Category Archives: Annual Accounts Format

Comments, questions and answers about the format, preparation and filing of annual accounts.

Webinar on Annual Reporting – An overview for Tier 3 & 4 Charities


One of the obligations of being a registered charity is reporting to Charities Services every year so you remain registered.  Charities Services are running a seminar and its free.
If you’re a new charity, a new committee member or even an experienced one, join Charities Services for an overview of Annual Reporting to Charities Services for Tier 3 and Tier 4 charities, next Tuesday 27 June at 12pm (approx. 45 minutes).

If you’re confident with the annual reporting process, or if you’re a Tier 1 or 2 charity, this webinar may not be for you as we’ll be covering the basics. But feel free to forward this invitation to anyone else who may be interested.

Which tier is your charity?

Before registering, make sure you know what tier your charity needs to report to. Check out the information on their website.

Can’t make it?

The webinar recording, handout and links to other helpful information will be published on the Charities Services website and linked to on their Facebook page after the webinar (28 June 2017). So you don’t need to ask them for a copy.

They will also send an automated email the following day (28 June 2017) to everyone who registered for the webinar with this information (even if you didn’t attend), so if you can’t make the live event, feel free to register anyway.

Click this link to register.


Christchurch Workshop for Treasurers

Treasurers Workshop

Board of Administration – 50 Langdons Road

Saturday 10 June 2017

We have finalised the date and times of a Christchurch based workshops.

Session 1 – Saturday 10 June 2017 – 9.00am to 11.00am

  • Beginner Topics on Xero, Management Reporting and Financial Reporting at Year End plus questions and answers

Session 2 – Saturday 10 June 2017 – 1.00pm to 4.00pm

  • Advanced Topics on Xero and Financial Reporting at End of Year plus questions and answers

We would appreciate people wanting to attend to one of the sessions to let us know which session they wish to attend by e-mailing either or by 30 April 2017.

Please let us know of any questions or topics you would like to address at any of the sessions. We will send out a detailed agenda before the date of the workshop.

While the cost of attending the workshops are free, the Board of Administration is not in a position to cover attendee’s accommodation and travel costs.  If this is an issue for some attendees, please talk to your parish or synod.

Car parking at Langdons Road should not be an issue.  There is parking in the front of the building, in behind the building and also on the Road. Access into the building will only be via the front entrance.  The back entrance will be locked and secure.

We are also looking at using Microsoft Skype to live broadcast the workshops for those who are interested but cannot attend.  More on that later.

Tea, coffee and water will be made available.


Service Performance Report – FREE ONLINE SEMINAR

Charities Services is kicking off its Lunchtime Webinar Series with an introduction to the Statement of Service Performance on 13 April 2017 at 12.00pm. IT IS FREE.

The Statement of Service Performance is a non-financial statement required under the new financial reporting standards and it’s important that you know how to use it well. In this webinar we will explain:

  • how to make the Statement of Service Performance work for your charity;
  • what outputs and outcomes are; and
  • how you can use the Statement of Service Performance to celebrate your charity’s successes.

What’s a webinar and how does it work?

A webinar is a seminar or presentation that is delivered online.

You can participate in these sessions from your computer or any mobile device (smart phone or tablet) and it’s free. You just need a reliable internet connection. We also recommend using the internet browser Google Chrome.

All webinars start at 12.00pm and run for approximately 1 hour, unless specified.

We will be talking for around 30 minutes and at the end of the presentation, we will answer some of your questions. The final webinar will be published on our website and can be viewed any time.

The details

Date: 13 April 2017

Time: 12.00pm – 1.00pm

Location: Anywhere with a reliable internet connection

Register here


Church & Not-for-Profit Forum-9 May 2017-Lower Hutt Assembly of God

People in the Lower North Island may be interested in this Workshop.  Topics include:include:

  • Charities Commission
  • Responsibilties of Volunteers
  • Health & Safety in Employment Act
  • Protecting Church Buildings and Assets
  • Mission Travel Insurance
  • Clergy Allowance and Tax
  • Key Staff and Succession Planning
  • Armourbearer Insurance
  • XRB Accounting Standards
  • Christian Savings
  • Panel Discussion

Peter van Hout will be a speaker (XRB Accounting Standards).  He will remain in Wellington on the Tuesday evening and if there is enough interest he will be happy to arrange an evening meeting with Treasurers to discuss Xero and other financial reporting concerns.

