Commerce Minister Craig Foss last month released a discussion paper on registered charities, entitled Auditing and Assurance for Larger Registered Charities.  The discussion paper contains proposals that are aimed at increasing the transparency and accountability of New Zealand's larger charities.

Registered charities are currently required to include financial statements when they lodge their annual return with the Charities Commission but there is no requirement for those statements to be independently audited or reviewed.  The discussion paper proposes charities that spend over $300,000 a year should have their financial statements audited, and charities spending between $200,000 and $300,000 should be required to complete an audit or assurance engagement.

The discussion paper can be viewed here. The Ministry of Economic Development is seeking submissions on the proposals set out in its discussion paper. Submissions are due by 20 July 2012.