How financial statements enhance(d) the long-term survival of an international religious/charitable organisation

Irvine, Helen J. (2001) How financial statements enhance(d) the long-term survival of an international religious/charitable organisation. In Second Accounting History, 8 - 10 August 2001, Osaka, Japan.


The Salvation Army is a large international religious/charitable organisation with a high profile in Australia. In recent years, the profile of its financial reports has grown, particularly in the context of corporate fundraising. This is one manifestation of the importance for the Army, over its history, of a sound financial reputation. It has always relied heavily on external funds to continue its operations, and its financial statements are, and have been, a useful means by which its image has been enhanced, and it has established a legitimate claim for these funds. The Salvation Army's founding and early years, in the second half of the 19th century in England, provide evidence of this early legitimising role of its financial statements. This is consistent with institutional theory, which emphasises the importance of such legitimacy, but challenges the notion, prevalent in academic literature on accounting in religious organisations, that there is a resistance to the use of accounting as a "secular" activity in an organisation with a "sacred" mission. While techniques and presentation have changed, the need for a resource-dependent organisation like The Salvation Army to create an acceptable financial image in the eyes of the public, has not changed.

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ID Code: 13075
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: financial statements, accounting history, Salvation Army
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 2001 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 19 Mar 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2011 13:36

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