Call to standardise social accounting

Charities and social enterprises should use a common, consistent method of social accounting to measure the benefit they offer, according to the Social Audit Network.

The auditing body has produced a report based on research into enterprises using social accounting in Scotland and the north of England. The report found that more could be done to simplify and standardise measurement of social benefit, and that 'reporting kits' should be available for organisations with similar objectives.

"At present, too many social organisations are having to account in different ways to different funders for the income received," said John Pearce, co-author of the report and director of the Social Audit Network. "A standard form of social accounting can be used not just to report to funders, but to help set priorities within organisations that carry it out."

The report also recommends more rigorous auditing of social accounts and a 'charter-mark' for audited charities.

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