When there is a change over of treasurer in the church or part of a committee board, do you know who you need to inform? Do you know how to officially notify the right people?

Churches are notoriously lax in updating their compliance details:

  • government agencies
  • registration organisations
  • utility and agency services

This is particularly obvious when there has been a change in the treasurer person.

Unfortunately, this non-compliance is often a mistake because no-one understands the requirements and no-one really knows what to do.

In this article we cover the government related requirements, compliance. We also recommend that you review all the other agencies and businesses that must be informed when there is a change of treasurer in your church or organisation.

Making these advices is required because:

  • the agencies must have the latest contact person/s registered, and
  • there are generally time limits on when they must be completed, and
  • there are often fines to be paid for non-compliance

Over many years Benkorp has needed to contact the treasurers of churches and other organisations based on treasurer contact details provided by their head office. We have been amazed that so many local churches and organisations have not advised their own wider denomination or grouping of changes in treasurer details. Consequently these organisations have missed out on important opportunities and information related the local financial affairs.

Please take this opportunity to review your own situation

STP and ATO Contact for your church or organisation

During the past year, Benkorp has helped hundreds of churches and organisations get ready for Single Touch Payroll (STP). This has, once again, highlighted the need to keep these departments up-to-date with the details of the people with official roles in the church and NFP organisations.

Single Touch Payroll is mandatory for all organisations paying employees from 1st October, 2019. To set up Single Touch Payroll, someone involved in the financial management of each organisation must contact the ATO. The person contacting the ATO must be an official contact person already recorded in the ATO records. While helping people with STP, we found that the official ATO contact people for churches had left the church or the position many years ago. Several had already died!


The ATO and other agencies need this information to send official communications  and information. If a Government department has been trying to communicate with the official contact in their records, they will not accept the excuse that “we didn’t know” for lack of action.

Government departments to contact when there is a change in Treasurer and other officials:

  1. ATO
  2. ACNC
  3. ASIC
  4. Other

1. The Australian Tax Office (ATO)

You must notify the ATO when there is a change in the person approved to be the ATO contact for your church or organisation. The ATO will not discuss anything with anyone who is not an ATO contact or the BAS/TAX Agent for your organisation.

To set up STP and the access to file your BAS directly from your accounting system, you will need to contact the ATO. In that process the ATO will firstly check that you are a registered ATO contact person for your organisation before proceeding.

See more information below about how Benkorp can help.

2. The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC)

You must notify the ACNC when there has been a change in “Responsible Persons”.

The ACNC says “You must tell us each and every time a Responsible Person (a committee or board member, or trustee) takes on or finishes a role they have as a Responsible Person. This includes any change in their role (for example, if the Treasurer has been elected at the annual general meeting as the new Chair of the board).

If you are adding a new Responsible Person you will be asked a series of questions, such as name, date of birth, residential address, position held, the date they became a Responsible Person and if you have searched the ASIC Register of Banned or Disqualified Persons for this Responsible Person. Some are mandatory and some are optional. ONLY the Responsible Person’s name and position will appear on the ACNC Register”

>>>Charities have a duty to notify the ACNC of changes to their details, including Responsible Persons and governing documents. Once you are aware of the change, you must notify the ACNC of changes as soon as you reasonably can but no later than:

  • 28 days (medium and large charities), or
  • 60 days (small charities).

Administrative penalties may apply for failing to notify the ACNC.

To see who is are the responsible people in your organisation:

  • go to www.acnc.gov.au,
  • click onto the Search for a charity button
  • enter your ABN (do not include spaces) and click search
  • review the address and emails on the first page
  • select the People Tab to see the currently registers Responsible People

To change the ACNC responsible people in your organisation the appropriate person will need to log into the Charity Portal to make the change.

3. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

It is quite common for some, more independent, churches and other organisations to have established a Company Limited by Guarantee as their official legal entity structure.

If your company or registered body is registered with the ACNC as charity, you have ongoing obligations to the ACNC. You do not have to report annually to ASIC or notify ASIC of most changes. Click here for more details

If your company is not registered with the ACNC as charity, ASIC must be notified of any changes to address or officeholders.

Click here for more details.

There are penalties if these changes are notified after the required times

4. Other organisations to notify of changes to treasurer

    1. icare – Worker’s Compensation
    2. Superannuation Funds
    3. Your church denominational head office and regional grouping
    4. Peak Body organisations
    5. Businesses that interact with your treasurer, such as banks, real estate agents, insurance companies, RMS where the church owns  vehicles, contractors  whether regular or a current project
Practical Tip

Use your Audit or Assurance Review process as a time to check that the official contact people of your organisation are correctly registered.

You maybe able to do this, but we recommend that you ask your auditor or reviewer to include this in the tasks that they perform each year.

People in official roles seem to change more than the auditor or assurance reviewer

How can Benkorp help?

Our team has been assisting clients meet and all of these compliance requirements discussed above.

The cries of exasperation are loud. We have heard that many churches and organisations struggle to wade through the plethora of official compliance requirements, forms, details required, deadlines and dates, and filing procedures.

Now Benkorp is offering this assistance as a service for any church or organisation who needs to deal with compliance and would like the same careful help.

When your church needs help:

  • to deal with “official things to be done because there is, or has been, a change in treasurer or other officers”:
  •  you are not sure where to start or what to do, please contact our team 
  •  maybe there was a change awhile ago and you are not sure how to “catchup” 

Don’t wait, contact us today!