The following provides you with some general information to assist you in making banking decisions for your organisation.  In addition, suggestions regarding preparations for approaching banking organisations on various services relevant to the community sector are also included.

Corporate Social Responsibility

If values matter to your organisation, ask your bank, credit union or building society the following questions:

  • How they invest your money? 
  • Do they have a responsible investment policy? 
  • Is your money used to finance businesses or projects that conflict with your own personal or organisation’s values? 
  • Do they invest your money responsibly, securely and in ways that build stronger communities, help protect the environment and at the same time provide a competitive rate of return on your investment? 
  • Do they produce a Sustainability Report? 
  • Are they signatories to the United Nation’s Global Compact on corporate social responsibility, Principles for Responsible Investment and Environmental Program for financial institutions on sustainable development?

Whether your money is in an everyday transaction account, savings account or term deposit, you and your organisation will want to feel assured it is invested safely, responsibly, for performance and in ways that also help protect our planet as well as the people who depend on it. Investing your organisation’s money responsibly is the right thing to do. 

For pricing comparisons, you can visit two sites that specialise in summarising product and price information across most financial institutions in Australia.


Did you know that all Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs) are regulated in the same way by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority? Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs) are corporations which are authorised under the Banking Act 1959 . ADIs include banks, building societies and credit unions. All ADIs are subject to the same Prudential Standards but the use of the names 'bank', 'building society' and 'credit union' is subject to corporations meeting certain criteria.

For more information about the way ADIs are regulated and a full list of Australian ADIs please visit the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority website.

Day-to-day Transactional Banking

When considering where to bank you should think about all the activities you need to perform. 

Basic facilities offered by your financial institution should include:

  • An high interest account tailored for community organisations
  • Interest rates calculated on daily balances 
  • Online-dual signature access
  • Batch processing from MYOB and similar systems
  • Secure systems
  • Special consideration on exemption of fees
  • Merchant facilities so you can accept credit card or eftpos payments (online too)
  • Petty Cash availability
  • Deposit systems
  • Access to a personal banker or community banking manager

Growing your Asset Base

Commercial loans 

Preparations prior to contacting your financial institution for most forms of borrowings are similar and include:

  • Provide the financial institution with a written request on Company letterhead and signed by two authorised parties
  • Provide the last two years’ financials statements
  • Provide a full 12 month cash flow forecasts detailing all prospective funds coming in and out
  • Provide evidence of supporting funds from Government agencies which are specific to this proposed project
  • Provide evidence of specific incomes that will be generated by this project
  • Understand what fees associated with obtaining a commercial loan, including ongoing fees.

Lines of Credit

  • Provide the financial institution with a written request on Company letterhead and signed by two authorised parties (usually Directors).
  • Provide the last two years’ financial statements
  • Provide a full 12 month cash flow forecasts detailing all prospective funds coming in and out
  • Provide evidence of supporting funds from Government agencies which are specific to this proposed project
  • Provide evidence of specific incomes that will be generated by this project

Opening Accounts

A business or association account is opened in a similar fashion to that of an individual.

The business account is registered in the name of the business and is verified by way of a Certificate of Incorporation or Articles of Association.

The following information may also be required in order to open a business or organisation account including:

  • The full name of the company as registered by ASIC 
  • The full address of the company’s registered office
  • The full address of the company’s principal place of business, if any
  • The full name and address of each beneficial owner of a proprietary or private company 
  • The ACN issued to the company 
  • Whether the company is registered by ASIC as a proprietary or public company; and 
  • If the company is registered as a proprietary company, the name of each Director of the company.

In addition, each signatory to the account must have their identity verified. As per a personal account, identification includes documents such as a passport, birth certificate, drivers licence, Medicare card and other bank/credit union/building society accounts.

The business or association can determine the appropriate operating method for the account e.g. two to sign or more (this means all cheque and withdrawals need to be signed by at least two parties).

Signatories can be updated if staff leave employment or are terminated. Generally, a change to signatory form” is completed which includes the previous signatory and the new signatory’s details, include identification verification.

