Public Sector Accountability for Cultural Assets: An Integrated Reporting Approach

By Susan Wild.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In recent decades, there has been increased stakeholder demand for accountability in public benefit entities (PBEs). Current regulation in countries including Australia, New Zealand and the UK requires PBEs to provide annual financial reports prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), on an accounting basis comparable with the private sector. The study provides an analysis of the 2010 online annual report of a major national museum, New Zealand’s Museum of Te Papa Tongarewa, as an exemplar of the current regulatory reporting requirements. The paper argues that in the case of PBEs holding heritage and cultural assets, the provision of economic information alone is insufficient to measure accountability, and will not facilitate the cultural sustainability outcomes of such entities. Instead it is suggested that for these entities a system of Integrated Reporting should be implemented, so as to improve the provision of useful information to a broad range of stakeholders, and to enhance the assessment of management accountability in regard to an entity’s social and cultural goals.
This paper has been developed from a working paper presented at the Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (CSEAR) 2010 Conference.

Keywords: Accounting, Cultural Assets, Integrated Reporting, Public Benefit Entities, Accountability

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp.379-390. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 781.469KB).

Susan Wild

Lecturer, Accounting and Information Systems, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand


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