Accounting for good

27 Apr, 2018
Accounting for good

The AUT Business School has launched a new research group focused on accounting for the impact made by organisations in the not-for-profit, public and business sectors.

The Accounting for Social Impact Research Group, co-led by Professor Deryl Northcott and Dr Cherrie Yang, will be developing an evidence-based understanding of how accounting policy and practice can support the achievement, evaluation and reporting of social impact.

Social impact is an emerging theme in academic-led accounting research, and also a key focus for the AUT Business School, say Cherrie Yang and Deryl Northcott.

“It is an important area for research since a growing number of not-for-profits, public sector organisations and social enterprises are seeking to achieve and demonstrate social impact, while also meeting the demands of financial responsibility and accountability. We have substantial research expertise and stakeholder connections in areas related to social impact. We aim to develop research to enhance its reach, impact and practice relevance to the social impact communities.”

Craig Fisher, a New Zealand Auditing and Assurance Standards Board member, says there is a need for the sort of research-practice interface that the new research group will provide.

“Measuring social impact is not easy. It is an area that both accounting standard setters and innovative charities and social enterprises are grappling with. For this reason, rigorous academic research and the objective insights this provides are essential to assist with this important developing area,” says Fisher.

Affiliated with the Centre for Not-for-profit and Public-sector Research at Queen’s University, Belfast, the Centre for Social Impact, Foundation North, New Zealand, and the Australia and New Zealand Third Sector Research (ANZTSR), the Accounting for Social Impact Research Group draws on an expert stakeholder panel from across the charitable and public sector, plus practitioners, including:

  • Craig Fisher, New Zealand Auditing and Assurance Standards Board member; Audit Partner and Chairman of the RSM New Zealand (audits not-for-profit and charitable organisations).
  • Julia Fletcher, Manager of Engagement and Business Improvement at Charities Services.
  • Dr Bev Gatenby, former Chief Executive of Trust Waikato (2006-2016); founding CEO of Social Services Waikato (2001-2006).
  • Jennifer Gill ONZM, CEO of Foundation North; Board Advisor for the Centre for Social Impact.
  • Rick Jones, Country Head of CPA Australia and Chair of the CPA Not-for-profit Committee.
  • Charmaine Meyers, co-founder of Fairground (formerly Enspiral Accounting)
  • Dr Shilinka Smith, former Principal Advisor – Performance at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment; former Director of Research Development at the Office of the Auditor General.
  • Wayne Tukiri, Associate Director of RSM New Zealand.

For more information on research and events, visit the Accounting for Social Impact Research Group website.

Accounting for Social Impact Research Group website