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Accounting Standards for Private Enterprises

Evaluating the Preface


As part of the AcSB’s 2022-2027 Strategic Plan, the AcSB committed to evaluating the CPA Canada Handbook – Accounting’s Preface to assess whether the applicability of each framework to each reporting entity category meets current needs.

The AcSB will work to identify the types of entities that are directed by the Preface to apply an accounting framework and explore if their financial reporting needs are adequately met. If not, the Board will also explore alternative options and consider if changes to the Preface are needed.

Note: Follow the AcSB’s project, Scaling the Standards, which is linked to Evaluating the Preface. Both projects are focused on ensuring the diverse landscape of Canadian entities – both reporting and non-reporting – as well as financial statement users are best served by the Preface and current standard-setting frameworks.

Staff Contact(s)

Jamie Goodman, CPA, CA Principal, Accounting Standards Board

Matthew Bishop, CPA, CA Principal, Accounting Standards Board

Project Status

  • Information gathering

    AcSB is researching issues with the current Preface of the CPA Canada Handbook – Accounting to identify potential solutions

  • Approving project
  • Engaging Communities
  • Deliberating feedback
  • Final pronouncement

Webinar – Domestic Accounting Standards Update (Spring 2024)

Register for this webinar to learn about current accounting standards projects and recent amendments in Parts II, III and IV of the CPA Canada Handbook – Accounting. Join us for the English webinar on May 15, 2024, or the French webinar on May 16, 2024.

Meeting & event summaries

July 9, 2024

AcSB Decision Summary – June 19-20, 2024

The AcSB discussed research related to its strategic initiative to evaluate the Preface to the Handbook. This research included outreach with its Private Enterprise Advisory CommitteeNot-for-Profit Advisory Committee, and Small Practitioners Working Group. While most members thought that changes to the Preface are not needed, some highlighted potential changes that the Board might consider. They thought that certain entities, such as social enterprises, small health and wellness funds, and sports and social clubs are using frameworks that may not be suitable given their size, complexity, and the information needs of their financial statement users.

The AcSB will conduct additional research on the financial reporting needs of these entities. This will include further discussions with its advisory committees and outreach with staff of the Public Sector Accounting Board and the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board. The AcSB will discuss next steps at its November 2024 meeting.

June 4, 2024

Private Enterprise Advisory Committee Notes – May 9, 2024

The Private Enterprise Advisory Committee received an overview of the AcSB’s research project on the Preface to the Handbook and preliminary research findings. The Committee discussed the purpose of the Preface and whether the Preface directs entities to apply the most appropriate accounting framework based on entities’ reporting needs and objectives.

The Committee discussed some types of entities, such as co-operatives or sports and social clubs, that apply different accounting frameworks depending on their ownership structure or purpose (i.e., member-benefit organizations versus for-profit clubs). Some members indicated that there can be differences in how these entities operate, which is why a different framework is applied . None of the members indicated that there are issues with how entities use the Preface to determine the part of the Handbook to apply, nor did they indicate that any changes to the Preface are needed.

The Committee also discussed certain types of non-listed entities that apply Part I of the Handbook, and considered whether a different framework such as ASPE would better meet their reporting needs. For captive and mutual insurance entities, some Committee members noted that IFRS® Accounting Standards are relevant as they include a standard on insurance contracts whereas ASPE does not. For smaller, less complex government business organizations, some members noted that IFRS can be onerous to apply; however, a member also noted that scaling the requirement to apply a framework based on size and/or complexity could be challenging.

The AcSB will discuss the Committee’s feedback at its meeting on June 19-20, 2024, as part of its ongoing research project on Evaluating the Preface.


This project summary has been prepared for information purposes only. Decisions reported are tentative and reflect only the current status of discussions on this project, which may change after further Board deliberations. Decisions to publish Handbook material are final only after a formal voting process.