Governance and accountability in Australian charitable organisations: Perceptions from CFOs

Steven Dellaportas, Jonathan Langton, Brian West

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore the perceptions of senior accounting officers on governance, performance and accountability issues in the charity sector. Design/methodology/approach - The empirical data presented in this paper were collected via a mail-out survey to Chief Financial Officers (CFO) of large charity organisations in Australia. Findings - The executives surveyed agreed that the public is entitled to receive high quality financial disclosures from charities, favouring "programme accountability", "fiscal accountability" and "profit" as relevant performance indicators rather than cash surplus/deficit. The respondents also considered that charities warrant a dedicated accounting standard but were less enthusiastic about an independent regulator with stronger control functions. Research limitations/implications - The data in this study report the opinions of financial executives which may not represent the view of all managing executives. Originality/value - While governance in charities has been examined previously from an organisational or management perspective, this is one of the few papers that emphasises how members of the accounting profession view this important topic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17042823
Pages (from-to)238-254
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Accounting and Information Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Accountability
  • Australia
  • Charities
  • Chief executives
  • Financial reporting
  • Governance
  • Not-for-profit sector
  • Performance measurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Accounting
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Governance and accountability in Australian charitable organisations: Perceptions from CFOs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this