Accounting for Public Sector Entities, Higher Education & Charities

The not-for-profit sector includes higher education providers, TAFEs, charities, and federal, state and local governments.

Not-for-profit entities are increasingly wanting to modernise their finance operations to meet current and future needs. We’ve outlined areas of interest for not-for-profit entity finance teams to better anticipate and prepare for change.

Accounting change

There are similarities between the profit and not-for-profit sectors regarding financial reporting. However, there are nuances to how financial reporting rules are applied that will particularly affect the not-for-profit sector.

Finance operations advisory

There is increasing interest within not-for-profit entities to review existing finance operations and ensure they are fit for purpose and modernised to meet their changing needs


Not-for-profit entities are following the trend of ensuring their financial reports tell their story. Over the next 12 months we are expecting more not-for-profits to make improvements to their financial reports and increase transparency.

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How finance teams can prepare for change

There are short-term and long-term strategies to prepare for changes in finance teams. This document explores how not-for-profit entities can prepare for change and adapt.

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Not-for-profit industries

Higher Education

We work closely with higher education providers to help implement new accounting standards, improve finance operations and provide advice on accounting issues relevant to the sector. Through extensive work with higher education entities we've developed a deep understanding of the issues specific to the industry.

Our regular Higher Education Hot Topics Sessions bring together higher education stakeholders to discuss current issues across the sector in a collaborative and informal environment. If you are interested in joining our next session please contact one of our team below.

Public Sector

We work closely with Public Sector entities to help implement new accounting standards, improve finance operations and provide advice on complex infrastructure transactions and accounting issues relevant to the sector. Our experience working with Public Sector entities has allowed us to develop a deep understanding of the issues specific to the industry.

The new service concession standard is proving to be more complex for public sector entities than first anticipated. With our extensive experience working on a diverse range of large-scale infrastructure projects, we have deep knowledge of the nuances of the new standard. If you have any queries on the new service concession standard please contact one of our team members below. 


We expect the new revenue and leasing standards to have significant impacts on charities. The key change from the new leases standard is that all operating leases (except short-term or low value leases) will be on balance sheet. A large task for charities will be to identify all arrangements which contain a lease, especially any that are below market (peppercorn leases).

Charities might find that under the new revenue standards revenue recognition may be deferred to correspond to the completion of performance obligations. This may differ to previous recognition of revenue when cash was received. Having a clear understanding of how your charity’s grants and other funding arrangements are structured will be key to understanding the impact.

If you have any questions on how the new standards might apply to your charity please contact one of our team below.

Contact us

Gordon Thomson

Gordon Thomson

Partner - Capital Markets, Accounting Advisory and Structuring, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 3 8603 3574

Sean Rugers

Sean Rugers

Partner, Sydney, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 421 057 493

Amy Senti

Amy Senti

Partner, Melbourne, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 402 320 631

Paul O'Brien

Paul O'Brien

Senior Manager, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 (3) 8603 1681

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