Accountability and not-for-profit organisations: Implications for developing international financial reporting standards

  • Louise Crawford, Gareth G. Morgan, Carolyn J. Cordery
  • Financial Accountability and Management, November 2017, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1111/faam.12146

Is there a need for international financial reporting standards for not-for-profit organisations?

What is it about?

This paper reports on a survey of not-for-profit organisations and the accounting standards they use for reporting. The 605 respondents represented 179 countries in all. Their perceptions about the use of accounting and the types of standards that are needed support stewardship but also reporting to funders. Many stated a need for internationally harmonized accounting standards for not-for-profit organisations.

Why is it important?

There has been much debate as to whether an international standard would be useful for not-for-profit organisations. This paper shows how practices and beliefs differ and the implications for this. Specifically, some transactions are unique to the not-for-profit sector and standard setters need to enable god reporting of these.


Professor Carolyn J Cordery
Aston University

Significant differences existed in the responses between different types of respondents (e.g. trustees, compared to preparers or regulators) and also between different nations. The need for international standards is there, but there is no specific body that is responsible to move the project forward.

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