Large co-operatives

A large co-operative must prepare the following documents for each financial year and present them to its members:

  • the financial report for the year
  • the directors' report for the year
  • an independent auditor's report on the financial year.

The financial report must be prepared in accordance with the Australian accounting standards. It must include:

  • income statement
  • balance sheet
  • statement of changes in equity
  • cash flows statement
  • directors’ declaration
  • notes to the accounts. These must include notes required by the accounting standards, disclosure required by the national regulations, and any other information necessary to give a true and fair view.

Large co-operatives may choose how to report to members by either providing all of the financial reports to members specified above, or by providing a concise report.  A concise report consists of:

  • a concise financial report
  • the directors’ report for the year
  • a statement by the auditor that a financial report has been audited and whether the concise financial report complies with the relevant accounting standard
  • a copy of any qualification in the auditor’s report
  • a statement that the report is a concise report and details on how to get a full report upon request, free of charge.

A large co-operative must also have its financial report for the financial year audited in accordance with the Corporations Act 2001, and get an auditor's report.

Form examples:

Annual Report -Director's report    (DOCX, 27.6 KB)

Annual Report - Director's declaration (DOCX, 25.9 KB)

Annual Report - Auditor's report (DOCX, 27.6 KB)

Auditor's Independence Declaration (DOCX, 25.6 KB)

Reporting requirements

Co-operative typeFinancial statementsAnnual reporting to Registrar

not necessary to lodge financial statements unless a review or audit is required by the Registrar or is directed by members. The end of the financial year must be specified in the co-operative's rules.

must lodge an annual return with the Registrar within five months of the end of the financial year

  • Annual Report - small co-operative

must lodge with the Registrar:

  • within three months after the end of the financial year (disclosing entity co-operatives)
  • within five months after the end of the financial year for any other co-operative
  • The end of the financial year must be specified in the co-operative's rules.

must prepare or get financial reports and directors' reports under Divisions 3-5 and lodge them with the Registrar.

the financial report for a year consists of the:

  1. financial statements
  2. notes to the financial statements
  3. directors' declaration about the statements and notes

the directors' report contains information about the operations of the co-operative for the previous year.

Auditing requirements

Directors of a large co-operative must appoint an auditor within one month of registration.  An auditor can also be appointed at a general meeting. The auditor must be a registered company auditor, unless the co-operative is exempted from this requirement. Generally, this appointment continues until the first annual general meeting.

A large co-operative must appoint an auditor at its first annual general meeting. The appointment of that auditor then continues until the auditor’s death, removal or resignation or one of the other circumstances as specified in the Co-operatives National Law.

Updated: 13 Dec 2022

This page has been produced and published by the Consumer Building and Occupational Services Division of the Department of Justice. Although every care has been taken in production, no responsibility is accepted for the accuracy, completeness, or relevance to the user's purpose of the information. Those using it for whatever purpose are advised to verify it with the relevant government department, local government body or other source and to obtain any appropriate professional advice. The Crown, its officers, employees and agents do not accept liability however arising, including liability for negligence, for any loss resulting from the use of or reliance upon the information and/or reliance on its availability at any time.