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Should NPOs Follow International Standards for Financial Reporting? A Multinational Study of Views

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Louise CrawfordORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Springer New York LLC, 2018.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


© 2018, International Society for Third-Sector Research and The Johns Hopkins University. Financial reporting is an important aspect of not-for-profit organisations’ (NPOs’) accountability. Globally, numerous and varying regimes exist by which jurisdictions regulate NPO financial reporting. This article explores whether NPOs should be required or expected to follow sector-specific international financial reporting standards. We investigate stakeholder perceptions on the nature and scope of any such developed standards, interpreting our findings through the lens of moral legitimacy. Using an international online survey of stakeholders involved in NPO financial reporting, we analyse 605 responses from 179 countries. Based on our findings, we argue that diverse stakeholder groups, especially those who are involved with NPO financial reporting in developing countries, are likely to grant moral legitimacy to developed NPO international accounting standards if the consequences are to enhance NPO accounting and accountability information, subject to agreement as to whether all or only NPOs of a certain size should comply and whether any such standards should be mandatory.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Breen OB, Cordery CJ, Crawford L, Morgan GG

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published


Year: 2018

Volume: 29

Issue: 6

Pages: 1330-1346

Print publication date: 01/12/2018

Online publication date: 24/09/2018

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

Date deposited: 05/11/2018

ISSN (print): 0957-8765

ISSN (electronic): 1573-7888

Publisher: Springer New York LLC


DOI: 10.1007/s11266-018-0040-9


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