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National Classifications

Chart of Accounts / Plan comptable
(COA / PC)

Country / Area: Canada

Classification category: Other classifications

General information
1 (a)Name of the current national classification (full name in official national languages and in English with acronyms in brackets, should be given)Chart of Accounts (COA) 2012 / Plan comptable (PC) 2012
1 (b)In which language(s) is the classification available?French, English
1 (c)Can the classification (or information about it) be accessed on the Internet? If yes, please provide the URL.The COA 2012 is under development and will be implemented for reference year 2013. Here are the links to the French and English versions of COA 2006.
French: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/subjects-sujets/standard-norme/coa-pc/coa-pc-fra.htm
English: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/subjects-sujets/standard-norme/coa-pc/coa-pc-eng.htm
Classification structure
2 (a)Please describe the structure of the classification: How many levels does the classification have? (Please provide labels, such as “Division”, “Class”) How many categories exist at each level?The Chart of Accounts (COA) is an accounting taxonomy used for financial reporting. The accounts are displayed in a hierarchical structure. There are sparse levels in structure (i.e., “wavy line”). The top 4 levels (in general) represent the departmental standard (i.e., use is mandatory in statistical programs). The more detailed levels and the supplementary accounts are a recommended standard (i.e., use is not mandatory in statistical programs). There are six core variables: revenues, expenses, gains/losses, assets, liabilities, equity. The COA 2012 is split into two sets of accounts - one for non-financial sector and a second set for financial sector.
2 (b)Please provide examples of the coding system used at each level.
Financial assets1.1
Cash, Deposits and Official International Reserves1.1.1
Cash in Canadian Currency1.1.1.1
Demand Deposits / Notice Deposits in Deposit Accepting Institutions1.1.1.2
Term Deposits - under 90 days1.1.1.3
Other Cash Equivalents1.1.1.4
Other Current Cash Accounts (including Restricted Cash)
Relationship to international standards
3 (a)Is this classification based on (or linked to) an international standard classification? If yes, please describe.No. It follows the Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and includes classes for the purposes of the System of national accounts.
3 (b)Is the classification structure identical to the international standard or, if not, how does it differ? (e.g. have additional levels been added to the international standard or have changes been made within the level of the international structure, such as aggregations or additional breakdowns)Not applicable.
3 (c)Please describe deviations from the international standard (in terms of structure, methodology or application rules). Please use examples, if a general statement is not possible.Not applicable.
3 (d)At what level of the international standard can data be reported for international comparison? (Please provide examples of programmes / indicators if reporting takes place at different levels of the classification.)Not applicable.
3 (e)If no links to international classifications exist or no international standard is used, please state if there are plans to use international norms in the future.The next version will look at the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) and taxonomies used in XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language).
Classification uses
4 (a)Please state for which statistical purposes (surveys etc.) this classification is used and if there are users outside of the Statistical Office. Please indicate at which level the classification is used for data collection and for data publishing.The Chart of Accounts is used to organize the information for collecting financial data on businesses and analyzing financial data in the context of the System of national accounts. There are two major sources of financial information at Statistics Canada. One is from direct surveys conducted by Statistics Canada, and the other is tax administrative data collected by tax authorities. A standard concordance has been developed to link the COA to the General Index of Financial Information (GIFI) variables on the tax administrative data files.
4 (b)Please give the names of institutions that use the classification for non-statistical purposes (as opposed to statistical purposes in question 4(a)). Also indicate the kind of use (e.g. tax offices, social security, customs, enterprise register, employment services, work permits etc.)Not applicable.
4 (c)Please indicate if alternative classifications are used by other institutions of the economy. Are these classifications available and useful for the Statistical Office?The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) uses GIFI. A concordance between COA and GIFI allows mapping between administrative data and data collected by survey mode, which uses the COA.
Implementation / revision status
5 (a)Please state the date of the official adoption of the classification. If not yet adopted, please indicate the current state (e.g. in development, sent for approval, in printing, ready to be distributed etc.)The COA 2012 has not yet been officially adopted.
5 (b)Please state the date of use of the classification for individual statistical programmes.Reference year 2013.
5 (c)Are there existing plans for revision or update of the current classification?Yes. A revision will be triggered by the implementation of IFRS by Canadian businesses.
5 (d)Name of former (previous) national classification (full name in both national tongue and in English with acronyms in brackets, should be given)Chart of Accounts (COA) 2006
Plan comptable (PC) 2006
5 (e)Please describe the link of the former classification to international classificationsNone.
5 (f)Please describe the structure of the former classification and indicate the number of items at each level of the classification. (similar to question 2(a))The accounts are displayed in a hierarchical structure. The top 4 levels (in general) represent the departmental standard. The more detailed levels and the supplementary accounts are the recommended standard. There are six core variables: revenues, expenses, gains/losses, assets, liabilities, equity. Contrary to the most recent version, the former version was not split into non-financial sector and financial sector.
5 (g)Do conversion tables exist between the former and current classification?No.
5 (h)When was the former classification implemented?Reference year 2007.
5 (i)Are statistical data still collected or published according to the former classification? Please indicate if this statistical data is collected or published by the Statistical Office or elsewhere.Yes.
Supporting documents
6 (a)Have national explanatory notes and/or guidelines been elaborated?Yes. Class descriptions, inclusions, exclusions and guidelines for valuation have been developed.
6 (b)Do correspondence tables exist between the national and the international classifications (if applicable)?Not applicable.
6 (c)Are correspondence tables between alternative and current classification available (if applicable)?There is a concordance between COA and GIFI (variables on administrative data files) and between COA and SICA (variables on businesses quarterly financial statements).
6 (d)Does a national coding index exist?No.
6 (e)Is the classification available in electronic form? If yes, in which formats is it available?(e.g. PDF, TXT, Excel, XML)Yes, it is available in HTML and Excel.
6 (f)Are the correspondence tables or indexes available in electronic form?Yes.
Contact information
7 (a)Name of institution / office responsible for the development and maintenance of the classificationStandards Division, Statistics Canada
7 (b)Contact address, phone number, e-mail or website for public information and inquiryStandards-normes@statcan.gc.ca
Other comments
9 (a)Please provide any other information on this classification that you consider relevant 

Source: UN questionnaire, 9/12/2012