Reengineering Nonprofit Financial Accountability: Toward a More Reliable Foundation for Regulation

42 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2001

See all articles by Elizabeth K. Keating

Elizabeth K. Keating

Harvard University - John F. Kennedy School of Government

Peter Frumkin

University of Texas at Austin - Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

Date Written: August 2000

Abstract

Today, the annual IRS Form 990 tax filing is the principal annual disclosure mechanism of nonprofit organizations. Over time, considerable thought has been put into finding ways to improve access and use of the 990 Form, with only scant attention focused on whether the 990 is the right data source on which to build a system of nonprofit accountability. This paper takes a broader perspective, assessing not only the quality of the financial data and its availability, but also the entire financial reporting model. The paper begins with a framework for thinking about organizational accountability. It then examines the current structure of nonprofit financial reporting and contrasts it with alternative systems developed for publicly traded firms and credit unions. The paper concludes with recommendations for improving nonprofit accountability by reengineering the reporting and oversight systems in the sector.

JEL Classification: M41, L31

Suggested Citation

Keating, Elizabeth K. and Frumkin, Peter, Reengineering Nonprofit Financial Accountability: Toward a More Reliable Foundation for Regulation (August 2000). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=254278 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.254278

Elizabeth K. Keating

Harvard University - John F. Kennedy School of Government ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-9856 (Phone)
617-495-8963 (Fax)

Peter Frumkin (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin - Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs ( email )

2300 Red River St., Stop E2700
PO Box Y
Austin, TX 78713
United States

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