Getting your non-profit’s financial statements reviewed by an accountant requires time, budget and planning.
According to the Societies Act, there are times when you must have an accountant review your non-profit's financial statements. There might also be times when your board chooses to have a review done regardless.
Continue reading this page to learn more. You can also download this flow chart to understand the process whether or not you need an account to review your finances.
Find out whether or not you have completed your transitional fiscal year. This will help you figure out if the Societies Act requires you to get an accountant.
If your society incorporated after April 1, 2021, the transitional fiscal year does not apply to you.
If your society incorporated before April 1, 2021, you need to plan for your transitional fiscal year.
Determine your transitional fiscal year
- The fiscal year when you filed your transition application is your transitional fiscal year.
- This transitional period starts when you filed your transition application.
- The transitional fiscal year ends when you file the annual report for that fiscal year.
- When you file the annual report for your transitional fiscal year, you must:
- use the old forms; and
- follow the rules under the old Regulations for getting your finances reviewed.
Not sure if you've completed your transitional fiscal year?
Contact the societies advisor by phone 867-332-7950 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The old Act and the new Act have different categories:
- Category A
- Category B
- Category C
- Class A or B
- Member-funded societies
If you are filing under the old Act or completing your transitional fiscal period, you need to use the requirements of the old Act.
A category A society has revenues above $150,000 or assets worth more than $300,000.
Get an accountant to review your finances or ask for an exemption from the registrar. You cannot ask for an exemption for more than 4 years in a row.
If an accountant has not reviewed your finances, attach a copy of your exemption letter to your annual report.
Download a template for an exemption letter.
A category B society has revenues between $40,000 and $150,000 and or assets worth between $100,000 and $300,000.
- get an accountant to review your finances; or
- pass a special resolution at least 1 year before your annual general meeting to waive the requirement.
Do not forget to attach a copy of the special resolution to your annual report.
Download a template for a special resolution.
- A category C society has revenues less than $40,000 or assets worth less than$100,000.
- You do not need to have an accountant review your finances.
- You need to file a declaration of category C form with your annual report.
Download a declaration of category C form.
If you incorporated after April 1, 2021, or if your transitional period is complete, you can file your annual report under the new Act. The new Act has different thresholds for when you need an accountant.
A class A society has revenues over $120,000 or assets over $250,000. You must get an accountant to review your financials unless your bylaws allow you to waive this rule.
You can only waive this requirement for 2 years in a row. On the 3rd year, you must get an accountant review.
You can waive the requirement by passing a special resolution with your members.
You do not need to provide a copy of your financials or your special resolution with your annual report.
A class B society has revenues under $120,000 or assets under $250,000. You can choose whether or not you want to have an accountant review your financials.
There is no requirement to have your financials reviewed by an accountant.
You can decide with your members at your AGM whether you want to have a review done for the fiscal year ahead. You may choose to pass a special resolution but you do not need to.
This is a society with a specific statement in its constitution, which is not allowed to receive:
- government funding; or
- public donations.
These societies do not need to have their financials reviewed.
Member-funded societies can decide with their members at the AGM whether they want to have a review done for the fiscal year ahead.
How to waive the need for financial review
If you do waive the need for financial review, you need to pass a special resolution with your members. You can do this at an AGM or a special general meeting.
- Find out how to pass a special resolution.
- Download a special resolution template for category B societies who are filing under the old Act.
If you're filing as a category A society under the old Act, you need to write a letter to the registrar. In your letter, ask for an exemption from the financial review. You can file this with your annual report or any time before your fiscal year-end with Corporate Affairs.
Download an exemption letter template.
When to present financial statements
You must present your financial statements to your members at your AGM. If you need an accountant review them, you must present the reviewed financial statements to your members.
If your accountant cannot review finances before your AGM
You could present non-reviewed financials at your AGM. Then, you could plan another way to present your reviewed financial statements to members. This could be:
- at a special meeting;
- at the next AGM; or
- by sharing the reviewed financial statements online or by email.
Or, you could delay holding your AGM until your reviewed financial statements are ready. This could put you in default, and could mean you need to provide interim financial statements at your AGM.
If this happens to you often, there may be options to move your fiscal year-end or request an extension for your AGM (that option is only available if you have fully transitioned to the new Act). We are interested in hearing from groups that face this problem consistently.
Phone the societies advisor 867-332-7950 or email email@example.com.
A chartered professional accountant (CPA) has special qualifications. When the Act requires you to have an accountant, you must use:
- a CPA; or
- an accountant that is registered in a professional association.
Accountants, bookkeepers and account managers
An accountant is different from a bookkeeper. You may have a bookkeeper to record and organize your financial information. A CPA provides a deeper level of interpretation and presentation of your finances.
A CPA is different from a bookkeeper or an account manager. A CPA is a professional title for people who have certain qualifications and are members of a CPA Yukon organization.
How to select an accountant
You must select an accountant who is part of a professional accounting association.
Your accountant cannot be:
- a board member;
- an employee;
- a partner, employer, employee or member of the immediate family of an employee of the society;
- a trustee of the estate of the society; or
- a member who has the power to appoint the majority of the board of directors.
Tips for finding an accountant
You can find an accountant in the Yukon by:
- searching for CPA services; or
- by word-of-mouth recommendations.
You can also find a searchable database of registered accounting firms on CPA BC’s website. You can search for the location of “Whitehorse” to find firms registered with CPA Yukon.
We're open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at 307 Black Street, 1st floor in Whitehorse.
For clients who prefer limited contact, a drop box is located in the main lobby.
Phone: 867-332-7950, or toll free in Yukon 1-800-661-0408, extension 5314
Government of Yukon
Corporate Affairs (C-6)
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2C6