The legitimizing power of financial statements in The Salvation Army in England, 1865 - 1892

Irvine, Helen J. (2002) The legitimizing power of financial statements in The Salvation Army in England, 1865 - 1892. Accounting Historians Journal, 29(1), pp. 1-36.


Since its inception The Salvation Army has relied heavily on external funds to survive. There is evidence to suggest that at the time of its founding, in 19th century England, and in its early years, financial statements played a powerful legitimizing role. This was crucial to an organization like The Salvation Army, newly formed and in desperate need of funds. This view is consistent with institutional theory, which emphasizes the importance of such legitimacy. However, it challenges the notion, prevalent in academic literature on accounting in religious organizations, that there is a resistance to the use of accounting as a "secular" activity in an organization with a "sacred" mission. The societal context of the early Salvation Army, the unique characteristics of William Booth, its founder, and its struggle for survival in its early years, all demonstrate an emphasis on an image of financial responsibility, and a reliance on the Army’s audited financial statements to provide that image.

Impact and interest:

1 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

206 since deposited on 19 Mar 2008
3 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 13054
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: The contents of this journal can be freely accessed online via the journal's web page (see hypertext link).
Additional URLs:
Keywords: accounting history, financial reporting, Salvation Army, institutional theory
ISSN: 0148-4184
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY (210000) > HISTORICAL STUDIES (210300) > Historical Studies not elsewhere classified (210399)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > ACCOUNTING AUDITING AND ACCOUNTABILITY (150100) > Accounting Auditing and Accountability not elsewhere classified (150199)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2002 Academy of Accounting Historians
Deposited On: 19 Mar 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2011 13:36

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page