Non-profit entities (NPEs) can take many forms, including:
- Non-profit organisations in terms of the Non Profit Organisations Act (No. 71 of 1997).
- A voluntary association of persons formed in terms of common law.
- A non-profit trusts established in terms of the Trust Property Control Act, of 1988.
- A non-profit company formed in terms of the Companies Act, No. 71 of 2008.
The Non-profit Organisations Act (the NPO Act) provides for a voluntary registration facility for non-profit organisations. The NPO Act requires that all registered NPOs appoint an accounting officer to hold office. Chapter 1 of the NPO Act defines an accounting officer in relation to a non-profit organisation, as a person contemplated in section 60 of the Close Corporations Act, 1984.
This is an association of person that has been formed in the Republic and that has not incorporated in terms of an Act. These are often referred to as body corporates and are established by adopting a constitution and by-laws. They are administered and regulated in terms of common law. A Voluntary Association’s property will generally be owned by its members as co-owners unless otherwise specified. While a Voluntary Association does not normally have juristic personality, it can attain it if certain requirements are met, namely;
- Perpetual succession; its Constitution specifies that it will continue to exist despite changes to its membership base;
- Separate property; its Constitution specifies that assets of the association will be held separately from the members.
If the above requirements are met the Voluntary Association becomes “incorporated” and is then sometimes known as a Univeritas. The type of Voluntarily Association, its nature and objects are therefore dependent on its Constitution. Additionally, it is recommended that in addition to a Constitution, a Voluntary Association have various additional documents such as a register of members and meeting minutes, accounting and financial reporting requirements and appoint an accounting officer.
The drafter of Constitution can provide for any of the existing options related to accounting, financial reporting, and external reporting requirements, for example: IFRS or IFRS for SME or Modified Cash, and audit, or independent review, or agreed-upon procedures or accounting officer engagements.
A non-profit trust can only be established in terms of the Trust Property Control Act (the Trust Act). A trust is typically defined, as the arrangement through which:
- ownership in property of one person is by virtue of a trust instrument (trust deed or will) made over or bequeathed to other persons (the trustees);
- for the purpose of administering or disposing of it according to the provisions of the trust instrument;
- to achieve the objects stated in the trust deed.
The trustees must comply with the provisions of the trust deed, common law and the Trust Act. The courts have determined that a trust is not a separate legal person but a legal Institution. The assets and liabilities of a trust vest in the trustees (but not in their personal capacity). The lack of a separate legal personality with trusts is important for purposes of registering trust property and citing the trust as a ‘party’ during litigation. The lack of legal personality on the part of the trust does not equate to personal liability.
The drafter of Trust Deed can provide for any of the existing options related to accounting, financial reporting, and external reporting requirements, for example: IFRS or IFRS for SME or Modified Cash, and audit, or independent review, or agreed-upon procedures or accounting officer engagements.
Section 1 of the Companies Act 71 of 2008 defines a Non-Profit Company as a Company incorporated for public benefit or another objective as defined in the Act. The income and property of a non-profit company is not distributable to its incorporators, members, directors, officers or persons relating to any of them and must be used to advance the purpose for which it was created, as set out in its MOI. A non-profit company must have at least three incorporators and three directors and may be registered with or without members. A non-profit company is not required to have members. The members of a non-profit company are persons who participate in the activities of the non-profit company, such as members of a church or a pension fund. Non-profit companies registered without members, may be registered with a standard or a customized Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI).
Accounting, financial reporting, and external reporting requirements are determined by the Companies Act, 2008.
Non-profit entities must apply for tax exempt status
Only certain types of non-profit entities can qualify as Public Benefit Organisations status and as a result will be eligible for tax exempt status. A PBO is any organisation of which the sole or principal object is carrying on one or more public benefit activities, where-
- all such activities are carried on in a non-profit manner and with an altruistic or philanthropic intent;
- no such activity is intended to directly or indirectly promote the economic self-interest of any fiduciary or employee of the organisation, other than by way of reasonable remuneration payable to that fiduciary or employee; and
- where each such activity carried on by that organisation is for the benefit of , or is widely accessible to, the general public at large, including any sector thereof
The opportunities for BAP(SA)s
A BAP(SA) may assist a client by:
- provide advice as to which form of NPE is best suited for the client;
- working with legal practitioner to draft constitutions and by-laws for NPEs;
- filing annual returns and ensuring compliance of NPEs;
- registering NPEs for PBO status;
- as a qualified tax practitioner file tax returns;
- attending meetings, keeping and filing minutes;
- compile financial statements;
- issue external reports (excluding audit reports);
- assist NPE subject to audit to prepare the audit file.
We offer CPD and training courses to help guide members with their everyday challenge in the workplace. We lobby government and SME associations to allocate work to business accountants.
What you need to do
Study the CIBA Essential Services guide and ensure you perform the engagement in terms of the Act and Regulations.
Members are required to register with www.saiba.academy and read www.accountingweekly.com to stay updated and do a specialist license to unlock additional advisory work.
In summary you can:
- Do a google search to identify the types of companies that are likely to need this particular service.
- Write an email or letter to them and explain how you can help them.
- Do the CIBA CPD and relevant license related to the particular service.
- Study CIBA guides and additional resources.
- Perform the service for your new client.
- Alternatively contact a CIBA Strategic Alliance partner.
CIBA has provided a number of guides, videos and PowerPoint slides that will assist accountants with understanding their responsibilities in terms the various types of engagements: