Resources » Topic » Social Accounting and Audit (SAA)

Case StudiesImpact Reports

Books and Guides

These documents explain the relationship between Social Return on Investment (SROI) and 1) Social Accounting and Audit (SAA), 2) GIIRS Ratings & Analytics (“GIIRS” stands for the Global Impact Investing Ratings System) a comprehensive, comparable, and transparent system for assessing the social and environmental impact of companies and funds with a ratings and analytics approach analogous to Morningstar investment rankings, and 3) IRIS (Impact Reporting and Investment Standards) standardized performance indicators to help an organization understand its impact in a credible and comparable way.

This guide written by Alan Kay from the Social Audit Network includes reference to the range of frameworks and methods developed to help organisations explain and account for their performance and impact. It is a “roadmap” to the social accounting and audit process and has been written for social enterprises, social economy organisations and voluntary sector organisations that wish to regularly account and report on their social, economic and environmental performance and impact.

Case Studies

These case studies from Social Audit Network are intended to share experiences between organisations working in the social economy around their social impact reporting, and also to share with local authority commissioning and procurement staff to show them what can be achieved! The case studies are not just about social accounting and audit (SAA), but include where organisations have used SAA as a framework alongside social return on investment (SROI), cost benefit analysis (CBA), and other tools.

This report by John Pearce and Alan Kay for Social Audit Network (SAN) emerged from research whose main purpose has been to explore to what extent social accounting and audit has been used by social economy organisations in the North East of England, Cumbria, Merseyside and Scotland and to understand the perceived barriers to expanding its practice and how it may be made more “do-able” and more robust. The case studies were prepared by organisations that have engaged with social accounting and audit, and want to share their experiences with others.

Impact Reports

The Accountability Lab is an independent, non-profit organisation that acts as a catalyst to make power-holders responsible in the developing world. The Lab acts as a sounding board, listening to, analysing and reflecting upon accountability concerns; as an independent interface, engaging relevant actors across contexts and issues; and as an operational hub, catalysing innovative, collaborative and sustainable accountability practices and communities. Through this approach, the Lab bolsters efforts to address the causes rather than the symptoms of poverty, exclusion and insecurity.

Working Papers and Research

John Francis McKernan’s PhD thesis, Truth, Objectivity and Subjectivity in Accounting defends the idea that we can have truth and objectivity in accounting.