Charity Performance Reporting, regulatory policy and standard-setting

Danielle McConville, Carolyn J. Cordery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Internationally, there are strong calls for charities’ formal annual reporting to include non-financial performance information. Without the international standards common in other sectors, national accounting standard-setters often regulate charities’ reporting. Lacking evidence on approaches to encouraging/ mandating charity performance reporting, and the effectiveness of these approaches, we ask: “How have different jurisdictions responded to calls for increasing performance reporting?”
We conduct a benchmarking study that indicates differences in current reporting practices between Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. By discussing both current regimes and proposed projects, we develop and illustrate a typology of regulatory approaches to performance reporting. These range from command and control, where standard-setters mandate specific performance reporting standards, through to market regulation, where charities and/or sector bodies acting as regulatory entrepreneurs determine what is to be reported. Between these extremes, the typology describes new governance approaches, with standard-setters partnering and collaborating with other actors. These approaches lead to different requirements with potentially significant implications for performance accountability in the respective jurisdictions. We argue that our regulatory typology contributes useful insights for the many jurisdictions grappling with how to regulate their charity sector and encourage performance reporting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-314
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Accounting and Public Policy
Issue number4
Early online date19 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2018, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


  • Performance accountability
  • regulatory policy
  • non-financial reporting
  • Charity regulation
  • ‘Telling your story’


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