Charities’ new non-financial reporting requirements: preparers’ insights

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Emerald Publishing Limited
Emerald Insight
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to obtain insights from preparers on the new Performance Report requirements for New Zealand registered Tiers 3 and 4 charities, in particular the non-financial information included in the ‘Entity Information’ section and the ‘Statement of Service Performance’. Design/methodology/approach – Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 interviewees, each involved with governance and reporting of one or more Tiers 3- or 4-registered charities. These interviews were analysed in terms of accountability and legitimacy objectives, which motivated the regulators to introduce the new reporting regime. Findings – Key findings are summarised under three themes. Manageability relates to perceptions and suggestions regarding implementation of the new requirements. Scepticism concerns some doubts raised by interviewees regarding the motivations for performance reports and the extent to which they will be used. Effects include concerns about potentially losing good charities and volunteers because of new requirements making their work ‘too hard’, although an increased focus on outcomes creates the potential for continuous improvement. Research limitations/implications – The subjectivity that is inherent in thematic analysis is acknowledged and also that multiple themes may sometimes be present in the sentences and paragraphs analysed. The authors acknowledge too that early viewpoints may change over time. Practical implications – Themes identified may assist regulators, professional bodies and support groups to respond to the views of preparers. Findings will also be of interest to parties in other jurisdictions who are considering the implementation of similar initiatives. Originality/value – This paper provides early insights on new reporting requirements entailing significant changes for New Zealand registered charities for financial periods beginning on or after April 2015. The focus is on small registered charities (97 per cent of all New Zealand registered charities) and key aspects of the Performance Report: Entity Information and the Statement of Service Performance.
Non-financial reporting, Charities, Statement of service performance
Pacific Accounting Review, 2020, 32 (1), pp. 1 - 19