Circular for December 2011

List of Contents


News and Developments

Stop Press

Contacts & Coordinators

Social Audit Network December 2011


As you will see from below, the practice of social accounting and audit, and social value measurement in its broader sense is growing rapidly. This newsletter contains stories, case studies and examples of activity from across the UK and Europe.

Essex Cares Ltd, for example, have recently completed a detailed social audit about which a case study has been provided by Mike Gordon, and SAN looks to expand into Croatia! Also we explore some of the newly evolving range of tools available to measure social impact, noting that whilst each may have their place, all do a slightly different thing and it will be increasingly difficult for an organisation to select which is best for their own purpose.

The idea of "simplification" in social value reporting is an interesting one which SAN has deliberated at length over the years. However, the actual core process of Social Accounting and Audit (SAA) is very simple - agree on what you do and why and who with; collect relevant information on outputs outcomes, etc; report on it; get it verified and then share the results.   There are not many ways you can simplify this without reducing everything to a tick box exercise (and you will notice lots of people are trying to do this...).  SAA practitioners with a background in community development have expressed an interest in the process as well as the result.  What you put in is what you get out... and the SAA process asks you to think more about purpose and the wider issues and whether or not you make a difference to anything - I would maintain this is still important.

alan_k.jpgAlan Kay, author of the new Guide to SAA has also published a paper which presents a new way of thinking about social enterprise. He argues that
social enterprise should not assume that adding to the economy is an end in itself. Instead ‘economy’ should be seen as a measure of social, environmental and cultural value of the work of an organization… giving these a financial measure or proxy. This approach supports the Framework for Sustainability Reporting which has been promulgated by the government, which stresses that economic activity is a means to an end and the end being social and environmental impact .... Follow this link to read more…

Open to all with an interest in the measurement of social value, the 2012 SAN Conference will be held in London on 20th April 2012, and will investigate impact measurement in relation to the delivery of public services. With case stories from both providers of ‘people services for social profit’ and commissioners of those services, the conference will focus on how services can be commissioned to achieve the maximum ‘social profit’ and how service providers can accurately report on the outcomes and added value that they have achieved. A draft agenda will be available for the next newsletter.

As I write, functions are being transferred from our old website onto the new, improved version. Designed by NMC in Cheshire, the website will include case studies, information for those just starting in SAA, registration for our free newsletter, training opportunities and much, much more.

On behalf of SAN, Mary McGarry is leading research to map all social audit panels that have been carried out over the last few years. Please e-mail details of your social audit panels to Mary at (

And just in case you have not ordered your copy yet… (and need a little extra present for Christmas?), the Guide to Social Accounting and Audit (Prove, Improve and Account) is available from the SAN office, ( or 01902 877565). Please see link to the latest leaflet (link to pdf) and order form.

Have a very enjoyable holiday period!



Essex Cares Limited - Case Study

Earlier this year, I chaired a Standard Plus Social Audit Panel meeting for Essex Cares Ltd – the first Local Authority Trading Company to be set up under s.95 of the Local Government Act 2003. The organisation started trading in July 2009 and did informal social accounts for the remainder of the 2009-10 year to March 2010.  The accounts for the 2010-11 year run for a full year from April 2010 to March 2011.

Essex Cares is a large and complex organisation that has been going through a process of considerable transition. The social accounts were for one of its three business streams, Essex Employment & Inclusion. The organisation has subsequently been restructured and operates with two new business streams. 

I spent all day on 8th June with the organisation and visited several of its many sites, after which I prepared a detailed report of my visit for the Panel.  The Panel meeting was on 20th June.  The draft social accounts needed considerable amendment, and I eventually signed them off on 11th October.

Essex Cares’ website can be found at: .

Essex Cares is an interesting organisation, and I think that this may be one of the first Standard Plus social audit panels in England (or perhaps the UK) since the new Standard Plus was introduced in 2009 and should give another auditor some useful CPD. Please contact me if you want to find out more

Mike Gordon

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Social Accounting Training


There will be a Prove Improve and Account 2-day workshop on 17-18th January 2012 in Scotland - probably Edinburgh.  It will be run by the Social Enterprise Academy with Alan Kay as the facilitator for the two days.  
To find out more information contact or Kay McGregor on

