Department of Health

Class B cemetery trust financial reporting and financial procedures

Key messages

  • Class B cemetery trusts must provide an abstract of accounts to the department each year.
  • Class B cemetery trusts should prepare an annual budget for the coming financial year.
  • Financial guidelines for Class B cemetery trusts have been developed to help trusts establish and maintain a set of minimum standard financial controls.
  • If undertaking public construction, Class B cemetery trusts may be required to meet the Ministerial Directions for Public Construction in Victoria.

Abstract of accounts

Under section 52 of the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2003, Class B cemetery trusts are required to submit a financial report to the department by 1 September each year.

The report, known as the abstract of accounts, is to give a true and fair view of the financial position and performance of a trust for the past financial year.

A blank copy of the abstract of accounts is sent by the department to cemetery trusts each year, usually in June. It is accompanied by a checklist that has been developed to assist trusts with the preparation and submission of the abstract of accounts. These documents can be downloaded from this page.

Trusts must submit their abstract of accounts to the department with copies of bank and investment account statements relating to the reporting period.

Additional requirements for trusts with annual income or expenditure above $250,000:

  • Trusts with an annual income or expenditure of $250,000 up to $1 million (inclusive) need to have their financials reviewed in accordance with the Australian Auditing Standard on Review Engagement by a professionally recognised accountant.
  • Trusts with an annual income or expenditure of above $1 million need to have their financials audited by a registered auditor or a professionally recognised accountant.

If a review or audit report is required, a copy must be submitted with the abstract of accounts. The report must be printed on letterhead or, if letterhead is unavailable, must be accompanied with documentation that indicates the accountant/auditor’s qualifications.

The abstract of accounts template is updated each year. Blank copies of abstracts from previous years can be requested by contacting the Cemetery Sector Governance Support Unit by email or phone 1800 034 280.

Annual budget

It is recommended that each trust prepare for its own use an annual budget for the coming financial year, to be considered at a budget meeting held in April or May.

The budget should detail:

  • Proposed expenditure on maintenance and development works (consider monies required to be set aside for future construction or development for a master plan, and whether expenditure is fixed or variable).
  • Anticipated revenue from the trust’s fees and charges, based on the anticipated number of burials and other products and services provided by the trust.
  • Proportion of revenue to be set aside for perpetual maintenance.
  • GST collected on anticipated sales, less credit for GST on the anticipated purchases (assuming the trust is registered for GST and has an Australian Business Number).
  • Funds and investments on hand, in both the general account and perpetual maintenance account.
  • Projected income from investments.
  • Monies available for identified risks such as tree maintenance.

More information is available in the cemetery trust financial budget strategy guidelines.

A budget template has been developed to assist trusts in developing a budget statement. The template may be amended to meet the trust’s needs.

Financial procedures

Each trust is responsible for the management and proper accounting of its income and expenditure, assets and liabilities. It is important that all trust members understand that they have a responsibility for the careful financial management of the trust.

The department has developed Financial guidelines for Class B cemetery trusts (the guidelines) to help trusts establish and maintain a set of (minimum standard) financial controls.

The guidelines:

  • support consistent, repeatable and properly controlled financial processes
  • aim to help trust members to understand the financial information presented to them, as well as the potential risks and issues associated with that information.

Trust members are responsible for ensuring that the controls implemented are appropriate to the level of operations and financial risk at their trust. The guidelines should be scaled to the level of activity of each trust.

Reviewed 27 February 2024


Contact details

Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm

Cemetery Sector Governance Support GPO Box 4057, Melbourne, VIC 3001

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