The Need for Stakeholder Councils in Social Audits

12 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 1995

See all articles by Shann Turnbull

Shann Turnbull

International Institute for Self-Governance; Sustainable Money Working Group; New Garden City Alliance


The emerging discipline of social reporting accounting and auditing is compared with its financial counterparts and the need for different institutional arrangements are identified. An element of social accounting is to report on the ethical integrity of operations and governance of the entity. These concerns make it unacceptable for social auditors to be subject to the influence of the directors who are responsible for preparing the accounts. This inherent conflict of interest with financial auditors creates what is described in the accounting literature as an "audit expectation gap". An Audit Advisory Group representing key stakeholders was formed to assist in a pioneering 1994 social audit. This stakeholder council provided both information and verification for the social impact accounts. Because stakeholder councils are appointed and operate independently of management they also introduce a way to minimise the expectation gap of financial audits in either the private or public sector.

JEL Classification: G3, L2, L3

Suggested Citation

Turnbull, Shann, The Need for Stakeholder Councils in Social Audits. Social and Environmental Accounting, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 10-13, September 1995, Available at SSRN: or

Shann Turnbull (Contact Author)

International Institute for Self-Governance ( email )

PO Box 266 Woollahra
Cell: +61418222378
Sydney, New South Wales 1350
+61293278487 (Phone)
+61280655905 (Fax)

SKYPE: shann.turnbull

Sustainable Money Working Group ( email )

Holyoake House
Hanover Street
Manchester, M60 0AS
United Kingdom

New Garden City Alliance ( email )

113 Guinness Court
London, UK, SE1 3TA
United Kingdom
+44 207 378 1902 (Phone)


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