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Defining Social Accounting Jack Quarter OISE, University of Toronto.

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Presentation on theme: "Defining Social Accounting Jack Quarter OISE, University of Toronto."— Presentation transcript:

1 Defining Social Accounting Jack Quarter OISE, University of Toronto

2 SOCIAL ACCOUNTING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM History of Social Accounting  30 years old  Long on critique, primarily of profit- oriented firms narrowness of accounts  Short on working models  Not applied to non-profits or co- operatives

3 SOCIAL ACCOUNTING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM Our Definition of Social Accounting “A systematic analysis of the effects of an organization on its communities of interest or stakeholders, with stakeholder input as part of the data that is analyzed for the accounting statement”

4 SOCIAL ACCOUNTING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM Conventional Accounting Definition  Conventional definitions emphasize “quantitative” presentation of “economic” items “Accounting … provide[s] quantitative information, primarily financial in nature, about economic entities that is intended to be useful in making economic decisions of action” (Accounting Principles Board, AICPA)  Social accounting rejects the separation between economic and social

5 SOCIAL ACCOUNTING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM Separation between social and economic artificial Economic effects have social consequences Social effects have economic consequences Social economy viewpoint

6 SOCIAL ACCOUNTING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM Critique of Conventional Accounting  Conventional accounting limited to market transactions specific to the organization Balance of resources to generate a profit Whether resources are being used efficiently

7 SOCIAL ACCOUNTING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM  Conventional accounting excludes “externalities” Tom Lehrer song: “Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down? That’s not my department, says Wernher von Braun.” Cigarette manufacturers do not have to include cost to society of their products Downsizing corporations do not take a full costing of layoffs, either for their corporation or for society in general Critique of Conventional Accounting

8 SOCIAL ACCOUNTING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM  Conventional accounting excludes nonmonetized inputs and outputs—for example, Volunteer contributions Social labour (unpaid member contributions) in mutual associations and co-ops “Free” social services Environmental impacts Critique of Conventional Accounting

9 SOCIAL ACCOUNTING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM Example: Jane/Finch Community Centre  Income statements show that the organization spends a bit more than it receives and it has a small balance, but it omits its social impact  A social accounting framework shows that for every dollar spent on external goods and services, the value added is $8.43

10 SOCIAL ACCOUNTING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM SOCIAL ACCOUNTING: UNDERLYING PRINCIPLES  Social accounting embeds the organization within a community and measures its value to the community  Includes both financial and non- financial inputs and outputs  Stakeholder approach

11 SOCIAL ACCOUNTING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM STAKEHOLDER APPROACH  Conventional accounting statements relate to one stakeholder: THE SHAREHOLDERS!!!  Social accounting makes other stakeholders visible  They appear in accounting statements for example: Volunteers, Employees, Society

12 SOCIAL ACCOUNTING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM WITH STAKEHOLDER INPUT AS PART OF THE DATA  Used primarily in social or ethical audits  Solicits stakeholder feedback on achievement of organization’s mission Traidcraft; The Body Shop; Ben and Jerry’s; and credit unions  Lengthy reports involving qualitative data and descriptive statistics  Not distilled like an accounting statement  We include stakeholder input within an accounting statement

13 SOCIAL ACCOUNTING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM INCLUDING BOTH FINANCIAL AND NON-FINANCIAL ITEMS  THE CHALLENGE: Monetizing non-market items What would the organization pay to replace a volunteer? What is an appropriate comparison?

14 SOCIAL ACCOUNTING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM MEASURING VOLUNTEER VALUE  One value for all too limiting  OUR PREFERENCE: MARKET COMPARISONS  North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) jointly developed by the statistics agencies of Canada, the U.S., and Mexico classifies organizations (e.g., nonprofits) according to economic activity  index.htm

15 SOCIAL ACCOUNTING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM EXAMPLES:  Jane/Finch Community and Family  NAICS subsector 624, social assistance—$13.38

16 SOCIAL ACCOUNTING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation  NAICS subsector 813 “grant-making, civic, professional and similar organizations”  Rates were assigned based on the task skills  Hourly rate in Ontario—$14.51(runners)  Salaried rate—$19.72 (event planners)  Midpoint—$17.11(office help)

17 SOCIAL ACCOUNTING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM  Board of Directors  Human Resources Development Canada (HDRC)   senior managers of health, education, social services (Code 0014) — $35.56 Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

18 SOCIAL ACCOUNTING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM Junior Achievement of Rochester  U.S. Department of Labor, National Compensation Survey plus 12 percent  board of directors, hourly rate for “executives, administrators, managers” —$31.30  company coordinators hourly wage rate for “managers in service organizations, not elsewhere classified”—$26.85

19 SOCIAL ACCOUNTING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM  Teachers of the Junior Achievement curricula hourly rate for “teachers, not elsewhere classified” —$25.86  Special event volunteers hourly rate for “administrative support occupations,” not elsewhere classified —$12.22 Junior Achievement of Rochester

20 SOCIAL ACCOUNTING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM  Establishing surrogate values for non- monetized social outputs  What is an appropriate market comparison? Skills development: cost of a community college course Emission reduction: 3.2 cents per km Relational capital: $4,000 per school CHALLENGES: MONETIZING SOCIAL OUTPUTS

21 SOCIAL ACCOUNTING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM CHALLENGES: IMPROVING POLICIES  Revising restrictive policies on including volunteer value  Establishing generally agreed upon standards for social outputs  An association for nonprofit accountants

22 SOCIAL ACCOUNTING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM CHALLENGES: CREATING NEW STATEMENTS An integrative approach with social and economic variables Examples from the 1970s: Linowes Socio-Economic Operating Statement Estes Social Impact Statements and Assessments The Abt Model

23 SOCIAL ACCOUNTING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM CHALLENGES: NEW STATEMENTS FOR NONPROFITS  Socioeconomic Resource Statement Adaptation of a balance sheet  Socioeconomic Impact Statement Adaptation of an income statement

24 SOCIAL ACCOUNTING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM  Expanded Value Added Statement Adaptation of a Value Added Statement  Community Social Return on Investment Model Created for non-profits CHALLENGES: NEW STATEMENTS FOR NONPROFITS

25 SOCIAL ACCOUNTING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM RESOURCES  What Counts: Social Accounting for Nonprofits and Cooperatives Jack Quarter, Laurie Mook, and Betty Jane Richmond (Prentice Hall)

26 SOCIAL ACCOUNTING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM Related Web Sites  Our project web site  North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) index.htm  Board of directors’ rates, see HRDC LabourMarket Indicators  U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics


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