Some features to consider when weighing up banking facilities include:

  • Access to chequing accounts (with or without an Overdraft)
  • Monthly fees (sometimes fees charged on business accounts can be excessive)
  • Access to Internet Banking (including exporting to popular accounting software packages)
  • Provision for Corporate Cards
  • Access to investment accounts such as Term Deposits.

Value add from your Financial Institution

Are there any additional subtle benefits available through a connection with your banking organisation? 

  • Will your senior executives receive the occasional invitation to events connected with professional development or business networking?
  • Are there professional information available regarding financial management responsibilities for your Board members?
  • Is there the possibility of other partnership/ event sharing/ or co-promotion which might be mutually advantageous?

Information provided is of a general nature.  All organisations should consider their own particular situation before making any decisions including consideration of terms and conditions before deciding whether to apply for products from a financial institution.

The Federal Government has announced a $130 billion JobKeeper package to help keep more Australians in jobs and support businesses affected by the significant economic impact caused by the Coronavirus. Around six million workers will receive a fortnightly payment of $1,500 (before tax) through...
Need help writing successful grant or funding applications? Looking for tips to make your funding applications stand out? Want to know more about Skilling Queenslanders for Work and how to apply for funding? QCOSS is again partnering with the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training to...
The New South Wales Financial Inclusion Network, in partnership with University of New South Wales' Centre for Social Impact and Northern Rivers Community Gateway, invite you to the 4th Financial Inclusion Conference – Roads to Resilience, to be held in Sydney over 18 and 19 March 2020. Register...
Media Statement Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence The Honourable Shannon Fentiman Financial assistance is now available for south-east Queensland’s not-for-profit organisations that have been affected...
Breaking the cycle of over representation of Aboriginal and Torres Islander children in out-of-home-care is the focus of Queensland’s first social impact investment initiative, announced by Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt in Cairns today. The ‘New Parent Infant Network’ (NEWPIN) service is the...
Anglicare Australia, together with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC) and the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) today launched a new issues paper on not-for profit sector reporting and accountability. The paper, entitled: Issues Paper: Better Financial...
If your not-for-profit organisation is in need of financial guidance and has an annual turnover of under $250,000, you can sign up to the Mentor the Treasurer program . In partnership with Pro Bono Australia, CPA Australia assists not for profits by connecting them with qualified CPA Australia...
If your organisation is a charity registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), your 2016 Annual Information Statement may be due soon. The ACNC has a wealth of resources to assist you with completing the Annual Information Statement, including a checklist, a step-...
Case studies show social purpose organisations are reaping the benefits of improved process efficiencies. According to Olivia Hilton, Executive Director, SVA Consulting, “A lot of social purpose organisations just do not have the luxury of spending time wondering if there are other ways to achieve...
Treasurer Curtis Pitt has outlined three shortlisted proponents seeking to deliver innovative services under the state government’s Social Benefit Bonds program . Mr Pitt said there had been strong interest in the pilot Social Benefit Bonds initiative that will involve investors, the social...


