How we serve the public interest
We establish high-quality accounting standards that promote stakeholder confidence in the information reported by Canadian private sector entities. When developing these robust standards, we consider changes in the economy, as well as the costs and benefits to both preparers and financial statement users. We remain accountable to stakeholders by responding to their needs in a timely manner and facilitating their participation and input into the development of the standards that affect them.
We contribute to global best practices in accounting standard setting for every major reporting entity category in Canada’s private sector: publicly accountable enterprises, private enterprises, not-for-profit organizations (NFPOs), and pension plans.
We follow a due process based on three principles: transparency, consultation, and accountability. These principles permeate the due process procedures we follow when determining the content of the CPA Canada Handbook – Accounting (the “Handbook”) applied by all reporting entities in Canada.
Domestic Accounting Standards Due Process
IFRS® Accounting Standards Due Process
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Our 2022-2027 Strategic Plan focuses on enhancing the relevance of financial and non-financial information reported to meet the evolving information needs of Canadian stakeholders. Our core strategies will best support achieving this mandate.
We now operate under a hybrid work model as we have learned that conducting the business of standard setting this way helps us effectively respond to stakeholders’ needs. This model allows us to be nimble with our outreach and efficient with our resources. We are also cognizant of reducing our carbon footprint on the environment and a hybrid work model helps us to balance between in-person and virtual meetings when participating in international discussions and engaging with our stakeholders.
How we will achieve our strategy
This Annual Plan is based on the vision, mission, and strategic objectives set out in our 2022-2027 Strategic Plan. It outlines the activities we plan to undertake in the second year of our five-year Strategic Plan to achieve our major goals.
Our 2023-2024 Annual Plan includes consulting our stakeholders on not only key technical standard-setting projects, but also on how we can enhance the relevance of the accounting standards for each category of reporting entity. Our Consultation Paper on Scaling the Standards explores how we can better meet the needs of non-listed Canadian entities and of their financial statement users.
We recognize that there is increased economic uncertainty in the year ahead. As we carry out the activities described within this Annual Plan, we will keep in mind the need to reprioritize to effectively use resources and respond to emerging financial reporting matters arising in our environment. In addition, sustainability reporting continues to be a rapidly evolving area both internationally and domestically. We will work together with the forthcoming Canadian Sustainability Standards Board (CSSB) and others to ensure that Canadian perspectives are considered internationally. In doing so, we will reaffirm the need for connectivity between financial and non-financial reporting.
The Independent Review Committee on Standard Setting (IRCSS) in Canada has issued its recommendations regarding the governance and structure for establishing Canadian accounting, auditing, assurance, and sustainability standards. We will be considering the IRCSS’ final recommendations and will pivot to maintain our collaborative approach to standard setting in the public interest.
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Strategies for Each Part of the Handbook
Part I: Support the application of IFRS® Accounting Standards in Canada
We believe that supporting implementation starts at the beginning of a standard’s development. As a result, we will continue working to influence the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) throughout its standard-setting process, leveraging our reputation to make advancements. We will also work to provide a direct line of contact to the IASB for our stakeholders whenever possible.
We support our stakeholders with implementation through targeted activities:
- Influence: We will perform the appropriate level of consultation on documents for comment issued by the IASB to the extent they are relevant to our Canadian stakeholders.
- Monitor: We will closely monitor for application issues related to emerging issues and newly issued amendments. Our IFRS® Accounting Standards Discussion Group is an important part of all these activities. We will work with this Group to identify implementation issues affecting Canadians through open communication and robust agendas.
- Committee support: We will maintain an open dialogue with our advisory committees as needed, including the Academic Advisory Committee and User Advisory Committee, to ensure Canadian-specific issues are considered. With our newly formed Crypto-asset Working Group, we will further our research to influence discussions internationally on the need for assessing the accounting for crypto-asset activities.
Similar financial reporting outcomes under IFRS Accounting Standards and U.S. GAAP are highly important for our stakeholders. We will continue to work toward narrowing new, unnecessary differences in financial reporting outcomes under IFRS Accounting Standards and U.S. GAAP by regularly engaging with the IASB and U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board. We will also leverage our relationships with other national standard setters to accomplish this goal.
