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Accounting for volunteer services: a deficiency in accountability

Accounting for volunteer services: a deficiency in accountability Purpose – The purpose of this study is to identify the extent to which not‐for‐profit (NFP) organisations disclose information on volunteer contributions of services. Design/methodology/approach – The study relies on information disclosed in the web sites of NFP organisations. Findings – This paper finds that disclosure was more prevalent on NFP web sites compared to digital annual report disclosures. This paper finds 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 that 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. Originality/value – This exploratory study examines the current state of practice in the disclosure of volunteer contributions at an organisational level in the Australian context. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management Emerald Publishing

Accounting for volunteer services: a deficiency in accountability

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References (64)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1176-6093
DOI
10.1108/QRAM-09-2012-0037
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this study is to identify the extent to which not‐for‐profit (NFP) organisations disclose information on volunteer contributions of services. Design/methodology/approach – The study relies on information disclosed in the web sites of NFP organisations. Findings – This paper finds that disclosure was more prevalent on NFP web sites compared to digital annual report disclosures. This paper finds 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 that 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. Originality/value – This exploratory study examines the current state of practice in the disclosure of volunteer contributions at an organisational level in the Australian context.

Journal

Qualitative Research in Accounting & ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 23, 2013

Keywords: Accountability; Disclosure; Not‐for‐profit; Non‐profit organisations; Volunteers; Sustainability

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