Standard Chart of Accounts

The National Standard Chart of Accounts (SCOA) was an initiative of the Queensland University of Technology and has now been adopted by the Federal as well as State and Territory governments in Australia.

Through their research QUT discovered there was a lack of consistency in the reporting formats prescribed by government departments and that funding recipients were having to translate their financial information into various formats in order to meet their acquittal requirements.

In response to these findings, QUT developed SCOA, a data dictionary, providing consistency in the naming of income, expenditure, asset and liability accounts, and defining what transactions get allocated where.

Click here to download a copy of the National SCOA.

The adoption dates for each State and Territory government are provided in the table below. It is mandatory for government departments to use the SCOA when prescribing their reporting formats for all new funding contracts issues after the adoption date.

It is not compulsory for not for profit organisations to adopt SCOA for their own accounting purposes, but it may be in their best interests to do so, particularly where funding is received from more than one government department.


Jurisdiction                                        Date                                     
Queensland 1 July 2010
New South Wales 1 July 2010
Australian Capital Territory 1 July 2011
Victoria 1 July 2010
Tasmania 1 July 2011
South Australia 1 July 2011
Western Australia 1 July 2011
Northern Territory 1 July 2011


Source: Government of WA, Department of Treasury Fact Sheet: National Standard Chart of Accounts (SCOA)


Training manuals and materials are available for individual states.

New South Wales



South Australia's Standard Chart of Accounts



NFPAS were responsible for conducting training sessions on the SCOA in South Australia for both government and not for profit agencies and for the preparation of SA's Implementation Manual. We have subsequently had plenty of experience in converting existing charts of accounts to the SCOA format and providing advice regarding the costs and benefits of adopting the SCOA.



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