The link to the above named Workshop is:  CLICK ME 

If you would like Peter to run a two or three hour workshop on Xero and Financial Reporting then e-mail him directly ( by the end of March please.

Financial Reporting for Small Charities

The XRB and Charities Services invite you to join them for this free webinar.

Designed for accountants and preparers of annual accounts of small charities adopting Tier 3 and Tier 4 standards, this webinar will cover:

  • How the not-for-profit standards fit into the overall financial reporting framework in New Zealand;
  • Differences between the current and former financial reporting requirements;
  • Some detailed aspects of the Tier 3 and Tier 4 standards; and
  • New assurance requirements for charities.

Charities Services has so far received more than 500 financial reports. Learn from the regulators about some common misunderstandings to make sure you can provide compliant financial reports for your clients.

We will be running more webinars for charities in the near future on selected topics. Be sure to keep an eye out for these.

Webinar dates and times:
Tuesday 26 July 2016 at 10.00am-11.30am
Tuesday 26 July 2016 at 1.00pm-2.30pm
Wednesday 27 July 2016 at 7.00pm-8.30pm

Register in advance on the XRB website (click here).

Local Methodist Women’s fellowships

We have received a number of inquires regarding local women’s fellowships and the need to have the financial transactions incorporated into a set of parish financial statements each financial year.

Each registered charity (for the Methodist Church that means every parish) needs to prepare financial statements which incorporate ALL of the activities of the registered charity (the parish).

As a local women’s fellowship is “attached” to a local parish are its activities are closely aligned with those of the parish, the financial transactions of a local women’s fellowship need to be incorporated into the parish financial statements each financial year.  This can be achieved in a number of ways depending on the circumstances of the parish.  This be discussed with the accountants in the Connexional Office if need be.

The preparers of the financial statements of the parish should make contact with the local women’s fellowship to obtain the financial transactions or financial statements of the women’s fellowship.  The National Executive of the Women’s fellowship have confirmed that the financial year of a local women’s fellowship has been aligned with the the National Executive and parish balance date of 30 June so obtaining the information should not be a problem.


Methodist Church Templates for Tier 3 and 4 Reporting Entities – 30 June 2016

The Annual Financial Accounts for 30 June 2016 are required to be completed and delivered to the Connexional office by the 14th October 2016.  This is much later than previous years due to two main reasons, one being that this year is the first year that all registered charities are required by law to have their financial accounts meet the requirements of the Charities Act and secondly, Conference is much earlier.  On balance it was felt that we should provide all Methodist entities time to produce their annual accounts as required by the Charities Act.

Annual Financial Account templates have been modified by the Connexional Office to suit the general needs and requirements of Methodist parishes and are available in three different formats for Tier 3 and Tier 4:

  • Excel spreadsheet,
  • Word document or,
  • Xero template (only applies if Xero is used for the parish’s accounting).

The Excel and Word templates can be found on the accounting blog site ( under Resources.  There are also the latest XRB guides (as at 24 June 2016) relating to the applicable tier being completed.  Also on the same Resources page ( are the instructions on how to complete the new Xero Annual Report template.

  • Xero Templates

If you’re using Xero as your accounting software you can use this template to complete the annual financial accounts.  In the long term this will be a quick way to complete the financial statements as the balances are drawn directly from the general ledgers in Xero.  Therefore there is no need to manually add up each revenue, expense code, etc. However, there is still the need to ensure that the financial statements and the wording within the financial statements relate to your parish.

To use these templates in Xero please email and she will set you up in Xero and make sure that templates are ready to be used by you.  Christine will NOT complete the annual financial statements for you unless you ask her to do so.  More on this later.

As stated above these are new templates and although they’ve been tested by the Connexional Office, as with any new system, there will be a few teething issues to be dealt with.  As these issues are found we’re feeding them back to Xero support so they can fix them or we may update the standard template to make them work better.

