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Accounting Standards for Private Sector Not-for-Profit Organizations

Consultation Paper, Contributions – Revenue Recognition and Related Matters


The AcSB has issued a Consultation Paper to seek input on accounting for contributions and related topics by not-for-profit organizations (NFPOs).

This Consultation Paper aims to obtain broad input and data from NFPO stakeholders, including users, preparers and practitioners on the accounting for revenue from contributions and on related matters. This feedback will help the Board decide on the project’s direction related to accounting for contributions.

This Consultation Paper was issued with an extended comment period to provide stakeholders more time to respond in light of COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the environment as it evolves. Stakeholders are encouraged to respond by December 31, 2020.

Staff Contact(s)

Katharine Christopoulos, CPA, CA Director, Accounting Standards Board


The existing contributions standards for NFPOs were established in 1996. While the standards have remained largely unchanged since that time, research suggests the landscape for many NFPOs has evolved.

For example, contribution agreements are becoming increasingly complex. The current guidance provides NFPOs with an accounting policy choice for the recognition of revenue from restricted contributions. Stakeholders have informed the AcSB that:

  • this adds complexity to NFPO financial statements, and also creates a lack of comparability across the financial statements of different NFPOs; and
  • this accounting policy choice accommodates the diverse needs of NFPOs and their users.

The guidance developed through this project would aim to balance the diverse needs and operations of NFPOs while addressing financial statement user concerns regarding the complexity and comparability of NFPO financial statements.