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WorldShare, 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Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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 WorldShare.

It is structured according to the charity’s entry – as Worldshare – 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 Worldshare.

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 June 2016, and invited them to comment. This was their response:

Thank you for your email. WorldShare and its auditors will take your comments into account as we prepare our end of financial year reports and other publications. Thank you for your interest in our organisation.

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

Sources

  • ACNC Register (including links)
  • Google search on the charity’s name.
  • WorldShare website.
  • Facebook. LinkedIn. No other social media presence found.
  • State government fundraising licence registers.
  • No reviews yet on Glassdoor.

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Entity Subtype

  • The primary subtype is an ‘other’ category that doesn’t suggest that the Gospel is paramount– why not ‘Advancing religion’?
    • This would be consistent with the company’s objects in the constitution:
      • The Company is a religious institution whose values require the promotion of the Lord Jesus Christ to peoples throughout the world and their evangelisation on the basis of the principles of the Christian faith.

CHARITY DETAILS

Legal Name

  • WorldShare is a company limited by guarantee. It is permitted to omit ‘Limited/Ltd’ at the end of its name.

Other Name(s)

  • This not correct. WorldShare was formerly known as Christian Nationals’ Evangelism Council. CNEC Partners International is a current business name owned by WorldShare.

Charity ABN

  • Tax deductibility: No, you cannot claim a tax deduction for a donation to WorldShare.
    • However, you can to its fund, Christian Nationals Developing Countries Fund.

Charity Street Address

  • This is described on the website as the ‘Sydney office’, there also being a ‘Melbourne office’.
  • An alternative address is given on one of the fundraising registers: Suite 7, 5 Court Street, Box Hill 3128.
  • The postal address for donations, from the website: PO Box 711 Five Dock NSW 2046 Australia

Email

Phone

  • In addition, from one of the fundraising registers: 0430 606 178.

ANNUAL REPORTING

  • AIS 2015
    • This is WorldShare’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2015 (AIS 2015).
    • It gives basic financial information. If you think that this might be sufficient for you
      • there is insufficient information in the Financial Report to verify ‘Employee expenses’.
        • Assuming that the six part-time employees work 50% of the time the six full-timers work, this total represents $86K per employee.
  • Financial Report 2015
    • The Report was signed two and a half months after the year end.
    • It was then lodged three months after that, eight days before the normal final date for lodgement.
    • The coverage of finances in this review is left until the financial report proper (see Latest financial report – detail, below). (Go straight there.)

ABOUT THE CHARITY

  • Statement of Faith
    • Half way down this page.
    • Also as clause 3 of the constitution.
    • WorldShare has also made its values explicit.

Date Established

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision
  • Mission
  • Activities (What did WorldShare do?)
    • In the AIS 2015:
      • WorldShare is connecting our supporters to overseas partners in resourcing, enabling and encouraging them to realise their visions in challenging places by bringing ongoing physical, social and spiritual transformation to their people.
        • This is identical to what’s in last year’s AIS 2014, so not a very helpful answer to what happened in 2015.
        • See the Annual Report instead.
  • Outcomes (What did WorldShare deliver?)
    • WorldShare did not respond to the request in the AIS for its outcomes.
    • Some anecdotal information is in the Ministry Reports.
    • And a comprehensive, if brief, coverage in the Annual Report.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)

Size of Charity

  • WorldShare is $1.92 m over the threshold for this size. There is no larger size.

Financial Year End

  • This means that the next financial report is due by 31 December 2016 – or 31 January if the ACNC give their usual extension (to all charities). 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.

WHERE THE CHARITY OPERATES

Operating State(s)[1]

  • WorldShare has a fundraising licence in every state with a licensing regime.

Operates in (Countries)

  • This listing contains 13 more countries than are listed on the website (Indonesia is listed twice there.)

CHARITY’S DOCUMENT (SIC)

  • An Annual Report/Review can be lodged on the ACNC Register, but WorldShare hasn’t done this.
  • There is one on the website though.

RESPONSIBLE PERSONS

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

Helen Allchurch                1

Joseph Bowes                     2

Stuart Harris                      2

Joanna Mansfield              1

Gerald Thomas                  1

  • This matches the list on the website.
    • Stuart Harris has had a new job since February 2016.
  • However, both lists are missing W Bird and I Hounslow compared to the list, as at 16 September 2015, in the Directors’ Report.
  • Under ‘Position’, are there not office-bearers other than the Chairperson?

(End of review of the ACNC Register information)

Latest financial report – detail[3]

  • Nowhere is WorldShare’s fund, Christian Nationals Developing Countries Fund, mentioned.
  • WorldShare’s claims, under Why WorldShare and elsewhere, about the level of their costs cannot be substantiated.
    • For instance, in the Annual Report, the CEO claims that ‘critical operating costs have been reduced from 9% to 8%’, yet their own figures in Note 13 to the financial statements shows that the change has been in the opposite direction – an increase from 8% to 9%.

The Directors’ Report – page 1 of the Financial Report

  • This is not required by the ACNC. (Nor is the Auditors (sic) Independence Declaration on page 3 of the Financial Report.)
  • ‘Directors’: two more than in the company’s other documents.
  • Principal Activity’: Not about 2015 particularly.
  • ‘Operating Results’, ‘Review of Operations’, and ‘Indemnification of…’: not required.
  • ‘Information of Directors’: not all have an answer to ‘title, qualifications, experience and expertise’.
  • The company secretary is not identified.
  • ‘Performance measures’ missing.

