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Evaluating NGO accounting and reporting practices in a developing economy: the case for reforms

Evaluating NGO accounting and reporting practices in a developing economy: the case for reforms This study investigates non-government organisations' (NGO) current accounting and reporting practices in a developing economy context (Mauritius) and argues the case for reforms to enhance their transparency and accountability.Design/methodology/approachA content analysis of a sample of NGO annual returns was carried out followed by interviews with NGO officers and actors on the state of accounting and reporting practices in Mauritius. The authors analyse the data from a public accountability perspective.FindingsThe content analysis revealed poor accounting and reporting practices by Mauritian NGOs. Based on interview insights, the authors find that these poor practices arise due a lack of (1) NGO-specific accounting standards, (2) engagement with narrative reporting, (3) properly trained NGO officers and (4) proper monitoring and control. Some of the interviewees expressed their support for introducing online filing systems and accounting requirements that are commensurate with NGO size, improving regulatory oversight, while ensuring that NGO accounts are made available to the public.Originality/valueWhile there are many calls for better NGO accountability and transparency in developing economies, little is known about the state of accounting and reporting mechanisms (and regulatory framework thereof) that could provide the basis for relevant reforms towards enhancing accountability. Considering the opacity of NGO information in Mauritius and recent concerns about money laundering practices and the perceived ineffectiveness of regulatory oversight, this first national assessment of accounting and reporting practices sheds light on current challenges and formulates locally appropriate recommendations for the sector. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Public Budgeting Accounting & Financial Management Emerald Publishing

Evaluating NGO accounting and reporting practices in a developing economy: the case for reforms

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References (53)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1096-3367
DOI
10.1108/jpbafm-01-2022-0021
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study investigates non-government organisations' (NGO) current accounting and reporting practices in a developing economy context (Mauritius) and argues the case for reforms to enhance their transparency and accountability.Design/methodology/approachA content analysis of a sample of NGO annual returns was carried out followed by interviews with NGO officers and actors on the state of accounting and reporting practices in Mauritius. The authors analyse the data from a public accountability perspective.FindingsThe content analysis revealed poor accounting and reporting practices by Mauritian NGOs. Based on interview insights, the authors find that these poor practices arise due a lack of (1) NGO-specific accounting standards, (2) engagement with narrative reporting, (3) properly trained NGO officers and (4) proper monitoring and control. Some of the interviewees expressed their support for introducing online filing systems and accounting requirements that are commensurate with NGO size, improving regulatory oversight, while ensuring that NGO accounts are made available to the public.Originality/valueWhile there are many calls for better NGO accountability and transparency in developing economies, little is known about the state of accounting and reporting mechanisms (and regulatory framework thereof) that could provide the basis for relevant reforms towards enhancing accountability. Considering the opacity of NGO information in Mauritius and recent concerns about money laundering practices and the perceived ineffectiveness of regulatory oversight, this first national assessment of accounting and reporting practices sheds light on current challenges and formulates locally appropriate recommendations for the sector.

Journal

Journal of Public Budgeting Accounting & Financial ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 24, 2023

Keywords: Non-governmental organisation (NGO); Accounting; Accountability; Reporting; Developing economy

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