PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to analyse nonprofit regulation through comparing and contrasting mutual-benefit and public-benefit entities. It ascertains how these entities differ in size, publicness, tax benefits and whether these differences might suggest regulatory costs should be differentiated.Design/methodology/approachThis mixed-methods study utilises financial data, submissions and interviews.FindingsThere are stark differences in these two types of regulated nonprofit entities. Members should be the primary monitoring agency/ies for mutual-benefit entities, but financial reports should be understandable to these members. Nevertheless, the availability of tax concessions, combined with the benefits of limited liability, suggest mutual-benefit entities should be regulated and monitored by government in a way sympathetic to their size.Research limitations/implicationsAs with most research, a limitation is this study’s focus on a single jurisdiction.Practical implicationsThe differences in these entities’ characteristics are important for designing regulation.Social implicationsBetter regulation is likely to require a standard set of financial reporting standards. Government has the right to demand disclosures due to benefits mutual-benefit entities enjoy.Originality/valueIn comparison to studies utilising only public-benefit data, this study uses unique data sets to compare public-benefit and mutual-benefit entities and presents nonprofit sector participant’s perceptions of these differences in context. This enables analysis of how better regulation could be achieved.
Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 2, 2019
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