Social accounting is a term used to describe forms of accounting whose purpose is broader than that of conventional accounting. Whereas conventional accounting focuses almost exclusively on reporting to investors and creditors on the economic performance of an organization, social accounting is conceived as a way to report on an organization’s noneconomic performance. Social accounting is rooted in the notion of social accountability, which holds that organizations have responsibilities to the broader society and should be called to account for their disposition of these responsibilities. These organizational responsibilities are socially legitimate because they are determined and enforced through democratic processes.

All types of organizations can be held socially accountable, but most of the academic work on social accountability and social accounting focuses on the study of ...

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