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Article
Publication date: 22 October 2019

Kylie L. Kingston, Craig Furneaux, Laura de Zwaan and Lyn Alderman

Informed by the critical perspective of dialogic accounting theory, the purpose of this paper is to explore the use of evaluation as a means of enhancing accountability to…

Abstract

Purpose

Informed by the critical perspective of dialogic accounting theory, the purpose of this paper is to explore the use of evaluation as a means of enhancing accountability to beneficiaries within nonprofit organisations (NPOs). As a stakeholder group frequently marginalised by traditional accounting practices, the participation of beneficiaries within a NPO’s accountability structure is presented as a means of increasing social justice.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design used case studies involving two NPOs, examining documents and conducting interviews across three stakeholder groups, within each organisation.

Findings

Findings reveal that when viewed on beneficiaries’ terms, accountability to beneficiaries, through participative evaluation, needs to consider the particular timeframe of beneficiary engagement within each organisation. This temporal element positions downwards accountability to beneficiaries within NPOs as multi-modal.

Research limitations/implications

The research poses a limit to statistical generalisability outside of the specific research context. However, the research prioritises theoretical generalisation to social forms and meanings, and as such provides insights for literature.

Practical implications

In acknowledging that beneficiaries have accountability needs dependent upon their timeframe of participation, NPOs can better target their downwards accountability structures. This research also has practical implications in its attempt to action two of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Originality/value

This paper makes a contribution to the limited research into nonprofit accountability towards beneficiaries. Dialogic accounting theory is enacted to explore how accountability can be practised on beneficiaries’ terms.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2015

Laura de Zwaan, Mark Brimble and Jenny Stewart

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks have the potential to negatively impact financial returns, yet few superannuation funds integrate these considerations…

Abstract

Purpose

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks have the potential to negatively impact financial returns, yet few superannuation funds integrate these considerations into their investment selection. The Cooper Review (2010) identified a lack of member demand as a key impediment to ESG investing by superannuation funds. Given this problem, the aim of this study is to explore superannuation fund members’ perceptions of ESG investing by their funds in order to identify reasons for the lack of demand.

Design/methodology/approach

An on-line survey was developed and distributed to assess possible reasons why members do not select ESG investment options. In total, 549 Australian superannuation fund members responded to the survey.

Findings

Results indicate that the majority of superannuation fund members are interested in ESG investing. Members lack awareness of their fund’s approach to ESG investing, and they do not perceive there to be a financial penalty from ESG investing. Finally, members show a preference for consideration of governance issues over both social and environmental issues.

Research limitations/implications

Respondents are well educated and the majority did not choose their superannuation fund. There was no measure of financial literacy included in the research instrument. There is also a general limitation in surveying superannuation fund members when they lack knowledge about superannuation.

Practical implications

The results indicate that superannuation members are interested in both superannuation and ESG investing. Given the low take-up of ESG investment options, this finding raises the question of how effectively funds are engaging their members.

Social implications

The results should be of interest to superannuation funds and may lead to renewed interest in promoting ESG products.

Originality/value

This is the first study to examine superannuation members’ attitudes and behaviours towards ESG investing in the context of superannuation. The study also adds to our understanding of member decision-making in the $1.8 trillion superannuation industry.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 July 2011

Laura de Zwaan, Jenny Stewart and Nava Subramaniam

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of internal auditors' involvement in enterprise risk management (ERM) on perceptions of their willingness to report a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of internal auditors' involvement in enterprise risk management (ERM) on perceptions of their willingness to report a breakdown in risk procedures and whether a strong relationship with the audit committee affects such willingness to report. The study also investigates the use of ERM and the role of internal audit in ERM in Australian private and public sector entities.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses an experimental design, manipulating the internal auditor's involvement in ERM and the strength of the relationship between internal audit and the audit committee. Participants are 117 certified internal auditors. The study also gathers descriptive data on the use of ERM.

Findings

The study indicates that a high involvement in ERM impacts the perceptions of internal auditors' willingness to report a breakdown in risk procedures to the audit committee. However, a strong relationship with the audit committee does not appear to affect their perceived willingness to report. The study also finds that the majority of organisations have recently adopted ERM. Internal auditors are involved in ERM assurance activities but some also engage in activities that could compromise objectivity.

Research limitations/implications

There are internal and external validity threats associated with the experimental design.

Practical implications

The findings reinforce the need for organisations to adhere to the recommendations of the Institute of Internal Auditors and to ensure that internal auditors do not play an inappropriate role in ERM.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to our understanding of the impact of involvement in ERM on internal audit objectivity and of the current role of internal audit in ERM in Australia.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 26 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 26 July 2011

Nava Subramaniam and Professor Peter Carey

Abstract

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 26 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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