As a result we would suggest that if you’re in the following situations you should be cautious about using the Xero templates:

  • Fixed Asset Disposal – If your parish has disposed of fixed assets in Xero’s fixed asset register during the current or previous financial year, the Xero generated journals do not feed into the Statement of Cash Flows
  •  Those Parishes who were added to Xero in the 2015 Financial Year – When a parish is added into Xero the conversion balance doesn’t feed through properly into the Statement of Cash Flows for the 2015 financial year.
  •  Comparative Difference if you’re a parish which is reviewed or audited – balances for the 2015 financial year might be different to those produced in the Xero report because the template has been set up for Methodist Parishes as a whole and doesn’t take into account individual differences. This will not be an issue for those parishes who are not reviewed or audited but for those that are, the presentation can be adjusted to suit your parish.  This is covered in the Xero guide.

 Please email if you are in any of the above situations and still wish to use the Xero templates.

Excel and Word Templates Tier 3 & 4

The layout is very similar to that used last year but there are some additions/changes to the templates:

  • Word Document – This has been created for those who prefer to use Word instead of Excel. In this document, balances and information need to be entered manually into each sheet.

 There’s also a Tier 3 Cash Flow Worksheet which accompanies the Tier 3 Word document to help you calculate the cash movements for the Statement of Cash Flows.  Once completed the balances need to be manually copied into the Statement of Cash Flows in the word template.

If you prefer to write in the numbers rather than typing them in then you can do that but you still need to make sure all the numbers add and cross add and reconcile correctly.

  • Approval of Financial Statements – An approval sheet has been added to the templates to ensure the Parish Steward and the Parish Treasurer are happy with the completed balances in the financial statements. Once this form has been authorised there should be no further amendments to the financial statements.
  • “CF Workings” Spreadsheet in the Excel Template– This tab has moved to sit at the end of the sheets that need to be printed off, i.e. beside “Note8-14”. Once the cash flow movements have been entered into this sheet, the balances will still flow through to the Statement of Cash Flows. Please to do not print this sheet and include it with the annual return.  It is a workings sheet only and is used only to make the Statement of Cash Flows calculate correctly.
  • Alternative Notes – Included this year are alternative notes in the Notes to the Performance Report. Please read these carefully and make sure you understand the requirements.  After deciding which note is the most appropriate, delete in Word, (or hide in Excel), the note that does not apply to the parish.
  • Content – Again these templates have been created to cover most situations for a high proportion of the parishes. They aren’t specific enough to include every situation for every parish.  Please adjust the content to suit your own parish’s needs.
  •  Presentation – The annual report should be presented as neat and tidy as possible. Once the information in the templates has been finalised, please delete or hide any rows that are empty.  Please check the page layout of each sheet so when they’re printed off they will continue to look tidy.

An example of a complete set of an annual financial statements will be posted on the Resources Page of the accounting blog site next week (week beginning 28 June)  to help show you what a finished set should look like.

  • Help to Complete the Annual Reports

Once again this year we’re offering the services of a contract accountant to assist you in preparing the annual reports.  The cost is $500.  Please email if you are interested in this service.

Please remember this is not an audit or review of the accounts it is simply a service to help you compile your annual financial statements.


Just a reminder that if your operating expenditure as shown on the Statement of Financial performance is over $500,000 but less than $1,000,000 then you will need a review undertaken or you can elect to have an audit.

If the operating expenditure shown in the Statement of Financial performance is over $1,000,000 then you will need an audit.

Both the review and audit will need to be conducted by a qualified person.

The Connexional Office will be checking to make sure that the person signing the review or audit is a qualified person.  The people qualified to undertake an audit or review can be found at

Financial Reporting Templates – 30 June 2016 – Tier 3 and 4

Christine, our contract accountant has been busy looking at the Tier 3 and 4 Excel templates that we used last year and seeing if we can make them a little easier to use.

In addition to this, Christine has also been looking at Xero and the templates that they have released for Tier 3 and 4.  The Xero templates have required us to do a fair amount of work to them to make them work correctly.  They are not perfect and this year will be a year of seeing how they do work in practice.

