In April this year, the Asia Pacific Philanthropy Consortium published a comprehensive Accounting Guide for Non Profit Organizations. The publication marks the completion of APPC’s Financial Accounting Standards (FAS) Project, which was funded by the Ford Foundation. The FAS Project surveyed accounting issues and practices in seven Asian societies – Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand – with the aim of developing a more responsible non-profit sector in the region.
Immediately following its publication, APPC submitted the Guide to the International Accounting Standards Board, with a request that the IASB begin the process of setting international standards for the non-profit sector. As the Guide is a product of consultations and dialogues among the seven participating countries, its application may be limited to those countries and to those with similar accounting systems.
However, a favourable response from the IASB will at least begin the process of setting global standards for non-profit accounting and will encourage stakeholders from other regions of the world to begin discussing similar standards for the non-profit sectors in their own region.
The Accounting Guide was initially used in a ‘training of trainers’ workshop held by APPC in Bangkok early this year, so that the Guide and its principles would be disseminated among NPOs in each participating country. Over 1,000 copies of the Guide were also distributed to NPOs in each of the seven participating countries.