Five areas of focus for Clubs in 2021

By Scott Tobutt, Scott Tobutt
Audit and Assurance Partner
29 December 2020

This has been a tumultuous year for Registered Clubs, with numerous challenges and risks arising from the pandemic along with ongoing uncertainties. Social distancing and health guidelines throughout 2020 have changed many services to members, as well as the flow of people through venues. This has had a dramatic effect on gaming performance and F&B offerings.

During this year PKF has provided support and advice to its Registered Club clients to help them navigate and pivot around the constant challenges, while protecting the businesses going forward. Across our various service lines at PKF we had the following common learnings and observations which are our


1. Business Advisory

  • Review current financial trends and the ability to meet financial objectives and working capital needs in the short and medium terms.
  • Obtain familiarity with banking covenants under existing finance facilities.
  • Ensure future effects of any deferred liabilities have been accounted and any payment arrangements cleared and confirmed in writing.
  • Consider a second opinion in relation to Government stimulus entitlements.

2. Risk Management, Governance & Culture

  • Consider how club culture is being overseen and driven, starting at the top and across the organisation.
  • Consider if Business Continuity Planning manages the risk of pandemic and similar events in the future – are these tested?
  • Review policies around Key Risk & Governance – are they clearly articulated, communicated and continually updated?

3. Taxation

  • Revisit your reporting processes and delegations to ensure timely compliance, and to avoid exposure to penalties.
  • Review calculation of GST on electronic gaming and member points - this area continues to cause confusion.

4. Internal Controls

  • Assess any changes in the control environment. Were they relaxed to facilitate the change of business? Ensure overarching controls remain to detect any inappropriate behaviour eg procurement function.
  • Consider appropriateness of Whistleblowing framework – does it comply and serve its purpose.

5. Compliance

  • Ensure Award Wages and Workplace Compliance are priority areas of consideration following recent corporate failures.
  • Perform AML/CTF independent reviews to ensure ongoing compliance with legislation.

In addition to above, there continue to be risks regarding IT security but also opportunities with data analysis and business intelligence, which PKF can also advise on.

PKF is a multi-disciplinary accounting firm that provides support to Registered Clubs around their external audit, accounting, tax and advisory needs, including the above areas. Please contact Tony Doyle on 02 8346 6000 for any assistance.