Charity Accounting and Reporting at a Time of Change

Charity Accounting and Reporting at a Time of Change

Researchers: Ciaran Connolly, Noel Hyndman and Mariannunziata Ligori

For this project, which completed in 2017, the researchers Ciaran Connolly, Noel Hyndman and Mariannunziata Liguori reviewed 25 trustees’ annual reports from both the Irish and UK charity sectors.

The charity sector comprises a vast and developing sector of the economy, and its growth in size and influence, combined with a number of highly publicised scandals, has led to increased visibility and public scrutiny. Calls have been made to improve charities’ accountability, increase public trust and confidence, and to promote the effective use of charitable funds. These calls have been accompanied by major changes in how charities are regulated.

Based on extensive research of the UK and Irish charity sectors, the research examined the evolution of charity accounting and reporting, and suggests how it might evolve in the future.

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About the Researchers

Noel Hyndman is Professor of Management Accounting (and Director of the Centre for Not-for-profit and Public-sector Research) at Queen's University in Belfast. He has previously held professorships at the University of Ottawa in Canada, the University of Sydney in Australia and the University of Ulster. A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, he was awarded a PhD for his research in financial reporting by charities. Noel was a member of the Annual Reporting Advisory Group established by the Charity Commissioners for England and Wales between 2003 and 2005 and has been a member of the Charity SORP Committee since 2006. He was a member of the Department for Social Development (Northern Ireland)/Charity Commission for Northern Ireland Accounts and Reports Working Group during 2014 and 2015. Currently, he is Chair of the British Accounting and Finance Association's Public Services and Charities Special Interest Group.

Mariannunziata Liguori is Senior Lecturer in Management Accounting and Director of the MSc Accounting and Finance at Queen's Management School, Belfast, where she moved after a visiting period at the University of Alberta in Canada. She was awarded a PhD, investigating processes and organisational dynamics of accounting change in the public sector, by Bocconi University, Milan, where she has also previously worked. Mariannunziata is a member of the editorial board of the public-sector and not-for-profit journal Financial Accountability & Management. She has been the secretary of the Public Services and Charities Special Interest Group of the British Accounting and Finance Association since 2015.

Ciaran Connolly is Professor of Accounting at Queen's University Belfast and Subject Leader for the Accounting Group in Queen’s Management School. A Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland, he holds a DPhil from the University of Ulster and an MBA from Queen's University Belfast. Ciaran's main area of research is in the field of public services, particularly the financial and performance measurement aspects of the charity and public sectors, and he has published extensively in this area. He is currently on the board of a large Northern Ireland charity and was a member of the Department for Social Development (Northern Ireland)/Charity Commission for Northern Ireland Accounts and Reports Working Group during 2014 and 2015.

Book

The results of this research were also published in a book, produced by Chartered Accountants Ireland in 2017, and available on the Chartered Accountants Ireland website. 

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