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Accounting and accountability in the Iona Community

Kerry Jacobs (School of Business, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia)
Stephen P. Walker (Cardiff Business School, Cardiff, UK)

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal

ISSN: 0951-3574

Article publication date: 1 July 2004



This paper explores the issue of accounting and accountability in the spirituality and practices of an ecumenical Christian group – the Iona Community. Fundamental to the existence and operation of the Iona Community is their Rule, which requires all full‐members to account to each other for their use of money and time. This paper explores the development of that Rule and how it is actualised. It examines the accounting practices of individuals in the Community and the distinction between individualising and socialising accountabilities. Findings reported challenge the assumption that accounting has no role in a religious or sacred setting. The study also serves to illustrate that the distinction between individualising and socialising accountability is not clear. In the Iona Community structures of individualising accountability were subject to resistance. Structures of socialising accountability, while perceived as positive and empowering, had the potential to function as forms of internalised surveillance and domination.



Jacobs, K. and Walker, S.P. (2004), "Accounting and accountability in the Iona Community", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 361-381.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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