  • From the website: 03 9870 8559.



  • AIS 2014
    • This is OMS’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2014 (AIS 2014).
    • It gives basic financial information. If you think that this might be sufficient for you then there is just one small mistake: ‘Total revenue’ is $461K (the same as ‘Total Gross Income’).
  • Financial Report 2014
    • The Report was signed two months after the year end.
    • It was then lodged three and a half months after that.
    • The coverage of finances in this review is left until the financial report proper (see Latest financial report – detail, below).


  • Statement of Faith
    • Only available as part of an application process.
    • But can be seen between clause 8 and 9 in the constitution.

Date Established

  • No history found, either on the website or on the internet.

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision
    • Be a part of One Mission Society’s vision to reach one billion people in ten years, one person at a time. 
  • Mission
    • None found.
  • Activities (What did OMS do?)
    • In the AIS 2014:
      • Undertook activities to recruit Australia (sic) people into domestic and overseas missionary roles. These roles include evangelistic, educational and community development and help roles. Managed human and financial resources to be used in these various charitable purposes.
        • The lack of specifics means that we can’t tell whether this is particularly about 2014.
    • Current activities are described under ‘Projects’ and ‘Ministries’ in the main menu.
  • Outcomes (What did OMS deliver?)
    • OMS did not respond to the request in the AIS for its outcomes.
    • Nothing systematic found.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)
    • Nothing systematic found.

Size of Charity

  • OMS is well over the threshold for this size, but well short of the next one (the largest).

Financial Year End

  • This means that the next financial report is due by 30 September 2016. Before that the financial information on the Register will be up to 18 months out-of-date.
    • You may therefore need to ask for more up-to-date information.


Operating State(s)[1]

  • OMS has a fundraising licence in only two of these three states, missing one for its home state.
    • However, the Qld one is in its old name.
  • OMS has ‘Donate’ in its main menu.
  • It also seeks donations– under its old name – on GiveNow.
    • It has a fundraising licence in only one of the other four states have a licencing regime. Apart from exemptions, whether it needs a licence depends on whether those states think that OMS, by calling for donations publicly, is ‘fundraising’ in their territory.
  • Given that it operates interstate, there is a strong argument that OMS, as a registrable Australian body, needs an ARBN. It doesn’t have one.

Operates in (Countries)

  • There are another nine countries mentioned under ‘Our Team’ in the main menu. What are they not included here?


  • An Annual Report/Review can be lodged on the ACNC Register, but OMS hasn’t done this.
  • Nor is there one on the website.


No. of Australian ‘responsible person’ positions[2]

Alan Baker                   This function was not working at the time of publication

Bernard Blumel

Ian Bongers

Janice Kelly

Nigel Lau

Mark Lo

Mark Lo

Sharon Rodrick

Lynden Trickey

  • ”Mark Lo’ is duplicated.
  • The directors are not shown on the website.
  • Under ‘Position’
    • The constitution requires a Vice-President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer in addition to a chairperson (which should be ‘President’).
    • What is the difference between ‘Director’ and ‘Board member’?

(End of review of the ACNC Register information)

Latest financial report – detail[3]

  • The directors’ belief that ‘a special purpose financial report’ is acceptable, a choice that allows them to make less than a full disclosure about OMS’s finances and operations, is implicitly a statement that any user is able to command the preparation of a financial report tailored to their needs. That’s all the people who they speak to around Australia and all the donors and potential donors who read the website material. Do the directors realise they are saying this?

The Committee members’ report (the first page of the Financial Report)

  • Three of the usual sections are missing.
  • What is included under ‘Performance measures’ is not what is meant by this term.

Contents  (the second page of the Financial Report)

  • The Report is not paginated, so this page is of little use.

What was earned, what was consumed during the year – the Statement of profit or loss and other comprehensive income (the third page of the Financial Report)


  • Administration income $30K
    • There is no explanation for this atypical item. (It is new this year.)
    • Nor is there a recognition policy for this item.
  • Designated donations – mission $289K
  • Designated donations – project $130K
    • What is the difference between these two?
    • Is ‘mission’ meant to be ‘missionaries’, thereby matching the donation options on the website?


  • This list mixes the two permissible classifications of expenses.
  • Two disclosures that donors often expect to see are administration expenses and fundraising expenses. Neither are disclosed here.
  • Employee benefits expense $237K
    • If part-timers averaged 50% of full-time hours, this total represents average benefits of $47K p.a.
    • This is 51% of expenses.
      • The next largest expense, Ministry expense, is only 12% of total expenses.
  • Ministry expense $59K
    • The whole charity is a ministry, so what is this item?
  • Gifts and donations $16K
    • This giving is 3% of revenue.

What’s left at the end of the year – the Statement of financial position (the fourth page of the Financial Report)

  • Cash and cash equivalents $167K, including Note 5
  • Hold-to-maturity investments $109K, including Note 7
    • These two, combined, represent over seven months of revenue.
    • Why is it necessary to have investments with a maturity longer than three months?
  • Property, plant and equipment $1K, including Note 8
    • Why are there two ‘Accumulated depreciation’ lines?

Movements in the net wealth of the charity – the Statement of Changes in Equity (the fifth page of the Financial Report)

  • Transfers to/from reserves’ are not Transactions with members in their capacity as members.

Where the cash came from and where it went – the Statement of cash flows (sic) (the sixth page of the Financial Report

  • OMS receipts do not come from ‘customers’.
  • With the accrual basis being used, why is ‘Interest received’, the cash figure, the same as interest revenue, the accrual figure?

Essential information to go with the figures – the Notes to the financial statements (the seventh page of the Financial Report)

  • Note 2. Significant accounting policies
    • Basis of preparation
      • Is it really the case that all those currently involved with OMS, plus all those who might become involved as a result of OMS’s promotions and website, can get a financial report tailored to their particular needs? (This is the implication of not producing general purpose financial statements.)
    • Historical cost convention: OMS doesn’t have any of these assets.
    • Revenue recognition
      • OMS doesn’t sell any goods.
      • The revenue is from ‘administration’ services, not ‘computer maintenance fees’.
    • Property, plant and equipment
      • With only one type of plant and equipment, and with the estimation of useful lives being a ‘critical’ estimate, (Note 3), one would have thought that OMS could be more precise than ‘5-8’ years.
      • OMS has neither of the assets mentioned in the second last paragraph.
  • Note normally included, even if the amounts are zero, but missing here:
    • Remuneration of auditors
    • Contingent liabilities
    • Commitments

An independent opinion on the financial statements – the Independent Auditor’s Report… (the second last page of the Financial Report)

  • This report is a ‘clean’ opinion (read here and here to draw the right conclusions from this).
  • One change to the template was missed – ‘Note 1’, in two places, should be ‘Note 2’.

Membership of accountability organisations claimed

(End of review)



  1. This is how the ACNC explains ‘operating locations’ in their application guide: ‘You need to give details about where in Australia your organisation conducts (or plans to conduct) its activities.’
  2. Because of the possibility of two (or more) directors having the same name on the register of responsible persons, it is not possible to be definitive about the number of directorships held.
  3. I use the Pinnacle Financial Statements, respected in the profession as providing a very sound basis for producing compliant financial reports. To this I add an assessment of materiality (both quantitative and qualitative), where the users being considered are donors.