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The local government accountants’ perspective on sustainability

The local government accountants’ perspective on sustainability Purpose – This paper aims to focus on the local government accountants’ perspective towards their current and potential role in the sustainability reporting process and to explore potential factors influencing the further development of their role. Design/methodology/approach – A mail survey approach was adopted across local government organisations with a deeper analysis provided through semi-structured interviews. Findings – Findings indicate that accountants are supportive of involvement in sustainability reporting, but their actual level differs significantly from the level of involvement they believe they should have, pointing to the existence of an execution gap. Potential factors are investigated, highlighting the limited integration of sustainability beyond the organisational level, the lack of understanding of sustainability by accountants and the current need for further up-skilling by accountants. Research limitations/implications – The study enhances understanding of the accountant’s perception towards sustainability reporting practices within the public sector, with particular focus on local government. Originality/value – This is an exploratory study examining an area of accounting in local government in which there are few others. It seeks to contribute to the literature by exploring and examining the accountant’s perception towards sustainable development and their current and future prospects in the reporting process in the local government sector in Australia. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal Emerald Publishing

The local government accountants’ perspective on sustainability

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2040-8021
DOI
10.1108/SAMPJ-07-2014-0043
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to focus on the local government accountants’ perspective towards their current and potential role in the sustainability reporting process and to explore potential factors influencing the further development of their role. Design/methodology/approach – A mail survey approach was adopted across local government organisations with a deeper analysis provided through semi-structured interviews. Findings – Findings indicate that accountants are supportive of involvement in sustainability reporting, but their actual level differs significantly from the level of involvement they believe they should have, pointing to the existence of an execution gap. Potential factors are investigated, highlighting the limited integration of sustainability beyond the organisational level, the lack of understanding of sustainability by accountants and the current need for further up-skilling by accountants. Research limitations/implications – The study enhances understanding of the accountant’s perception towards sustainability reporting practices within the public sector, with particular focus on local government. Originality/value – This is an exploratory study examining an area of accounting in local government in which there are few others. It seeks to contribute to the literature by exploring and examining the accountant’s perception towards sustainable development and their current and future prospects in the reporting process in the local government sector in Australia.

Journal

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: May 5, 2015

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