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Toward an Integrated Accountability Model for Nonprofit Organizations

Accountability and Social Accounting for Social and Non-Profit Organizations

ISBN: 978-1-78441-005-6, eISBN: 978-1-78441-004-9

Publication date: 27 November 2014



By contributing to the burgeoning debate regarding “for what” nonprofit organizations should be accountable, this article aims to develop and present an Integrated Accountability Model (IAM) that considers three dimensions of accountability.


After highlighting the limits of conventional accounting for NPOs and reframing the role of profit within them, the article presents a complete literature review on “to whom” and “for what” NPOs have to be accountable while further developing the IAM of integrated accountability.


The integrated accountability model developed in this article proposes three categories of NPO accountability: (i) the economic and financial dimension or the capability/ability to be economically sustainable in the long term; (ii) the mission-related dimension or the raison d’être of an NPO, that is, the purpose for which the NPO has been set up, its mission; and (iii) the social-related dimension or the relationship with the stakeholders, that is the impact of NPO activities on its stakeholders in terms of the social contract between them.


Broadly, this article makes a contribution to the literature on accountability for NPOs. In particular it sheds light on two points: the importance of separating the mission-related dimension from the social-related one and the potential to open avenues for expansion of the IAM model to for-profit organizations.



Andreaus, M. and Costa, E. (2014), "Toward an Integrated Accountability Model for Nonprofit Organizations", Accountability and Social Accounting for Social and Non-Profit Organizations (Advances in Public Interest Accounting, Vol. 17), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 153-176.



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