Are you looking for support in Queensland, or trying to find a service that meets your needs? Now you can search oneplace , the service directory hosted by the Queensland Family and Child Commission. oneplace is an easily accessible directory of community services to help Queensland families to get...
The Financial Counsellors' Association of Queensland is the peak professional body representing the membership of 74 Financial Counsellors throughout inner city, suburban and regional Queensland. The FCAQ is also a not for profit organisation whose members provide a fee and accessible financial...
Foresters Community Finance is a non-profit organisation that has been delivering community finance and social investment products in Australia for the past 20 years. It is a Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI). CDFI’s are socially focused organisations that use community finance and...
The Legal Health Check is a collaboration between the Queensland Public Interest Law Clearing House (QPILCH) and the National Association of Community Legal Centres Inc. The Legal Health Check provides a number of resources and tools to help organisations identify their clients' legal needs and...
In the first reading of the 2015 Queensland Budget Speech on 14 July 2015, Treasurer Pitt announced that the Queensland Government will pilot 3 social benefit bonds aimed at sourcing funds from the private sector to finance the achievement of quantifiable social outcomes in the community. The pilot...
Our Community Pty Ltd has published practical advice on finances for not-for-profit board members. The book is part of CommunitySmart, a national financial literacy program development by Commonwealth Bank Not for Profit Sector Banking and the Institute for Community Directors Australia (part of...
The Community Financial Centre has been established by Our Community to give not-for-profit organisations of all types and sizes access to tools and resources to help improve their financial management, and better and more cost effective banking services. The site covers managing money,...
Information technology and online solutions can help your community organisation work better. ACOSS, Infoxchange and the Department of Communications have teamed up to bring you Digital Business Kits which give you the tools and information to do more online. Digital Business Kits are hosted on...
In March 2014, QCOSS produced the Rethinking Resources: Case Studies of Financial Resilience from Community Services report, in which community organisations from Queensland share how they are working to increase their financial sustainability. The strategies they employ include social enterprise,...
Authored by: Craig Ford, Polymorphic Solutions Your community organisation might have run on spreadsheets, shared folders and Access databases until one day, when you realised the systems don’t talk to each other and your organisation can’t grow without a single integrated system. Then it is time...
Many not-for-profit organisations are now developing income-generating activities to reduce the reliance on government and philanthropic funding, and others are establishing social enterprises to respond to client needs in a sustainable way. The development of business skills and systems is very...
With funding provided by the Australian Government Child Care Services Support Program (CCSSP), Network SA have developed a financial literacy video resource to support directors and management committees of community based child care centres to read and understand financial reporting requirements...
This resource has been developed by Knode and Foresters to support boards and service managers assess their financial position and strategically build their organistion's financial sustainability. Building financial sustainability in your organistions contains tools to help you: Assess where your...
Industrial relations legislation in Queensland can be found on the Fair Work Commission's website . The main pieces of legislation are: Fair Work Act 2009 Fair Work Regulations 2009 Fair Work Commission Rules 2013
Power of Attorney A power of attorney is a formal document allowing someone else to make decisions on your behalf; both personl and financial. This person can apply for a Domestic Violence Order on the behalf of someone experiencing domestic and family violence. The Powers of Attorney Act 1998...
There are a range of legal structures which may be suitable for Queensland not-for-profit community groups. The four main options are: an incorporated association: Associations Incorporation Act 1981 (QLD) and Associations Incorporation Regulation 1999 (QLD) a company limited by guarantee:...
The Social Benefit Bond Program, Queensland Treasury

The competitive tender process for the Queensland government's new Social Benefit Bonds program has recently been launched, and the Invitation for Expressions of Interest (EOI) documents are available via...

Kylie Hogan, National Disability Services

The Community Services Industry is facing a myriad of reforms and challenges now and into the future. 

Challenges such as an ageing population, workforce shortages, sector-wide reforms, technological advances and economic uncertainty are making it more important than ever for...

The balance between people and money
Alyce Maschio, Foresters Community Finance

For social enterprises and non-profit organisations, access to capital means they can build financial independence, own assets, leverage greater community benefits, and develop capacity to build a sustainable long-term future.

As the funding landscape changes and major sector...

Social Traders logo
Mindy Leow, Social Traders

As the Australian social enterprise sector grows, it’s easier for consumers and organisations to deliver social impact through their spending.

Social enterprises are businesses that sell goods and services into the marketplace in order to deliver community benefit. The...

Anne Curson, Queensland Council of Social Service

This month QCOSS releases the Rethinking Resources: Case Studies of Financial Resilience from Community Services report, in which community organisations from Queensland share how they are working to increase...

Tiffany Tento, Queensland Council of Social Service

The Tasmanian Government together with Regional Development Australia and the Tasmanian Early Years Foundation have published a useful guide on the ...

Managing money
Tiffany Tento, Queensland Council of Social Service

The latest edition of the Australian Sector Nonprofit Legal and Accounting Almanac was recently released.

The annual publication contains a summary of significant cases, legislation, and tax issues impacting on the...

See videos from StudioQ related to this topic

Share or Print