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Tabor College of Higher Education: mini-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Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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.

Mini charity review of Tabor College of Higher Education (TC) as an organisation that invites you, on its website, to donate to it. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • They have not responded to the draft I sent on 17 February.

Is TC registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
    • But in a different name: Tabor College Inc.
      • TC does not have the name Tabor College of Higher Education registered as a business name.
  • It appears that TC controls another charity, The Trustee For Tabor College Inc Trust.
    • But TC hasn’t take advantage of the ACNC’s group reporting concessions, meaning that this subsidiary (and any others) must report separately.
  • Other registrations:
    • As a South Australian incorporated association (A6378).
      • Not to be confused with the Western Australian association of the same name.
    • An ARBN, allowing it to operate interstate.
    • TC operates, per the ACNC Register, in South Australia and Western Australia. It doesn’t have a fundraising licence in these two states, or in the other five that have a licensing regime[1].

What does TC do?

  • See the mission here, and the three commitments that the President thinks are reasons for a student to enrol with them.
  • Beside the campus in Adelaide, they have had one in Perth since 2015.

Do they share the Gospel?

  • No – at least not to show who haven’t heard it.

What impact are they having?

  • No information found.
    • No educational outcomes given in the Annual Information Statement 2015 (AIS 2015).

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; for instance, ‘Salaries & Wages are not classified by the function of the employee.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Yes
    • Also to a fund that TC runs, The House of Tabor Building Fund Inc.
      • This is not, as the name suggests, an incorporated association.
      • There is no mention of this fund on the website.

Is their online giving secure?

  • Secured by Commonwealth Bank’, so yes.

What choices do you have in how your donation is used?

  • None shown online.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (six months after year end, a day late).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2015: No
    • Business names are missing.
    • No outcomes are reported.
    • ‘Other Income’ does not match the figure in the financial statements.
  • Financial Report 2015: No
    • Neither the directors nor the auditor comment on what the poor results and financial position mean for the going concern assumption.
    • Why isn’t their subsidiary included in the results?
    • It is implausible for an organisation that has revenue of $6.43 m, including money from the taxpayer of $1.32 m, campuses in two states, 143 employees (AIS 2015), and hundreds of students, to say that it is reasonable to produce the type of financial statements that don’t have to comply with all the Accounting Standards.
      • Not only that, but then only one of these Standards has been followed, rather than the usual subset of those required for the type of statements they have produced.
    • Balance Sheet
      • There’s an unexplained treatment of borrowing costs.
      • The valuation basis of the land and buildings is not given.
      • ‘Registration and Accreditation’ is included as an asset without explanation.
    • Income Statement
      • A ‘Transfer From Reserves’ is shown as income.
      • There is no ‘Other Comprehensive Income’ section.
      • There’s an unexplained treatment of prior year adjustments.
    • Notes to the Financial Statements
      • Note 1 is missing most of the required Notes.
      • There is no related parties’ disclosure.
    • Statement of Changes in Equity
      • The deficit does not match the amount shown in the Income Statement.
    • The Statement of Cash Flows should be included as a statement, not as a Note.
    • The directors do not say why the think that PBC is not a reporting entity.
    • The audit report is deficient (see below).
    • Neither the directors nor the auditor mention the ACNC Act.
    • The name of the entity is wrong in the directors’ declaration.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • Keeping in mind what is said in the previous section
    • A surplus of less than 1% of revenue was turned into a deficit of 3% of revenue.
    • ‘Salaries & Wages’ (actually ‘employee benefits expense’ I think) were 83% of expenses.
    • For at least the last two years, working capital (current assets less current liabilities) has been negative.
    • Non-current borrowings increased from $1.66 m to $1.91 m.
    • Is the going concern assumption valid?

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • He gave a ‘clean’ opinion[2].
    • However, he
      • makes no comment on the going concern assumption,
      • agreed with the directors’ decision to produce the lower disclosure special purpose financial statements,
      • excludes the directors’ declaration from the scope of his audit,
      • gives contradictory information on whether he assessed TC’s accounting policies, and
      • has not included an Emphasis of Matter paragraph.

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete?

  • Almost – the business names are missing.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

To whom is TC accountable?

  • To Missions Interlink, because it’s an Associate member.
  • TC is also accountable to the ACNC, and to the South Australian associations regulator.

 

  1. The law in this area is not straightforward – is an internet invitation ‘fundraising’ for instance? – and advice varies, so check with the charity before drawing any conclusions.
  2. To take the right amount of comfort from a ‘clean opinion’, please read here and here.
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