What The Numbers Say: Transparency Among Canadian Charities

Introduction Research commissioned by The Muttart Foundation indicates that Canadians have high expectations regarding the transparency of charities. For example, in three surveys conducted between 2004 and 2008, between 95% and 99% of Canadians said it was either very important or somewhat important for charities to provide information on their impact, programs and services, how…

Accountable Reporting For Nonprofit Organizations

Introduction One only needs to look as far as their local newspaper to observe the increasingly vocal call for the accountability of nonprofit organizations. Whether the issue at hand is administration costs or the need for transparency, stakeholders, including the general public, are taking more interest in organizations that receive “public funds” (whether they be…

How We Account: Developing A Culture Of Reporting Transparency And Accountability

 The Lessons Learned From The Voluntary Sector Reporting Awards For Excellence In Financial Reporting Transparency Information about the Voluntary Sector Awards Program and entry information can be found at http://business.queensu.ca/centres/CA-QCG/ voluntary_sector_reporting/ index.php . A professor at one of Canada’s leading universities wanted to use a set of financial statements from a not-for-profit organization in class as…

Accounting for Debt Financing and Going-Concern Issues

Introduction In the past, not-for-profit organizations have generally been able to manage their affairs in a way that avoided being heavily dependent on debt financing. Times have changed. Government funding has not been keeping pace with inflation. New programs are being developed to meet the needs of the community. Facilities are aging and need to…

Accounting Standards for Not-For-Profit Organizations: A New Direction

Introduction In March 1996, The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants released new accounting recommendations! that will dramatically affect the way many not-for-profit organizations account for capital assets and contributions and change the basic financial statement presentation for such organizations. The new recommendations should make not-for-profit organizations’ financial statements easier to understand and reduce inconsistent accounting…

Serving As Secretary

Introduction This article has been prepared as an aide memoire for those accepting the position of Secretary to an organization incorporated as a “not-for-profit” or registered charity. The emphasis is on the practical, hands-on nature of the job and, in consequence, the data underlying the principles and actions recommended here have not been tabulated: to…

Not-for-Profit Organization Accounting: CICA Re-Exposes Recommendations

Introduction In Canada, standard setters have been focusing on the development of accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations over the last decade and a half. The process commenced with a 1980 research study 1 that proposed a uniform set of accounting principles and reporting practices. Most recently, in December 1993, The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants…

CICA Exposure Draft: A Comment

A small group within the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) has suggested that several major changes be made to financial reporting by nonprofit organizations (CICA. Exposure Draft. “Non-Profit Organizations”.) For example, they want long-lived items such as equipment set up as assets and then amortized each year. These changes will tend to be costly…