Common mistakes to avoid

Avoiding the following common mistakes will help to ensure your annual financial statements are filed correctly, first time.

1. Submitting incomplete financial statements

Financial statements must include the following:

  • statement of income and expenditure
  • statement of financial position, including assets and liabilities
  • details of all mortgages, charges, and securities of any description affecting any of the society’s property (where applicable)
  • audit or review report (where required by the society’s rules).

You might like to use the sample financial statements as a guide when preparing your society’s statements.

2. Submitting the financial statements without the certificate (Form IS4)

When filing manually (by post or email), you must include a financial statements cover sheet (Form IS4) certifying that the financial statements have been submitted to, and approved by, the members of your society at a general meeting.

This certificate needs to be signed by an officer of the society, for example, the president, treasurer or secretary.

3. The general meeting date isn’t provided

When filing your financial statements manually, the date of your general meeting must be included on the cover sheet (Form IS4).

4. The audit or review report is missing

An auditor’s or reviewer’s report must be submitted with the financial statement where this is required by the society’s rules.

5. Submitting bank statements or a cash book

Submitting a bank statement or a cashbook is not enough to meet the society’s financial reporting obligations under section 23 of the Incorporated Societies Act 1908. Incorporated societies must submit a complete annual financial statement to us.

6. Not filing 'nil' financial statements when the society has had no expenditure or income and has no assets and liabilities

Every incorporated society has to submit annual financial statements to us, even if it’s been financially inactive for the past financial year.

If the society has had no expenditure or income and has no assets and liabilities during this time frame, a statement is still required to be filed to report this inactivity.

You might like to use the sample NIL financial statement as a guide for preparing your society’s statement.

7. Filing for the wrong financial year

The financial statements must cover the correct reporting period. For example, for the 2019 financial year, if the society has a 31 March balance date, the financial statement should cover the society’s transactions for the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.

8. Filing for the same financial year twice

When filing manually (by post or email), check the register to confirm that the society hasn’t already filed a financial statement for that particular financial year.

Search for societies

9. Submitting financial statements that are unclear or illegible

A clear, legible copy of the financial statements should be submitted for registration.

More 'Filing annual financial statements' guides:

All help topics

Getting started on the register 6 guides

Find out about incorporated societies and the Incorporated Societies Register, and what's needed to register and maintain an incorporated society in New Zealand.

Searching the Incorporated Societies Register 2 guides

Find out how to search our registers for information about incorporated societies, and other business entities

Starting an incorporated society 5 guides

To incorporate a society in New Zealand you must submit an application, along with the required documents, and pay a registration fee.

Running your incorporated society 7 guides

Once you’ve registered, you’ll need to keep your details on the register up to date, and follow the rules that apply to incorporated societies and how they are run.

Ending an incorporated society 2 guides

When an incorporated society reaches the end of its 'life', it must be wound up and removed from the register. There are two ways this can be done – by dissolving the society, or having it liquidated.

Restoring an incorporated society to the register 2 guides

An application can be made to us to have an incorporated society restored to the register, by the society itself, or by a creditor. You'll need to provide evidence to support your application.

Forms and fees 3 guides

Forms you'll need to register your incorporated society and keep it up to date, along with a schedule of fees payable.