Financial reporting by charities: a matched case study analysis from four countries

  • Janet Mack, Gareth G. Morgan, Oonagh B. Breen, Carolyn J. Cordery
  • Public Money & Management, February 2017, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/09540962.2017.1281638

A comparison of charity financial reporting

What is it about?

We build on the research that argues that a set of international accounting standards would help charities to be accountable to their stakeholders and to enable comparison of charities in different countries. We compare charitable financial statements in Australia, England, Ireland, and New Zealand. By selecting similar charities we show the jurisdictional differences in organisational types, basis and approach of preparation and assurance, and specific inclusions/exclusions in each regime.

Why is it important?

Great variety between these jurisdictions was found. This is despite valid reasons to compare these as having similar roots in charity regulation and financial reporting. The variety highlights the challenges that will be faced for any project seeking an international set of harmonised financial accounting standards for charities. In particular there is a need to consider what users' needs are and whether they are being met.


Professor Carolyn J Cordery
Aston University

The lack of comparability of these similar entities emphasises the current local nature of charity financial reporting. As newer regulators (especially Australia and Ireland but also New Zealand) develop and require different reporting requirements, this research raises the question of the extent to which any global standard will resonate with jurisdictional regulators and the charities they regulate.

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Carolyn J Cordery