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The current economic environment is continuing to put pressure on Not for Profit organisations and their finances

2023 marks our third annual not for profit leaders survey on financial management. Whilst we have seen changes in our external environment since 2021 (the pandemic and lockdowns), we are still seeing similar trends in the way not for profits are managing their finances from our previous year’s reports.

Not for Profit organisations are facing additional financial challenges including changes in donor behaviour, economic downturn, inflationary pressures and changes in government policy, which look to continue in 2024 and beyond.

Report Summary

  • The economic environment continues to affect planned case reserve levels
  • 64% have seen an increase in revenue in the last two years and 45% are budgeting a surplus over the next 12 months
  • Only 25% of respondent’s constitutions allow directors to be remunerated
  • 47% of organisations have automated their finance processes
  • 13% have included AI or automation in their strategic plans
  • HLB Mann Judd Sydney surveyed members of the Exclusive Not for Profit Community and other not profit leaders on financial management.

Not for Profit Leader's Report

NFP financial management strategies

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The outlook

The current economic factors will only add further pressure to the Not for Profit sector – with cost of living pressures pushing individuals to rely on charities for support and the potential for a loss in revenue for charities.

The one thing that hasn’t changed however, is the importance of managing how the organisation's resources were used. With economic uncertainty around, astute financial management is crucial for organisations to weather the storm.


"By using technology to work smarter rather than harder, Not for Profit leaders can plan wisely for current and future needs to protect both their brand and their finances."
Aidan Smith
Head of Not for Profit, HLB Mann Judd

Key findings

What level of cash reserves for expenses do you currently have?

When asked about cash reserves, we again, saw similar findings to our 2021 and 2022 surveys, with 69% of respondents having at least six months’ worth of cash reserves.

We also asked if your organisation was looking to take on more debt over the next 12 months, a huge 87% said no.

Are your directors remunerated?

In the case of 79% of the boards, there is no remuneration paid to directors and about 12% where all directors are remunerated as board members.

What part of your finance function have you looked at outsourcing?

When looking at what area respondents were looking at outsourcing, payroll remained at the top of the list as it was in both 2021 and 2022 with 65% of respondents.

Bookkeeping and financial statement preparation are two other areas organisations are looking to outsource with 50% and 45% of respondents respectively looking at these.

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About the Not For Profit Leader's Report

The Not For Profit Leaders Report is a semi-annual publication produced by HLB Mann Judd Sydney. It involves surveying leaders in the not for profit (NFP) community, focusing on key aspects of strategic planning in March, with findings shared in May. Similarly, in October, NFPs are surveyed again on financial management, with the corresponding report released in November.

Survey respondents include traditional charities, social enterprise and membership organisations ranging from small to large.

Members of the Exclusive Not For Profit (ENFP) Community gain first access to both the surveys and reports.

About HLB Mann Judd Sydney

Mann Judd in Sydney was formed in 1970 and over the past five decades has grown to 31 partners and directors. Today the firm provides a comprehensive range of advisory and financial services.

The Sydney firm is part of the HLB Mann Judd Australasian Association. HLB Mann Judd is an association of leading award-winning advisory and chartered firms. HLB Mann Judd has offices in most of the major business centres in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. HLB Mann Judd is a member of HLB International, the global advisory and accounting network.


HLB Sydney Not for Profit Audit & Assurance Exclusive Not for Profit Community