When the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) tells you they're making changes to enable them to process your tax return more effectively and efficiently, it often means they have additional motives. So it is with the General Index of Financial Information or GIFI for short.
Introduced in 2000, GIFI is an index of items generally found in corporate financial statements. There are 700 items in all, each with its own index number.
All corporate filings now must comply with this new format. One of the big benefits to CRA is that this transfers the cost and time for inputting this data from them to you.
FBC handles this conversion on behalf of each member at no additional cost.
The real downside with GIFI is that CRA now can scan financial data in a much more sophisticated manner. Much smaller variations or anomalies in year-over-year financial results now will stand out and could cause increased CRA audits.
The FBC audit protection service guarantee has always aimed to prevent audits - GIFI just makes the process more time consuming and difficult.