CPA skills in demand at not-for-profit organizations

Not-for-profits must be able to articulate a clear purpose and demonstrate the impact of their work. As a CPA, you can help organizations reach their goals with a strategic plan that connects performance metrics to the mission.

At every organization, strong business skills – such as sharp financial acumen and a strategic mindset – are critical to performance management and good governance. Not-for-profits are no exception.


In Canada, the not-for-profit (NFP) sector is a driving force in our economy. According to a recent Imagine Canada report, NFPs are one of the fastest growing sectors in the country at a pace of 6.4 per cent annually, outpacing Canadian GDP. However, even the most vibrant organizations are facing new forms of disruption and unique sector-specific challenges, like how to increase reach and grow market share, or how to balance the demands of public interest with financial viability.

Greater complexity also comes with competition for resources and the pressure to measure impact. To build capacity and become more resilient, NFPs must reconsider the value of conventional business skills from a new perspective: as tools that unlock the organizational bandwidth necessary to stimulate social good and economic gain.

The good news is that when NFPs do invest in skills development for senior leaders, scalable, systems-changing solutions are possible at every level. For CPAs who work in the charitable sector, this presents the ideal opportunity to make a difference by tackling game-changing financial and operational problems.


CPA guidance on accounting, data analysis and evidence-based decision making enhances not-for-profit organizational performance. It also encourages transparency in financial reporting and stakeholder relations. Senior leaders can help not-for-profits stay ahead of the curve by:

  • harnessing the power of data insights to increase efficiency and better understand patron needs
  • using digital media and technology to improve service delivery, optimize fundraising initiatives and share meaningful information
  • creating the best alignment of resources (time, money, people) to achieve top organizational priorities

All not-for-profits need a clear purpose that demonstrates the impact of their work. As a CPA, you can help organizations reach their goals with a strategic plan that connects metrics to the mission.

Deepen your expertise as a senior financial professional in the not-for-profit sector with one of these professional development opportunities:

Translating Strategy Into Action: A Guide for Senior Not-for-Profit Leaders
Session I: October 12-13, 2017 | Session II: November 23-24, 2017
Vancouver, BC | CPD: 30 hours
Note: Participants must attend both dates to complete the workshop

Best of the Not-for-Profit Executive Forum 2017
Online learning | CPD: 6 hours

Not-for-Profit Executive Forum 2018
February 26-27, 2018 | CPD: Up to 21 hours
Optional workshop | Early bird special available

We are also in the midst of developing a new Not-for-Profit Certificate Program focused on sector-specific financial accounting. Stay tuned this fall.