Miscellaneous (Societies Act FAQs)
What does proclamation mean?
Once a bill has gone through three readings of the Legislative Assembly and receives Royal Assent, the bill becomes an Act. However, this does not necessarily mean that the Act has legal force yet. In the case of the Societies Act, the Act will only come into legal force by proclamation under order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, which is expected to occur on November 28, 2016. At this time, the two year transition period for existing societies will begin.
Is there any way around the requirement of having an office that is staffed?
A society can use the address of another charity or organization. For instance, if your charity uses the board room of another charity to hold meetings and receive mail, your charity can list that charity as your office.
Do we need to submit financial records to the Ministry?
No. This is not a requirement of the new Act. The Registry does not accept any financial records of a society. A Society is however obligated to produce financial statements on an annual basis and provide them to their members.
Do we have to have an accountant or bookkeeper prepare financial statements?
The Societies Act requires that a society keep sufficient accounting records and are able to produce a set of financial statements for its members. The Societies Act does not require that the society get professional help, nor does the CRA. Thus, a society's treasurer could provide financial statements.
Note that if your society becomes complicated enough financially, it may be a good idea to get a bookkeeper then an accountant to prepare and approve annual financial statements. Some funders will require audited financial statements. The Societies Act sets out the qualifications of an auditor but does not require an audit. Here is the guide from the CRA on filing the Annual Information return.
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