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Financial accounts for cooperatives

When you maintain accounts for your cooperative, you must:

  • keep financial records
  • prepare financial reports
  • appoint someone to audit these reports.

You must set out the last day of your financial year in your rules.

Registers

Registers are a helpful way to record information on a range of subjects. In most cases, you will use them to record your financial transactions. You must keep certain information on a register.

All registers must be kept in Queensland at either:

  • your registered office
  • your principal place of business
  • another office where you keep and work with the register
  • another office approved by us.

Members may inspect

You must keep and make available to members your registers that relate to:

  • your directors
  • members and shares
  • cancelled memberships (showing their last activity date)
  • notifiable interests
  • any loans you’ve made or been guarantor for
  • any securities you’ve taken out
  • the names of people who
    • provided loans or credit as subordinated debt
    • provided other types of loan or deposit
    • hold any securities or debentures that you’ve issued.

Members must be able to inspect the registers for free. You may charge a fee if they wish to take a copy.

Members may not inspect

You will also need to keep a register of:

  • loans, securities, debentures and deposits that the cooperative has issued or received
  • fixed assets
  • subordinated debt.

Do not make these registers available to your members.

Shares in trading cooperatives

The law places a limit on the value of an individual’s shares. The shares must not be worth more than 20% of the total nominal value of your share capital.

Work out the total nominal value by:

  • setting out the nominal value of each share in your rules
  • multiply this value by the total number of shares you issue.

You can increase the 20% limit on shares by either:

  • holding a special resolution
  • applying to us.

We must approve the special resolution, and may impose certain conditions.

A person must give you notice if they have a:

  • relevant interest in the right to vote of a member
  • substantial share interest.

This is known as a ‘notifiable interest’. You must keep a register of these interests.

Fundraising

You might need to raise money if you need to:

  • fund certain activities
  • buy new equipment or other items.

We regulate the ways that you can fundraise. You can raise money by releasing:

  • shares
  • debentures
  • additional funds.

Contact us for more information.

Charges

If you need to borrow funds, your lender can register a ‘charge’ against your property. This becomes the security for the debt.

They can register their charge with the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR).

A charge has priority over other forms of unsecured debts. If your cooperative goes out of business, your debts will be paid in priority order. If you cannot pay the lender:

  • your charged property is sold
  • the lender is paid their money from the sale
  • other creditors must wait until the lender has all the money you owed them.

Contact the PPSR for more information.

You may also need to seek legal advice.