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Archived: World Team Australia Incorporated, 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Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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 World Team Australia Incorporated (WT).

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

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 9 April 2016, and invited them to comment. They did not respond.

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 claimed.


  • ACNC Register (including links)
  • Google search on the charity’s name.
  • WT website.
  • Facebook. (But last post was 12 August 2015)
  • Not on LinkedIn.
  • State government fundraising licence registers.
  • No reviews on Glassdoor yet.


Entity Subtype

  • A subtype consistent with sharing the Gospel.
    • Is the message under the type an ACNC mistake?
  • And the prime purpose in the constitution is all about sharing the Gospel:
    • To become a global missionary fellowship that partners with others to establish vital communities of believers within reach of every person…


Legal Name

  • WT is a Victorian incorporated association (No. A0030511U).

Other Name(s)

  • This is a trading name, and therefore not sufficient to allow WT to do business under this name.
  • On the website, and probably elsewhere, WT uses the names World Team and World Team Australia. This would seem to contravene section 23 of its enabling legislation (the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012), a section that requires the full name to be used ‘in all its notices, advertisements and other official publications’. (The WT constitution cites this section under ‘Name’, but omits this part of the requirement.)

Charity ABN

  • No tax deduction is claimable for a donation to WT.

Charity Address for Service

  • I have no reason to suspect that this does not work.

Charity Street Address

  • Postal address, from the website: P O Box 516 Box Hill Victoria 3128


  • I have no reason to suspect that this does not work.


  • From the website: 03 9899 6303



  • AIS 2015
    • This is WT’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2015 (AIS 2015).
    • It gives basic financial information. If you think that this might be sufficient for you
    • The type of financial statements are not ‘general purpose’, as it says in the AIS, but the ones that require a lower standard of disclosure, special purpose statements.
      • ‘Donations and bequests’ includes, from the financial statements, ‘Home office levy’, and ‘Mobilisation income’ (whatever they are), ‘Projects’, and ‘Other income’
      • ‘Grants and donations made…’ are ‘Field expenses’ in the statements.
  • Financial Report 2015
    • The report was signed five months after the year end.
    • It was then lodged one month after that, on the last day allowed.
    • The coverage of finances in this review is left until the financial report proper (see Latest financial report – detail, below). (Go straight there.)


Date Established

  • On the website, including a book you can buy. (See the two submenu items for more detail.)

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision
    • Innovative teams multiplying disciples and communities of believers, bringing the Gospel within reach of lost people everywhere we go.
  • Mission
    • World Team exists to glorify God by working together to establish reproducing churches focusing on the unreached peoples of the world.
  • Activities (What did WT do?)
    • From the Description of charity’s activities and outcomes in the AIS 2015:
      • World Team exists to spread the gospel (sic) of Jesus Christ by releasing and supporting missionaries to work in areas of the world, yet (sic) to be reached by the Gospel. World Team missionaries: plant churches, teach English, provide medical and health services, teach high school, teach computers (sic), lecture in a bible college
        • This is not about WT, but WT combined with the other countries that have a World Team organisation.
        • Nothing particularly about 2015.
  • Outcomes (What did WT deliver?)
    • WT did not respond to the request in the AIS 2015 for a description of its outcomes.
    • The last post in the Blog was on 23 March 2015.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)
    • Nothing found.

Size of Charity

  • WT easily exceed the $250K qualification.

Financial Year End

  • This means that the next financial report is due by 31 March 2017. 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)[ii]

  • If WT has followed the ACNC’s definition of ‘operating’, then, as a registrable Australian body, it needs an ARBN. It doesn’t have one.
  • It does not have a licence to fundraise in either of these states. Is it fundraising there?
  • WT calls for donations on its home page.
    • It doesn’t have a licence in the other five states that have a licensing regime.
      • Apart from exemptions, whether it needs one depends on whether those states think that WT, by calling for donations publicly, is ‘fundraising’ in their territory.

Operates in (Countries)

  • WT also had ‘field expenses’ in Irian Jaya.


  • There is no Annual Report/Review available on the ACNC Register.
  • Nor on the website.


