Original Research

The need for specific accounting principles for non-profit organisations’ assets without economic benefits, restricted donations and funds

Cobus Rossouw
Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences | Vol 6, No 2 | a270 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jef.v6i2.270 | © 2018 Cobus Rossouw | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 June 2018 | Published: 31 July 2013

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Cobus Rossouw, Centre for Accounting, University of the Free State, South Africa

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Non-profit (or “not-for-profit”) organisations are faced with specific challenges in their financial reporting when they are required to or chose to apply formal financial reporting standards. The IFRSs or the IFRS for SMEs are meant for business entities and are not specifically developed to be applicable to non-profit organisations. Prior research suggested that the main problems of nonprofit accounting centre on the recognition of assets with no future economic benefits, but with service potential, the recognition of restricted income and the so-called fund accounting. This research analyses the requirements of IFRSs, IFRS for SMEs and the Australian accounting standards for non-profit organisation relating to these aspects. The article then presents the views of South African accounting practitioners who are involved in the financial reporting of non-profit organisations on these issues.


accounting for non-profit organisations/ not-for-profit organisations; differential reporting; financial reporting; fund accounting; donations; service potential


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