Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants helping not-for-profit organizations improve annual reporting
TORONTO, Dec. 8, 2011 /CNW/ - There is increasing external pressure on not-for-profit organizations to demonstrate accountability and transparency according to a new publication by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA).
The publication titled, Improved Annual Reporting by Not-For-Profit Organizations, was developed with the assistance of a working group of representatives from the sector who provided advice to the CICA's Canadian Performance Reporting Board.
"Stakeholders, including the general public, are taking a greater interest in the administration of organizations receiving donor dollars, tax benefits or government grants," says Sara Oates, working group chair, and Chief Financial Officer for World Wildlife Fund Canada. "Donors, potential partners or other stakeholders want to make informed decisions."
Many not-for-profits are already subject to reporting requirements such as the production of audited statements or mandatory reporting to funders. The CICA guide is intended to assist senior management and boards of directors of not-for-profit organizations in preparing high quality annual reports that complement and supplement existing reporting requirements.
"Annual reports should be part of an overall strategy to communicate with stakeholders and can help foster public trust and build community support," stresses Chris Hicks, Principal, Guidance and Support, CICA. "Effective annual reports can help build an organization's reputation, can make a case for support, and can be a key means of reaching new donors, partners and volunteers."
The CICA publication outlines some key principles associated with annual reports:
- Focus on the mission
- Tell the story
- Have a strategic perspective
- Account for stewardship
- Meet stakeholder needs
- Be fair and balanced
The guide notes that just as not-for-profit organizations vary widely in terms of size, complexity and resources, the appropriate level of detailed reporting will also vary. A series of questions that annual reports should answer are highlighted in the document.
The publication is available online (www.cica.ca/not-for-profit-guide).
Chartered Accountants (CAs) are Canada's most valued, internationally recognized profession of leaders in senior management, advisory, financial, tax and assurance roles. Through their integrity, expertise, and internationally recognized qualification standards, Canada's 78,000 CAs sustain their influence and leadership position both in Canada and globally. As trusted business advisors to Canadian organizations of all sizes, Canada's CAs foster confidence in Canadian business and contribute to the health and sustainability of Canada's capital markets and economy. The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) represents Canada's CA profession both nationally and internationally. The CICA is a founding member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and the Global Accounting Alliance (GAA).For further information: