Finance and staffing snapshot
The ACCC received an unqualified audit report on the 2016–17 financial statements from the Australian National Audit Office. These statements can be found in part 5 from page 241–284.
The agency reduced its operating deficit to $1.7 million excluding depreciation and amortisation in 2016–17 compared to a $5.5 million deficit in 2015–16.
The ACCC’s net cost of services for 2016–17 was $180.6 million (2015–16: 176.4 million), with revenue from Government of $173.4 million (2015–16: 165.3 million).
Revenues from other sources were lower in 2016–17 by $1.4 million or 25 per cent. 2015–16 included one-off project funding to conduct a gas inquiry resulting in the decrease in 2016–17.
In 2016–17, expenditure on ACCC activities increased by $2.9 million. This mainly relates to an increase in legal settlements of $4.7 million and an increase in contractors and consulting of $5.2 million offset by a decrease in legal expenses of $6 million and a decrease in salaries and wages of $0.8 million. A comparison of revenue and expenditure trends over the last four years is illustrated in figure 1 below.
Figure 1.1: ACCC Revenue and Expenditure
Key financial results for ACCC for the financial years 2014–15 to 2016–17 are shown in table 1.1.
The ACCC is a knowledge-based organisation and as such spends approximately 56 per cent of total expenditure on employee costs (2015–16: 57 per cent).
Legal expenditure is subject to volatility depending on the timing and outcome of litigation proceedings. Legal expenditure decreased by $5.9 million or 22 per cent in 2016–17, compared to 2015–16.
Other expenses (excluding depreciation and amortisation) increased by $9.8 million or 21 per cent in 2016–17. This is primarily due to an increase in legal settlements of $4.7 million and an increase in consultancy and contractor expenses of $5.2 million. Depreciation and amortisation has remained relatively consistent over the same period.
Figure 1.2: ACCC expenditure, 2016–17
The ACCC recorded a comprehensive operating loss for 2016–17 of $7.1 million, as compared to an operating loss of $11.1 million in 2015–16. The decrease is largely due to an increase in revenue from government. The reported operating loss was a result of $8.9 million in expenses for court costs awarded against the ACCC during 2016–17. The ACCC receives an operating budget of $1 million per annum for court cost expenses incurred.
The ACCC’s net assets as at 30 June 2017 totalled ($8.5) million as compared to ($4.7) million in 2015–16.
Total assets as at 30 June 2017 were valued at $50.9 million compared to $54.5 million on 30 June 2016, representing a 6.6 per cent decrease. This decrease largely relates to a reduction in appropriation receivable consistent with the increase in legal settlements for the year.
All assets have been managed in accordance with Commonwealth policies and reported following the relevant accounting standards.
Total liabilities remained relatively consistent at $59.4 million compared to $59.2 million in 2015–16.
In 2016–17 the ACCC received $46.7 million in administered revenue representing a decrease of $37.2 million from 2015–16. This amount includes court-imposed fines and costs.