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NGO Audit

NGOs are formed as public trusts under Trust Laws, as societies under the Societies Registration Act, or as corporations under the Companies Act of 2013. Depending on the manner or type of registration, the NGO must have its accounts audited in accordance

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Introduction

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) play an important part in the economy's social and economic development. The activities of Indian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have grown significantly over time. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs established a standardized accounting and reporting structure for non-governmental organizations.

NGOs are formed as public trusts under Trust Laws, as societies under the Societies Registration Act, or as corporations under the Companies Act of 2013. All of these acts apply to entities based on their constitution of choice. This act also requires the NGO to receive a foreign contribution in order to have its books of accounts audited by Chartered Accountants.

Depending on the manner or type of registration, the NGO must have its accounts audited in accordance with the Incorporation Law. NGO audits must be performed in accordance with the Societies Act, Trust Act, or Companies Act of 2013.

NGO audits must also be performed in accordance with the Income Tax Act of 1961.  According to Section 12A (b), an income-tax law audit becomes mandatory for NGOs whose total income surpasses the maximum amount not chargeable to Income Tax in any preceding year. According to Section 12 A (b) of the Income Tax Act of 1961, an organization's receivables must be audited.

WHAT IS A NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION (NGO)?

NGOs are not owned by a single person. They are unable to disperse profits as dividends. NGOs reinvest or spend any revenues made from economic activity on appropriate non-profit activities.

Donations, grants from unilateral and multilateral agencies, membership fees, interest and returns on assets, and other miscellaneous sources are the most common sources of revenue for non-governmental organizations.

WHAT IS THE ADVANTAGE OF NGO AUDIT?

An audit is an unbiased investigation of an NGO's activities that determines whether or not they are in good working order.

Though NGO audits take time for certain organizations, they have two key advantages:

  • Firstly, by conducting NGO audits, an NGO may demonstrate that financial accounts are transparent.
  • Secondly, NGO audits offer excellent learning opportunities. Auditors can advise on financial controls or systems, as well as analyze specific issues.

Financial Statement Formats For The Purpose Of NGO Audit

NGOs' financial statements currently include a variety of topics and formats, with limited liability. These must be assessed in light of the requirements of the shareholders. The following financial statements should be included in an NGO's General Purpose Financial Statements:

  • Balance Sheet;
  •  Income and Expenditure Account;
  • Financial statements include things like cash flow statements.

A non-profit organization should use fund-based accounting. The Income and Expenditure Account must have three columns to show income and spending for limited funds as opposed to unrestricted money. The following columns must be evaluated by the company:

  • Designated Funds and General Funds are two types of unrestricted funds.
  • Funds that are restricted.
  • Total Column will show the total revenue and spending of both unrestricted and restricted funds.

In their internal accounting records, NGOs must segregate earmarked monies from other uncontrolled cash. The NGOs must exercise extreme caution while posting the accounts in order to avoid drawing a distinction between the two. NGOs must present an integrated balance sheet during audits.

The financial statements must be prepared when the relevant statutory requirements and accounting standards have been confirmed.


Key Information in an Auditor's Report

An Auditor's Report for Society Name should contain the following information:

  • The Balance Sheet of Society Name as of March 31st of the fiscal year, along with the address.
  • Income & Expenditure Account and Receipts & Payments Accounts for the concluded fiscal year.
  • Statement that the Auditor has received all necessary explanations and information for the audit.
  • Confirmation that the books of accounts have been maintained in compliance with the law.
  • Assurance that the Balance Sheet and Income & Expenditure accounts align with the books of accounts.
  • Confirmation that, to the best of the Auditor's knowledge, the accounts present a true and fair picture:
  • Balance Sheet reflects the state of affairs of the NGO as of March 31st of the year.
  • Income & Expenditure Account shows the surplus for the fiscal year.
  • Payments made during the fiscal year ending date are accurate in the receipts and payments account.

Different types of financial statements for an NGO Audit

For financial statements, there are four categories of NGO audits:

1. External auditing

2. Internal auditing

3. Donor Audit

4. Audit of Investigation

External auditing-. External audits are typically performed by independent auditors. They provide a professional opinion on whether financial statements are honest and fair based on a thorough examination of a sample of the records. Their judgment is significant because it gives evidence that financial reports are trustworthy, which is crucial to stakeholders such as trustees and funders.

Internal auditing -Internal audits can be performed by members of the organization's own staff or by professionals hired specifically for the job. It includes determining if the organization's policies and procedures are being implemented. These provide trustees with relevant and up-to-date information on how risks are effectively managed.

Donor Audit- A donor audit can be performed by the organization's regular external auditors (as a separate or supplementary engagement to the typical year-end audit), or it can be performed by the donors themselves. This gives donors assurance that their funds have been properly used and that the grant terms have been met. A successful NGO audit is frequently required for additional financing.

Audit of Investigation- An investigative audit is performed when a company suspects a specific problem, usually fraud, and auditors are brought in to determine the facts. The auditors may present proof for the organization to take additional action.

Compliances of Section 8 Companies Under Companies Act, 2013

A Section 8 company, as defined in the Companies Act 2013, is an organization established with the primary objective of promoting activities like trade, art, science, education, welfare, charity, and environmental protection. Such companies have specific compliance requirements:

Nomination of an Auditor: Under Section 139 of the Companies Act 2013, a Section 8 company must appoint an auditor. The selected statutory auditor will audit the company's books of accounts and annual returns for a 5-year term.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

Failing to meet compliance requirements can lead to significant penalties. Furthermore, both the organization and its directors could face disqualification for a specified period.

In summary, proper adherence to compliance requirements is crucial for Section 8 companies to maintain their legal standing and ensure transparency and accountability in their operations.

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