This paper aims to explore accountants’ views on mandatory corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting. It focuses on three main factors underpinning their understanding and attitude towards non-financial disclosures: general understanding of the concept, gender and work experience.
The study uses social identity theory as the theoretical framework. The findings are based on a survey conducted among 73 accountants in 2018. The questionnaire consisted of 86 questions divided into 9 main areas. The Mann–Whitney U test was used to determine if there are any significant differences between the accountants’ attitudes towards non-financial disclosures.
Study results suggest that the general knowledge of CSR reporting among accounting specialists is insufficient. The attitude towards mandatory CSR disclosures significantly differs between accountants who participated in training related to non-financial reporting and those who did not. Contrary to expectations, there were no significant differences in responses either between female and male accountants or between accountants at the beginning of their career path (with experience shorter than five years) and the more experienced ones. The paper contributes to social theory studies as it refers to the problem of the influence of professional associations, governments and big accounting firms on the transformation of accountants’ social identity. It also discusses the relations between the characteristics influencing personal identity and social identity of accountants in shaping their attitude towards mandatory non-financial disclosures.
The findings could be of interest to the higher education and professional certification institutions which should consider bringing accounting curricula more closely to the realities of the current business environment.
The study contributes to the body of literature mainly because it investigates a diversified sample of accountants in a relatively unexplored institutional setting. It may also serve as a starting point for research that more broadly explores accountants’ engagement in non-financial disclosures on CSR.
The authors wish to thank the participants of the Meditari Accountancy Research/Accounting Forum Joint Conference, Seoul, 2019 and the 42nd European Accounting Association Annual Congress, Paphos, 2019 for their helpful feedback, comments and suggestions.
Krasodomska, J., Michalak, J. and Świetla, K. (2020), "Directive 2014/95/EU: Accountants’ understanding and attitude towards mandatory non-financial disclosures in corporate reporting", Meditari Accountancy Research, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEDAR-06-2019-0504Download as .RIS
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