Accounting for social services outcomes : extending the balanced scorecard to NGOs in New Zealand

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Prescott, James
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2016-11
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Conference Contribution - Oral Presentation
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accounting
balanced scorecard
social services
outcomes measurement
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Prescott, J. M. (2016, November). Accounting for Social Services Outcomes: Extending the Balanced Scorecard to NGOs in New Zealand. Paper presented at Auckland Regional Accounting Conference, AUT University.
Abstract
The application of accounting has already been extended to include aspects of customer services, employee satisfaction and innovation. These applications have however continued to focus on efficiencies and sustainability at the business activity end of the spectrum. The long term impact of business and other social activities continues to be unaddressed from an accountability perspective. This paper aims to contribute to closing this gap in the literature by introducing a framework for measuring outcomes and linking them back to the investments, events, projects or interventions that preceded them. The proposed framework is an adaptation of the balanced scorecard model first introduced by Kaplan and Norton. The paper uses a case study of a social services initiative aimed at reducing domestic violence in at risk communities in New Zealand. Although this model has been developed from an accounting perspective, it draws on the specific practices, theories and intervention logic found in the social services and social development literature. The proposed framework is suggested here as a mechanism for better capturing the performance parameters that will support greater sustainability for Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) in the Social Services sector. The modified model also provides a means for internalising an outcomes measurement approach that will allow for determining the effectiveness of government and philanthropic funded social services programmes delivered by NGOs and Crown entities.
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