Within the accounting discipline and its literature, attention to the role of social and non-profit organizations has been growing, particularly with respect to issues of accountability and social accounting. In response, the aim of this introductory article is to present the background for the book by highlighting (i) the relevance and rise of the non-profit sector worldwide, (ii) the limitations of the conventional accounting framework when applied/transposed to NPOs and (iii) the ‘social accounting project’ for NPOs. The article presents analysis and critique based on a literature review of the accountability framework for NPOs. After presenting key worldwide statistics regarding the growing non-profit sector, the article points out the skepticism regarding the adoption of traditional accounting principles and frameworks for NPOs. The article offers both an examination of how to improve the accounting system for NPOs and a discussion of the benefits emerging from the social and environmental accounting and reporting models. ‘The social accounting project’ for NPOs is presented as a pathway towards these innovative practices increasing organizational transparency. This article and the book overall provide new contributions to the research literature, fostering synergies among financial accounting and social accounting scholars engaging with the NPO subject area. Moreover it brings together studies from a range of disciplines, such as financial accounting, social accounting, economics, management, and third-sector studies. This cross-disciplinary approach offers a major contribution to our developing knowledge in this field.
We truly appreciate the Emerald editorial team for their assistance in the development of this book. The support of Cheryl Lehman, Andrew Smith and Louise Lister is particularly acknowledged.
Special acknowledgement goes to the authors of the articles for their commitment to this editorial project and for their effort in developing high-quality work to share with the academic community.
We are also grateful to the reviewers for their meticulous work in providing comments for the enhancement of every single article.
Costa, E., Parker, L.D. and Andreaus, M. (2014), "The Rise of Social and Non-Profit Organizations and their Relevance for Social Accounting Studies", Accountability and Social Accounting for Social and Non-Profit Organizations (Advances in Public Interest Accounting, Vol. 17), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 3-21. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1041-706020140000017003
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