Step 1: Governance
Establish good corporate governance

Good governance is essential for a co-operative to achieve its objectives. There is not a single model or definition for good governance. In essence, good governance is a series of principles that a co-operative would have in place to seek to ensure it achieves its objectives and remains a viable organisation. The governance principles will determine the policies, procedures and practices implemented within an organisation.  Co-operatives can be guided by the Co-operative Principles as well as the ASX Good Corporate Governance Principles.

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Step 2: Measurement and reporting performance
Measuring non-financial outcomes

To remain competitive and demonstrate the comparative advantage which co-operatives and mutuals deliver, it is important to measure the economic, social and environmental outcomes achieved and the value created.  This can be a challenging task given the different timeframes in which outcomes may be achieved, attributing outcomes to your specific activities and measuring intangible value. However, a number of frameworks now exist to assist co-operatives and mutuals measure outcomes and value.

By measuring the outcomes and value created, co-operatives and mutuals will be better placed to demonstrate their impact to funders, members, clients and other key stakeholders as well as use this information to improve their financial performance. 

Key Questions

  • What are your inputs into the business or program?
  • What are the key activities you undertake?
  • What are the activities your partners and stakeholders undertake?
  • What are the key outputs from your business or programme?
  • What are the medium-longer term outcomes achieved?
  • Which stakeholders benefit or are negatively impacted by your activities?

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Financial reporting

The extent of financial reporting will depend on the size of your co-operative. The Co-operative National Law covers the following aspects:

What records must be kept; financial reports; who can audit financial statements; what type of information must be reported; how the reports are provided to members; what needs to be lodged with fair trading.

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