What is Social Accounting and Audit
Social accounting and audit is about assessing the social value generated by an organisation.
Social Accounting and Audit (SAA) helps you prove, improve and account for the difference you are making. Starting with that in mind, it helps you to plan and manage your organisation as well as demonstrate what you have achieved. Social accounting and audit is a logical and flexible framework which enables your organisation to build on existing documentation and reporting systems and develop a process so that you can:
account fully for and report on your organisation’s social, environmental and economic performance and impact
provide the information essential for planning future actions and improving performance
be accountable to all those you work with and work for…
Through social accounting and audit you will understand the impact your organisation has on people, the planet and the way you use resources. It will also help you manage your organisation and improve your effectiveness. Social Accounting and Audit can be used by any organisation, whether voluntary, public or private sector, and of any size or scale.
Social Accounting and Audit uses eight key principles to underpin its process, ensure verification is effective and deliver continuous improvement. These are:
- Clarify Purpose
- Define Scope
- Engage Stakeholders
- Determine Materiality
- Make Comparisons (benchmarking)
- Be Transparent
- Verify Accounts
- Embed the process
Using these principles enables the organisation to maintain effective social accounts, enables them to be verified and ‘signed off’ and provides a platform for continuous improvement. The process for undertaking SAA can be broken down into stages
West Whitlawburn Housing Co-operative carried out social accounting and this is their CEO Paul Farrell talking about how social accounting and audit helped them.