What’s left at the end of the year – the Balance Sheet (page 4 of the Financial Report)

  • Cash $509K, including Note 11
    • This should be ‘Cash and cash equivalents’.
    • Note 11 is not a Note on this asset.
  • Investments $1.06K
    • Note 11 is not a Note on this asset.
    • The usual distinction between different kinds of investments is absent.
  • Receivables $101K, including Note 5
    • The note is for ‘Other Current Assets’, not ‘receivables’.
    • What are ‘accruals’ as an asset?
    • Debtors and Prepayments are normally separate assets.
  • Property, Plant and Equipment $130K, including Note 6
    • What is the distinction between ‘Equipment’ and ‘Electronic Equipment’?
    • The usual reconciliations of written down value are missing.
  • Payables $694K, including Note 7
    • What are ‘Distributable Funds?
  • Provisions $108K, including Note 8
    • What is the distinction between ‘Employee benefit accounts’ and ‘Employee Entitlement Provisions’?
    • The accounts say that there are no liabilities, including employee benefits, due beyond 12 months.
  • Accumulated Funds and Reserves $1.00 m
    • There is no breakup for this figure.

Movements in the net wealth of the charity – the Statement of Changes in Equity (page 5 of the Financial Report)

  • ‘Net Surplus/(Deficit)’ should be merely transferred from the income statement, not calculated in this statement.
  • ‘Other comprehensive income’ and ‘Total comprehensive income’ are missing.

What was earned, what was consumed during the year – the Income Statement (page 6 of the Financial Report)

  • The format of this statement has long been superseded. ‘Other comprehensive income’ should be shown.
  • The bottom line should have a direction to Note 3.
  • Revenue $2.92 m, including Note 2
    • The ‘Fundraising Information’ in Note 15 shows ‘Donations to Local Support Work’, yet all donations in the Income Statement are shown as for overseas.
    • Donations and gifts – overseas aid and development $2.34 m
      • Are these the donations to WorldShare’s fund, Christian Nationals Developing Countries Fund?
    • Except for splitting ‘Investment Income’, Note 2 adds nothing to the information in the income statement. (In fact, for the bulk of the revenue, it aggregates information in that statement.)
    • What is ‘Equity related income’?

Expenses

  • Employee benefits expense is not disclosed. (But see Annual Reporting, above.)
  • Overseas projects – Funds to overseas $1.79 m
    • WorldShare’s claim that ‘92% of your donations will go directly to benefit each overseas partnership’, but this figure is only 63% of donations received for overseas. Why the huge difference?
    • According to the (unaudited) Detailed Income Statement, this figure is overstated by the $8K for ‘Short Term Team costs’.
    • In their statement to the SA fundraising authority, WorldShare claim that $1.84 m was distributed.
  • Overseas projects – Other project costs $285K
    • This represents 10% of donations. (All donations in the Income Statement are for overseas.)
  • Fundraising costs – Public $593K
    • This represents 21% of donations.
  • Administration $252K
    • WorldShare claim that ‘critical operating costs’ are 8%’. Even defining these costs only as ‘Administration’, the figure is 9%.
    • WorldShare themselves calculate it as 9% in the Notes 15.

Essential information to go with the figures – the Notes to the Financial Statements (page 8 of the Financial Report)

  • The usual general information is missing:
    • The type of company (individual versus group, not-for-profit versus profit, public versus private).
    • An identification of the functional and presentation currency.
    • The date the statements were authorised for issue, and whether the directors have the power to amend them.
  • 1 Statements of Accounting Policies
    • It is not true that a charitable organisation cannot ‘derive profits or losses’.
    • Depreciation and Amortisation of Plant and Equipment
      • Plant and equipment is not amortised, intangibles are.
      • The useful lives are not disclosed.
      • Nor is the policy on the review of depreciation factors.
    • Employee Entitlements
      • There is no distinction between short-term and long-term benefits.
      • The policy on superannuation contributions is missing.
    • Cash Flows
      • This should be ‘Cash and cash equivalents’.
      • It should cover the balance sheet as well.
    • Revenue Recognition
      • There is no policy for ‘Equity related income’.
    • Policy Notes normally included but not in these accounts:
      • New, revised or amending Accounting Standards and Interpretations adopted
      • Current and non-current classification
      • Trade and other payables
      • Trade and other receivables
      • Property, plant and equipment
      • GST and similar taxes
      • New Accounting Standards and Interpretations not yet mandatory or early adopted
  • 13 Related Party Information
    • There is no statement about ‘Transactions with related parties’, ‘Receivable from and payable to related parties’, and ‘Loans to/from related parties’.
  • Notes included, but not required
    • Taxation (already covered in Note 1)
    • Members’ Guarantees (already covered in the Directors’ Report)
    • Segment Reporting
  • Notes normally included, but not in these accounts:
    • Critical accounting judgements, estimates and assumptions
    • Commitments (even if there aren’t any)
    • Events after the reporting period

Another income statement – the Detailed Income Statement (page 12 of the Financial Report

  • This is not audited.
  • Why is it included?

An independent opinion on the financial statements – the Independent Audit Report (the second last page of the Financial Report)

  • This report is a ‘clean’ opinion. So that you don’t take more comfort from this than is reasonable, read here and here.
  • The auditor has allowed, without warning the reader, the inclusion of a statement that is not included in the scope of his audit.

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.
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