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Not-For-Profit Accounting and Issues

Course Code: ACCT 4180
Faculty: Commerce & Business Administration
Department: Accounting
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar, Hybrid
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

Not-For-Profit Accounting is a foundation course in accounting for not-for-profit sector. It will emphasize the application of accounting concepts used in the not-for-profit sector. It also includes an overview of the government (public sector) financial reporting standards. The purpose of the course is to produce a mid-level accountant with skills in the not-for-profit sector able to function in environments of low-level complexity. This course will focus on applied knowledge, using not-for-profit scenarios that require the student to demonstrate the application of technical knowledge.

Course Content

1. Introduction to not-for-profit organizations

2. Governance and oversight

3. Financial statements concepts

4. Fund accounting

5. Deferral method, restricted funds and endowments

6. Registered charities

7. Not-for-profit and public sector accounting

Methods of Instruction

In-class and/or on-line lectures and group discissions.

Means of Assessment

Quizzes and/or Assignments and/or Project  30%
Midterm Examination  30%
Final Examination  40%
   Total 100%





Students must write both the midterm examination and the final examiniation to obtain credit for the course.

To pass this course, students must obtain a minimum of 50% on invigilated assessments, with the 50% calculated on a weighted average basis.

Invigilated assessments include, in-class quizzes, in-class tests, midterm exam and the final exam.

Learning Outcomes

1. Explain the basic process of setting up a not-for-proft organization and obtaining the appropriate governmental approval.

2. Describe the basics of charitable and not-for-profit governance.

3. Analyze the major financial reporting issues in not-for-profit organizations.

4. Explain the basics of accounting for and reporting contributions under the restricted fund and deferred contribution methods.

5. Demonstrate understanding of the purposes and accounting for endowments.

6. Analyze the approaches to measuring and valuing outputs.

7. Compare and contrast the performance measurements of for-profit organizations to not-for-profit organizations.

8. Describe the objectives of public sector financial statements.

9. Use the CPA Canada Handbook applicable to the public sector.

course prerequisites

ACCT 2320 with a grade of "C" or better


(ACCT 3310 OR ACCT 3410 with a grade of "C" or better)


(ACCT 1222 with a grade of "C" or better OR currently active in the PDD Accounting, PDD Accounting Studies or PBD Accounting program.)

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.