I have also asked Christine to see if she can prepare the Tier 3 and 4 templates as a Word document so that if Excel is not a product you use, then the Word template may be another solution that you can use.

The time frames will be tight.  We are hoping to release all of the templates (Excel, Word and Xero) on 24 June 2016.  We will let you know when they get online and where to find them closer to the 24 June.

We will also be looking at running online seminars during July and August, as we did last year.  We will confirm times and dates later.

However, by this stage you should have made a decision on which Tier you are electing to use.  More on that shortly.

Financial Reporting and Accounting – Decisions of Conference 2015

There are three Conference decisions which may impact upon a number of entities within the Church and so I wish to highlight them as early as possible so that there is a no surprises approach if the Board of Administration seeks to set your entity within Xero or we assign an accountant to undertake the end of year financial reporting for your entity.

The relevant decisions are:

• In the event of an entity within the Methodist Church not supplying the appropriate financial reports by the due dates for the current and previous financial year, then Conference asks the General Secretary to make arrangements with that entity to transfer their accounting system to Xero (or other approved accounting system) commencing from the new financial year.

• If the entity is already using Xero and still does not prepare and send annual financial statements in accordance with the standards necessary to comply with Church Law, then Conference asks the Board of Administration to prepare accounts. The cost of preparation and filing will be charged directly to the entity.

• Conference notes that the financial information required to be completed and returned on the M4 Form need NOT be completed if the same information is contained in the Notes to the Accounts of the annual financial statements.

HELP to Complete Tier 3 and 4 Annual Accounts

Any entity Methodist Church entity who elects to prepare Tier 3 and 4 needs to complete their annual accounts using the new financial reporting standards that are appropriate to them.

Although we have developed an Excel template to use, some treasurers are finding the experience difficult.  We do appreciate that this is a big change and it does affect all registered charities in New Zealand.  The Methodist Church has decided to early adopt these standards on the basis that it is what we will be required to complete under the Charities Act and the sooner we get on board and using them the better.

The accounting staff within the Connexional Office are also busy adopting the Tier 3 standards and changing to meet the new environment.  Between them they have appropriately 40 sets of accounts to prepare and finalise within a short period of time.  While we will continue to some limited support to entities such as answering simple questions we are unable to complete the annual accounts for you within the time frames we have.

We have put in place a contract accountant to help entities who need to complete their accounts in the new format but would prefer someone to undertake the work.  The cost of this service will be no more $500.00 plus GST, if necessary.  This allows a maximum of 8 hours work and no more (1 full day of chargeable time).

The outcome will be that you will receive a set of annual accounts using the Methodist Church Tier 3 or 4 template ready for approval at the next parish council meeting.

What we will need.

  • We will need to be supplied with a profit and loss account and a balance sheet as at the 30 June 2015 and 2014. While the 2014 accounts are not essential, they will be helpful.
  • A trial balance as at 30 June 2015 and 2014.
  • We will need information that we can use to input into complete the Entity Information worksheet and the Statement of Service Performance.
  • If we believe that we are not able to prepare the annual accounts for you given the information received, we will inform you of this and the reason why.

What we will do.

  • Quickly check the balances on your balance sheet and profit and loss account for reasonableness. THIS IS NOT AN AUDIT OR REVIEW OF THE ACCOUNTS.  What this means is that we will look at the bank account balances to make sure they are OK, we will check balances in MTA, Church Building and Loan Fund, Check rateable values of land and buildings, etc.  If there are issues, we will refer those issues to you.  If they are quick fixes and that can be dealt with quickly then we will do them without reference back to you.
  • We will transfer the information from the supplied information to the Excel template
  • Format the template to make sure all of the information is being printed correctly and recorded correctly.
  • Peer review the work being done.
  • Produce a Adobe PDF copy of the final accounts.


  • A completed Excel spreadsheet will be sent to you;
  • A copy of your annual accounts in an Adobe PDF format will be sent to you.

If you wish to use this service, please contact Peter van Hout ( and he will ask the contract accountant to make contact with you.