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

Timothy Cranna           This function was not working at the time of publication

  • This list is incomplete.  According to the Committee members’ report, these names should also be here:
  • But even, according to the constitution, the list would be three short.
  • Under ‘Position’, there should be Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and an Executive Director.
  • On the website, rather than show the Australian board, the website shows the International Director and the three country directors.
  • Timothy Cranna is the Executive Director. Presumably, then, Brian Billing’s statement that he is the CEO is out-of-date. 

(End of review of the ACNC Register information)

Latest financial report – detail

  • The directors’ belief that WT is not a ‘reporting entity’, a choice that allows them to make less than a full disclosure about WT’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. Do the directors realise they are saying this?

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

  • It is unsigned.
  • Missing sections:
    • Objectives (short-term and long-term)
    • Strategy for achieving the objectives
  • ‘Performance measures’: the wrong information is included.

What was earned, what was consumed during the year – the Statement of profit or loss and other comprehensive income (page 3 of the Financial Report)

  • Revenue $362K, including Note 4:
    • All the items except for the top two are, according to the AIS 2015, ‘Donations and bequests’.
    • They make up 97% of income.  (Last year: 96%.)
    • Non-standard items, ‘Mobilisation income’ and ‘Home office levy’ are not explained.
    • ‘Profits/loss on sale of motor vehicles’ is a gain, not revenue.
  • Employment expenses $103K
    • This represents 35% of expenses, 28% of revenue.  (Last year:  36%/54%.)
    • They are for one (full-time) employee (AIS 2015)
  • ‘Field expenses’ $106K
    • According to the AIS 2015, all bar $500 of this was for overseas grants.
      • We are not told to how or to whom this money was sent.  (No law requires this.)
    • This represents 37% of expenses, 29% of revenue. (Last year:  48%/71%.)
  • Expense classification is partly functional, mostly by nature.
  • Missing expenses, expected for a charity:
    • Fundraising
    • Administration
  • Note 14: Neither depreciation or amortisation is applicable to inventory (stock).
  • ‘Provisions’ are not an expense.
  • Non-standard items, ‘Field expenses’, ‘Mobilisation expense’, and ‘World Team International’ are not explained.
  • Why such a high percentage on ‘Professional fees and subscriptions’?

What’s left at the end of the year – the Statement of financial position (page 4 of the Financial Report)

  • Note 7: which of the three kinds of investments are these?
  • Note 6: from who and why are reimbursements receivable?
  • Note 8: what is the term of the deposit?
  • Note 9: reconciliations to written down value are missing.  (This is an industry standard.)
  • Note 11: Do these qualify as provisions? They sound more like reserves. (There is no policy Note on provisions.)
  • No non-current employee benefits (or other provisions)?

Where the cash came from and where it went – the Statement of Cash Flows (page 6 of the Financial Report)

  • No interest received?
  • When the accrual basis is used, why is the revenue the same as the receipts?
  • A reconciliation to the surplus is missing.

Essential information to go with the figures – the Notes to and forming part of the Financial Statements (page 7 of the Financial Report)

  • Note 2   Significant accounting policies
    • ‘Revenue recognition’: This policy covers only one of the many items of revenue and only 35% of the total.
    • ‘Property, plant and equipment’: the policy on the review of the depreciation factors is missing.
  • Missing Notes:
    • Impairment of non-financial assets
    • Employee benefits
    • Fair value measurement
    • Contingent liabilities
    • Commitments
      • It is standard industry practice to have a note on these last two, even if it is only to say that there weren’t any.

Where the committee members put their name to the Report – the Committee members’ declaration (page 13 of the Financial Report)

  • This is unsigned.

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

  • Note that this is not an audit, but a review.
  • It is a ‘clean’ opinion – or, more correctly, ‘conclusion’

Membership of accountability organisations claimed


(End of review)



[i] Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Australia’s national regulator of charities.

[ii] This is how the ACNC explains ‘operating locations’ WT their application guide: ‘You need to give details about where WT Australia your organisation conducts (or plans to conduct) its activities.’

[iii] 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.