About ASPE

Accounting Standards for Private Enterprises or ASPE represent the accounting framework established by the Accounting Standards Board (“AcSB”) for private enterprises.  These standards are located in Part II of the CPA Canada Handbook (“the Handbook”) and became mandatory for private enterprises for fiscal years beginning on or after January 1, 2011.

ASPE are a stand-alone set of accounting standards, the starting point for which was Canadian GAAP.  Inherent in their development was a need for simplification and consideration of the costs and benefits of retaining particular requirements of Canadian GAAP.  ASPE are intended to be principles-based standards which encourage the use of professional judgment and often provide a choice of accounting treatments for particular transactions and account balances.  Further the disclosure requirements of these standards differ from IFRS in some respects and are generally speaking significantly reduced relative to IFRS.  

ASPE includes specific requirements that are applicable on first-time adoption.  These requirements apply to all first-time adopters of ASPE including, for example, an entity that previously reported under IFRS but subsequently is subject to a change in status (i.e. is no longer publicly-accountable) and is eligible to transition to ASPE.

The Private Enterprise Advisory Committee (PEAC)’s purpose is to assist the AcSB in maintaining and improving ASPE standards and in identifying the need for non-authoritative guidance about the standards. The PEAC makes recommendations to the AcSB, but is not authorized to interpret or provide authoritative guidance on ASPE.

In general, the AcSB does not intend to make changes to the accounting standards for private enterprises for some time following their finalization, so that stakeholders in the private enterprise sector have time to absorb and become familiar with them.  This said, ASPE is not a static framework and is expected to continue to evolve line with current reporting needs in a changing business environment.  Future changes to IFRS and US GAAP are also considered to determine the extent to which they are appropriate for the private sector.

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