Part II: Continue to establish appropriate accounting standards for private enterprises
Our main priorities for 2023-2024 are improving financial reporting for private enterprises and addressing areas that are causing them difficulties. We will use various tools to respond to stakeholders’ needs in a timely manner, such as undertaking standard-setting activities when needed, or sharing information through webinars and In Briefs.
We will advance our planned activities on priority projects such as improving the accounting for common control combinations and providing guidance on the accounting for insurance contracts with cash surrender value. Our planned activities also include exploring approaches to address the revenue recognition issue raised by stakeholders related to upfront non-refundable fees or payments. We are continually listening to our stakeholders to ensure we are aware of new and emerging issues facing Canadian private enterprises.
Our longer-term focus, once staff capacity is available, is to advance our understanding on reporting challenges related to goodwill and intangible asset accounting and to review financial statement concepts in the Handbook. We are also committed to assessing the effect of new standards or major amendments to ensure consistent application. As a result, we plan on preparing for a post-implementation review of the amendments for retractable or mandatorily redeemable shares issued in a tax planning arrangement and will consult stakeholders when timing is appropriate.
Our Private Enterprise Advisory Committee will continue to support high-quality and timely implementation and solutions by identifying and assessing application issues and providing recommendations to address them.
Part III: Continue to establish appropriate accounting standards for NFPOs
We are dedicated to ensuring NFPO standards reflect the current environment and to supporting stakeholders in applying the standards. This means advancing key projects such as Contributions in a timely manner and responding to stakeholders’ needs when new and emerging issues arise. We will provide implementation guidance for the sector through tools such as webinars and In Briefs.
We will be consulting stakeholders extensively on our Contributions Exposure Draft to ensure the finalization of any proposals will result in a high-quality revenue recognition standard for NFPOs. We will also explore potential solutions to improve the reporting of controlled and related entities. Where appropriate, we will align work on Part II projects with Part III.
Our longer-term focus, once staff capacity is available, is similar to that of Part II. We will aim to understand reporting challenges related to intangible asset accounting and review financial statement concepts in the Handbook.
We will look to our Not-for-Profit Advisory Committee for key support in advancing our deliberations of the feedback we receive on the Contributions Exposure Draft. The Committee will also continue to support high-quality and timely implementation and application solutions by identifying and assessing application issues and providing recommendations to address them.
Part IV: Enhance the relevance of accounting by pension plans to meet stakeholder needs
We will continue to ensure that Part IV standards meet the needs of this sector.
To do this, we will continue to ask our Pension Plan Working Group to identify improvements that could be made to enhance the transparency and comparability of investment disclosures and presentation of investment fees. Our aim is to develop proposals and start consultations by the end of the 2023-2024 fiscal year.
Our expert Group will also continue to support us in identifying future areas of focus to enhance the relevance of accounting by pension plans.
Preface of the Handbook and Scaling the Standards
We will continue to establish high-quality accounting standards that promote stakeholder confidence in the information reported by Canadian publicly accountable enterprises, private enterprises, NFPOs, and pension plans. Due to the diverse landscape of reporting entities in Canada, and in line with our 2022-2027 Strategic Plan, we will focus on enhancing the relevance of the accounting standards for each category of reporting entity to ensure the information needs of financial statement users are met.
As part of our 2023-2024 Annual Plan, we will seek input from our stakeholders on potential solutions identified in our Consultation Paper that explores scaling standards for our non-listed Canadian reporting entities to better meet the needs of their users. Our plan is to use this feedback to identify the way forward for scaling existing accounting frameworks. We will also discuss the direction for improving the Preface to the Handbook to ensure it remains fit-for-purpose for reporting entities and the users of their financial statements. We recognize that practitioners servicing smaller businesses have important insight to share on the topics of Scalability and the Preface, so we will consult our forthcoming Small Practitioners Working Group to advance this important strategic work.
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Support Improving the Quality of Reporting Beyond the Traditional Financial Statements
We continue to see rapid change in the reporting needs of Canadian entities. Additionally, capital providers, investors, and stakeholders are demanding more transparency and decision-useful information beyond what is currently available in the traditional financial statements. In line with our vision, we are focused on identifying how best to support Canadian stakeholders’ needs – inside and outside the traditional financial statements.
