About Canadian financial reporting frameworks

In Canada, we have different accounting frameworks in place for different types of Canadian entities.  This structure recognizes the fact different categories of reporting entities have different needs.  As such, each of our frameworks addresses the particular needs of the users of financial statements of entities in that particular category.

Accounting Standards for all Canadian entities outside of the public sector are established by the Canadian Accounting Standards Board (“AcSB”).  The Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (“PSAB”) establishes accounting standards for entities that are part of the public sector.

The CPA Canada Handbook (“the Handbook”) contains the standards established by the AcSB and is divided into five parts each containing a Canadian financial reporting framework for a specific type of entity.  Part V of the Handbook contains Canadian accounting standards that were in place prior to the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”) in Canada.  Part V is applicable only for a temporary period of time for certain entities for which the mandatory changeover date, of January 1, 2011, to IFRS was deferred.

The table below summarizes the different types of Canadian entities and the corresponding financial reporting framework for each type of entity.   Additional details on each of the frameworks, and the specific details of the underlying standards, are included on the dedicated sections of our website that address each specific framework.

Type of entity

Financial Reporting Framework

Handbook Reference

Publicly accountable enterprises

International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)

CPA Canada Handbook Part I

Private enterprises1

Accounting Standards for Private Enterprises (ASPE)

CPA Canada Handbook Part II

Not-for-profit organizations2

Accounting Standards for Not-for-profit organizations (NFPOs)

CPA Canada Handbook Part III

Pension plans

CPA Canada Handbook Section 4600, Pension Plans

CPA Canada Handbook Part IV

Publicly accountable enterprises subject to a deferred IFRS adoption date

Pre-changeover accounting standards

CPA Canada Handbook Part V

Public Sector entities

Public Sector Accounting Standards (PSAS)

Public Sector Accounting Handbook

(1) Private enterprises may also elect to apply Part I of the Handbook (IFRS).

(2) Not-for-profit organizations may elect to apply Part I of the Handbook (IFRS)

Correction list for hyphenation

These words serve as exceptions. Once entered, they are only hyphenated at the specified hyphenation points. Each word should be on a separate line.