Pitcher Partners business advisory and assurance partner Mark Harrison told Accountants Daily that not-for-profits are still seeking advice from their accountants following a number of changes to their industry over the last five years.
“The NFP sector has been in constant change since 2012 with the introduction of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), ATO revisions to various tax concessions, revisions to government department oversight, changes to service co-ordination through oversight organisations such as health’s Primary Health Networks and consideration of the definition of a charity,” Mr Harrison said.
“However the greatest challenges, and opportunities, are now, with the fundamental change to service delivery through a shift to consumer directed care across many platforms.”
Mr Harrison said that this provides an opportunity for accountants to step up to the plate and be the trusted adviser that their NFP clients currently need.
“Accountants can work with and support those in the sector, assisting them strategically, some organisations may choose not to go on, others may experience mission drift and some will thrive,” he said.
“The keys to prospering will be those organisations that are supported to be forward looking, invest in their people, systems and clients, open to change, responsive and proactive to their environment, and supported by committed and knowledgeable professional advisers.”
According to Mr Harrison the immediate focus of the changes are on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP), however it is likely further similar changes will flow to the other services co-ordinated by Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and federal departments.
“The impact of these changes are significant on organisations,” Mr Harrison said, “Impacting internal culture and balancing efficiency and care, client engagement and business acquisition, information and operating systems across clients, staff and finance functions, funding models, the use of accumulated reserves and consideration of debt funding, and performance measurement and numerous other aspects of operations.”