Accounting for volunteer services : a deficiency in accountability

O'Brien, Emma & Tooley, Stuart (2013) Accounting for volunteer services : a deficiency in accountability. Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management, 10(3/4), pp. 279-294.

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The purpose of this study is to identify the extent to which NFP organisations disclose information on volunteer contributions of services.

Design/methodology/approach – The study relies on information disclosed in the websites of NFP organisations.

Findings - We find that disclosure was more prevalent on NFP websites compared to digital annual report disclosures. We find that more NFPs provided disclosure on the activities of their volunteers than other items pertaining to volunteers and the quantification and valuation of volunteer contributions were the least likely to be disclosed. Importantly, the findings illustrate an accountability deficiency in the comprehensiveness of disclosure which results in an under-representation of the contribution volunteers provide to organisational sustainability and impact on mission fulfilment.

Research limitations/implications – The convenience sample size restricts further interrogation to tease out organisational characteristics that may influence current disclosure practices.

Practical implications - The findings contribute to international debate over the inclusion of volunteer contributions in the assessment of a NFP’s accountability over its resources and ultimately the enhancement of its sustainability.

Impact and interest:

6 citations in Scopus
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151 since deposited on 28 Oct 2013
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ID Code: 63736
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Accountability, Disclosure, Not-for-Profit, Volunteers, Sustainability
DOI: 10.1108/QRAM-09-2012-0037
ISSN: 1176-6093
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > ACCOUNTING AUDITING AND ACCOUNTABILITY (150100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Deposited On: 28 Oct 2013 01:37
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2017 21:19

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