Statement of service performance reporting: A study of tier three registered charities in New Zealand

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Authors
Schmidt, E.
Rainsbury, Liz
Prescott, James
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2022-11-28
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Conference Contribution - Oral Presentation
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
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New Zealand
charities
statement of service performance (SSP)
Not-For-Profit organisations
auditing
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Citation
Schmidt, E.; Rainsbury, L. and Prescott, J. (2022, November, 28). Statement of service performance reporting: A study of tier three registered charities in New Zealand [Paper presentation]. Auckland Region Accounting Conference, Auckland, New Zealand
Abstract
Charities have been an important component of most societies throughout human history. For as long as there are groups and individuals in need of help that they are not able to provide for themselves, charities have been there to assist. Furthermore, the drive to provide help to those in need is a defining expression of human civility. Charitable organisations emerged as individuals banded together, united by a commitment to addressing a specific need, to consolidate their resources both physical and mental. They were also a means for rallying the cause and gathering the resources required in the same way a company issues share to the general public. The growth of their activities across the charitable sector has triggered a call for them to be more accountable. While shareholders will have entitlement to an account of the financial activities and performance of the company, they have an interest in, the same is not the case for those that make donations to charities. Since the “return” that donors would deem relevant from a charity is an account of the non-financial impact they have made, the inclusion of a statement of service performance (SSP) has been added to the list of mandated disclosures. This study provides an analysis of the reporting quality across 94 charities listed on the New Zealand Charities Register with the charitable purpose of the advancement of religion. Using a documentary analysis approach, the study finds that the quality of the SSP reporting is influenced by the size of the charitable organisation and a potential misalignment between the format offered by the External Reporting Board (XRB) and what the charities chose to disclose. The findings suggest religious-based charities compile the SSP motivated by compliance rather than informing their stakeholders and contributors of the charitable outcomes they have achieved. The findings from the study will help inform policymakers and regulators that a one size fits all format for the statement of service performance is inappropriate and potentially counterproductive to the needs of the charity, the groups and individuals they aim to serve and the donors who support their vision.
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