Awards program promotes Voluntary Sector financial reporting excellence

Posted on May 20, 2009

Adds National and International Not for Profit Category in second year of awards

TORONTO, May 12, 2009 – At a time when financial reporting is becoming increasingly important to organizations of all types and sizes, Ontario’s diverse and growing not-for-profit sector must keep up with the trend towards best practices. To help promote financial reporting excellence, the Voluntary Sector Reporting Awards (VSRAs) are back for a second year, bigger and better with a new category recognizing national and international not-for-profit organizations that are headquartered in Ontario.

“In these tough economic times it is more important than ever for not-for-profit organizations to be able to demonstrate to their stakeholders their ability to achieve their mission and use their resources wisely,” said Steve Salterio, Director of the CA-Queen’s Centre for Governance. “The Voluntary Sector Reporting Awards highlights organizations that clearly demonstrate both how they are working towards achieving their missions and using their resources as exhibited in their annual reports.

“If these organizations can show current and potential supporters that they practice assessable, clear and transparent reporting about how they handle their resources and fulfill their mandates, then only good things can happen.”

In the interest of promoting timely and accurate financial statements in the not-for-profit sector, the VSRA Program was created in 2008 by the CA-Queen’s Centre for Governance, which is a partnership between the Queen’s School of Business and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario. PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada LLP has been the sponsor of the program since its inception.

The awards are designed to recognize best practices for financial reporting in the not-for-profit sector and are open to registered charities that produce annual reports in Ontario. Organizations compete in four categories based on revenue size – less than $500,000, between $500,000 and $1 million, from $1 million to $10 million, and more than $10 million – as well as the fifth newly created category for national and international not-for-profits with head offices in Ontario.

The winners in each category will receive $5,000. Consistent with last year, charities that are organizations whose principal activities are run by or for municipalities, universities, hospitals or school boards are not eligible for this year’s competition as they have other means of demonstrating their accountability to their stakeholders. Nominated organizations are asked to submit their annual reports, including audited financial statements. Awards will be given to those reports demonstrating the highest levels of accountability and transparency and displaying highly effective communication with beneficiaries, donors and other stakeholders. All entrants will be provided with a copy of the technical screeners’ completed checklist so they can see where they met expectations or fell short and use that feedback to improve future annual reports.

Nominations are being accepted for the awards at the CA-Queen’s Centre for Governance website, PricewaterhouseCoopers’ website and at the ICAO website.  The deadline for applying is July 30, 2009 and the winners will be announced in November 2009 at an event in Toronto.

“Many of our members either work for or volunteer with not-for-profits, so we’ll be actively encouraging them to put forward those organizations that they feel represent the best in this vital sector’s financial reporting,” said Brian Leader, FCA, the Institute’s Co-Acting President and CEO and Vice-President of Learning. “We believe this competition helps the entire sector continually raise the bar for financial reporting and helps them accomplish the many wonderful things they do in communities across Ontario.”

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For more information, please contact:
Lisa Brophy-Gervais
Queen’s School of Business

Perry Jensen
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario
416-969-4271 or 1-800-387-0735 ext. 271

Carolyn Forest

About the CA-Queen’s Centre for Governance at Queen’s School of Business
The goal of the CA-Queen’s Centre for Governance is to raise the bar on Canadian governance research and convey that research’s implications to fellow academics, students and the public at large.  Situated at Queen’s School of Business, one of the world’s premier business schools, the Centre conducts cutting edge basic and applied research on corporate governance issues dealing with such issues as fraud prevention through better internal control and improving Canadian securities regulation. The Centre is also actively involved in the not for profit sector through the Queen’s Executive Development Centre’s course Fundamental of Governance for Boards of Municipal, Provincial and Federal Agencies, and Not-For-Profit Organizations, case writing, applied research and now the Voluntary Sector Reporting Awards.

About the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario:
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario is the qualifying and regulatory body of Ontario’s more than 33,000 CAs and 5,000 CA students. Since 1879, the Institute has protected the public interest through the CA profession’s internationally recognized standards of qualification and conduct. A wide range of organizations and individuals count on Ontario CAs to provide trustworthy and strategic insight, business leadership and financial guidance. The Institute’s website is: and the student website is

About PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
The PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada Foundation was established in 2004 and its mission is to make a positive, lasting change in our communities through the sharing of our time, expertise and resources. Through the Foundation, the firm encourages, supports and recognizes the sustained volunteer involvement of our staff and partners in the community. To learn more, visit

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