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Managing the transition: A new accounting framework for government not-for-profit organizations

A new accounting framework for government not-for-profit organizations
The accounting framework followed by government not-for-profit organizations (GNFPOs) is in transition. GNFPOs must adopt Public Sector Accounting (PSA) Standards as its new underlying accounting framework—or GNFPOs—have a choice to continue to apply eight Handbook sections (PS 4200 to 4270) which incorporate the current not-for-profit accounting standards (CICA 4400 to 4470—the “4400 series of standards”) into the PSA Handbook. GNFPOs will be required to adopt the standards for fiscal periods beginning on or after January 1, 2012.


Adopting PSA standards as a new underlying accounting framework will involve making more than just accounting standard changes. Most organizations will also need to consider whether information system changes are necessary, provide training for staff, communicate with stakeholders, coordinate their activities with government and review contractual and other agreements. Organizations need to design and implement a comprehensive transition plan that addresses all of the financial, operational, legal and other considerations associated with the change in their accounting framework.

This publication describes some of the issues for a GNFPO to address when planning the transition, including:

  • Confirming that the government organization is a GNFPO
  • Reporting and operational considerations associated with adopting PSA standards
  • An overview of the differences between current Canadian GAAP and PSA standards that will be applicable to GNFPOs
  • A roadmap for converting from current Canadian GAAP to PSA standards
  • Conversion issues for audit committees to consider

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Not-for-profit organizations

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Related links

Managing the transition: A new accounting framework for not-for-profit organizations in the private sector