You state that “NPOs have so many different reasons for existing, and are so different from each other”. But the same is also true of commercial businesses. Having standards for financial reporting in the commercial sector enables investors to compare businesses, whether in different sectors or not, and make decisions on their investment. But anyone wanting to make a major investment would be foolish if they looked at nothing but the financial statements.
Similarly with NPOs. Financial reporting standards will enable donors and potential donors to compare different NPOs. But any donor looking at nothing but the financial statements would be acting foolishly.
From 20 years’ working with NPOs in South East Asia, the lack of consistent financial reporting has been a major barrier, hindering local NPOs from working with their international counterparts. I am therefore extremely excited at the prospect of common reporting standards.