When things go wrong

Despite your best efforts and plans, things can and will go wrong. However, the effect of this on your organisation will vary depending on the problem and how you manage it.

Financial difficulties

If your organisation is having trouble with finances, you need to take action to prevent insolvency or, in a worst case, to prevent the organisation from continuing to operate while insolvent.

You should speak with the organisation’s accountant or find an accountant who can help.  You can also discuss the concerns with your organisation’s auditor.

If there is any doubt about how to overcome or improve the problems quickly, find a qualified accountant with insolvency experience to assess the overall financial position of the organisation and determine if there is a risk of insolvency.

  • see the ‘Financial problems or insolvency’ information sheet on the Governance page of the Not-for-profit Law web portal for more information.

Companies limited by guarantee

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has a whole section on insolvency, including information for directors and a series of plain English information sheets.

  • see the Insolvency section of the ASIC website for more information.

Resolving disputes

First, discuss the issue with the other party and try to find some middle ground. You might also need to put your concerns in writing and request a response.

If talking doesn’t work or you are still not satisfied, consider getting a third party involved for mediation – this is often quicker, cheaper and less stressful than going to court.

Incorporated associations

Your association’s rules should set out the grievance procedure for resolving disputes between members or between the association and any of its members.

If your rules do not include a grievance procedure then the grievance procedure set out in the model rules for incorporated associations will automatically apply.

  • see the Resolving disputes page on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website for more information.

Contractors and suppliers

If an issue arises with an independent contractor or supplier, you should first refer to the agreement that you have with them – make sure you are in the right!

Some contracts will also include a formal dispute resolution process.

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