This research explores the use of the internet, a mechanism that provides the opportunity to reach vast audiences efficiently and cost effectively, by United Kingdom (UK) charities to discharge accountability.
This research combines a content analysis of the web sites of large UK charities and semi-structured interviews with key charity personnel responsible for the formulation and dissemination of information to stakeholders.
The results indicate that, in most cases, charity web sites, as accountability mechanisms, appear to play a wide role, being directed at both upward and downward stakeholders. However, while the web sites are usually professionally created with appropriate web site presentation and page design, the discharge of fiduciary accountability via the internet is not universal.
This research focuses on large UK charities. This, together with the nature of the items captured by the content analysis checklist and the semi-structured interviews, inevitably affects its generalisability.
Accepting that charities have a duty to account to their stakeholders, and that the input of accounting practitioners is vital in this process, this research extends our understanding of how the internet is employed by charities to fulfil this duty.
The charity sector has grown extensively in size and prominence in recent years and policymakers have come to embrace the role that charities play in societal development. This paper provides a crucial insight into the discharge of accountability by charities through the internet.
The authors would like to express their gratitude to the Certified Accountants Educational Trust of the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants for their financial and research support of this project.
Connolly, C. and Dhanani, A. (2013), "Exploring the discharge of e-countability by charities", Journal of Applied Accounting Research, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 108-126. https://doi.org/10.1108/09675421311291874Download as .RIS
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