Our 2022-2027 Strategic Plan identifies strategies to do just that across all stakeholder groups – helping financial statement users make well-informed, economic decisions and allowing financial statement preparers to explain their results in a cost-effective way. This includes continuing with our core mandate of serving the public interest through the development of accounting standards and other related reporting guidance.
The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) will soon be issuing sustainability standards, which will form a global baseline for the capital markets. The ISSB will also consult on its future agenda priorities. We will participate in this global dialogue by responding to the ISSB’s agenda consultation and working with other national standard setters to influence international discussions on the connectivity between financial and sustainability reporting.
Domestically, we will work with the newly operational CSSB and various regulators to identify opportunities and support the bringing together of financial and non-financial information relied on by financial statement users. Doing so will provide added insight to Canadian stakeholders with respect to a reporting entity’s financial performance.
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Grow the AcSB’s International Influence
One of our proudest achievements is the strong international reputation we have cultivated for Canadian standard setting. This could not have been achieved without our stakeholders’ support.
We will continue to advance our effort in 2023-2024 and remain firmly seated at the international table when issues important to Canadians are discussed to ensure that the Canadian perspective is heard and considered.
We also plan to use the traction we have gained to grow our international influence for private enterprises, NFPOs, and pension plans. We will work to advance global standard setting by providing thought leadership and global best practices for all major reporting entity categories in Canada’s private sector.
To achieve our objectives, we will continue to:
- maintain and grow strong strategic collaborations with standard setters across the world to amplify Canadian views on IFRS Accounting Standards, and discuss issues faced by private enterprises, NFPOs, and pension plans in Canada;
- significantly contribute at international meetings, such as the Accounting Standards Advisory Forum, World Standard Setters, and International Forum of Accounting Standard Setters, by sharing Canadian perspectives and practices on relevant issues; and
- support any Canadian(s) appointed to the IASB and other Canadians appointed to international committees, as well as recommend Canadians for appointments when opportunities arise.
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Monitor for Success
Our due process is based on three principles: transparency, consultation, and accountability. We are committed to following our due process in each decision we make and will consider other factors when applying due process to address extenuating circumstances, such as the current global pandemic. We will continue to look for ways to promote transparency in what we do. We aim to be even more accessible to our stakeholders and expand the reach of our consultation activities. This is essential to our work.
Our overarching goals for governance also mean ensuring our stakeholders can hold us accountable and understand the decisions we make. To support this, we will be clear, timely, and concise when sharing information.
The quality of everything we do is directly related to ensuring the lines of communication are open to our stakeholders.
Our focus will be to make it easier for effective two-way communication by ensuring there are multiple ways for our stakeholders to get in touch with us. We will leverage new tools and technologies to increase our accessibility, enhance communication, and grow our virtual channels to obtain feedback. This includes increasing our use of social media and offering more online meeting options to ensure we can be reached.
To make sure we achieve goals set in our annual and strategic plans, we monitor our progress, and identify and manage our risks effectively. This risk management process includes identifying mitigating controls and monitoring developments in the business environment. This helps ensure we know when to change our standard-setting approach.
Many of the key risks that we manage are operational in nature. We recognize that there is increased economic uncertainty ahead and this will affect our stakeholders and our operations. Additionally, remaining relevant to our stakeholders is a key priority to managing our strategic and reputational risks. As such, we are committed to staying nimble and re-evaluating priorities based on stakeholder needs. This includes trying new and innovative ways to progress projects and effectively use stakeholders’ time.
Deliverables and timelines
Our project plan is based on best estimates of current staffing levels, Board-approved projects for domestic standards, and the latest information on the IASB’s work plan. We are ready to change our plans to ensure our stakeholders are well served. We will communicate any changes and the reasons for them in a clear and timely manner.
Stay up to date on our current projects and activities:
Also see the IASB's work plan for additional information on IFRS Accounting Standards projects and the AcSB’s decision summaries after every meeting, which outline the work we do on domestic accounting standards and IFRS Accounting Standards.
For an overview of our past achievements, read our Annual Report.
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