Wednesday 14th December 2011
At Sheffield Mencap & Gateway, Norfolk Lodge, Park Grange Road, Sheffield S2 3QF
Part One - Introduction to Social Accounting – 9.45 to 1 pm
This practical workshop is designed for staff, trustees and volunteers who work with social enterprises or other organisations considering preparing social accounts, possibly for the first time. Participants will learn the principals of social accounting and begin to develop a framework of objectives and related activities that could be used in the process.
Copies of the SAN New Guide will be available at £40 each
Part Two - Starting to scope your social accounts - to be held from 1.45 to 5 pm the same day!
This workshop is a continuation for people who attend the morning, or who came to the introductory workshop at SCEDU in September. It will be led by Mary McGarry, Regional Coordinator for SAN, assisted by Christine Anderson of Star Enterprise Work and Play
The fee for the whole day is £50 per person, or £35 for a half day, either morning or afternoon – discounts available for small organisations.
To find out more or book please email: or ring 07942230249
Norfolk Lodge is a two minute ride from the train station by tram.  There is ample parking on site. Tea and coffee will be available but please bring a packed lunch if you are staying for the whole day.
Social Accounting provides a framework for organisations wishing to Prove, Improve and Account for the value of the services they provide. Other details of social accounting and audit in the Yorkshire and Humber Region are available from Mary McGarry 07960 386 888

South East England:

A number of PIA workshops are planned for early 2012 in the south east. Although there are no confirmed dates yet, they will probably be March or April.  Anyone interested should contact Barbara Beaton (


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Prove! Improve! Account!

The Social Audit Network in Scotland (SANiS) has come together with JUST the Business to offer practical support for you and your organisation – or the organisations you work with – to value and strengthen your social impact.  

This initiative is in response to the growing interest in how enterprising third sector organisations can account for the social value they create and how this information can be reported in a credible way.  We can offer any, or a combination of, the following…

Published guide: Prove! Improve! Account! The New Guide to Social Accounting and Audit which is the latest guide published in 2011 and based on over twenty years of experience of working with third sector organisations in assessing and reporting on their performance and impact.   It is designed as a user-friendly, do-it-yourself learning package.

Learning events: A variety of learning events are available which include a half-day taster, a one-day introduction to social accounting and audit and a two-day Prove, Improve and Account Workshop.

Mentoring: We can mentor you through the social accounting process offering guidance and support which will leave a legacy within your organisation.

Accreditation: A qualification can be obtained through the Social Enterprise Academy on presentation of a portfolio of documents showing that your organisation has gone through the whole social accounting process.  The qualification is the Institute of Leadership & Management’s Endorsed Programme in Social Accounting and Audit.

Peer learning: A “cluster” of organisations in a particular area can be facilitated to go through the social accounting process together.  This “cluster” approach involves a series of workshops providing information, exercises and peer support as the participating organisations go through the process at the same time.  Over the past decade clusters of organisations in Scotland have adopted this format of learning.

Tailored solutions:  We will tailor a programme or package of support for your organisation(s) designed to introduce and embed ways of accounting for the social value you create.

If you are interested in further information and want to discuss any of the above including costs please contact Alan Kay at or or by telephone on 0131 667 5485; or Patrick Boase at or on 0141 339 3064.

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News and Developments

SAA in Croatia

I have just completed a 2 day PIA Workshop on London with a group that included 2 Croatian women who are very keen to become auditors.
However, the social auditor workshop had not been part of our original programme, so I supported them to become social auditors in a hastily arranged workshop in their own hotel rooms! The women both paid their own airfare, and accommodation and fees out of their own pockets which, as you can imagine, was expensive.
They now want to go on and set up SAN in Croatia and become the first social auditors in that country. Sean Smith


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More free Training…

Whilst not directly about social accounting or impact reporting, SAN members should be aware of the following opportunity:

Pulse Regeneration are running two days of Winning Public Service Contracts Masterclasses at the Durley Dean Hotel, Bournemouth on Wednesday 7th/ Thursday 8th December 2011.

Tailored for third sector organisations, the Masterclasses will cover:

  • Responding to a rapidly changing environment 
  • Develop new business opportunities
  • Learn how to write winning tender bids
  • Understand finances and how to cost
  • Learn how to sell and be competitive
  • Gain local commissioner insights
  • Develop shared learning and networking

The Masterclasses are funded by the Local Government Association (LGA) and places are limited, so visit for more details

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Developments in measuring social impact….

Social Impact Analysts Association (SIAA) formally launched on 1st December. SIAA is a new professional association focused explicitly on supporting and connecting social impact analysts worldwide - those who assess, meas

As interest in the measurement of social value grows, two recent developments may be of interest to SAN readers:

The ure and analyse the social impact generated by the activities of the non-profit sector. See the SIAA website at

Meanwhile, the SROI (Social Return on Investment) Centre for Excellence was formally launched on 19th October by the New Economics Foundation and its consulting arm. A community of practice web platform is due in December and there is the start of a resource library.

See also the article about Community Matters’ ‘Your Value’ tool… as the social impact measurement market becomes ever more complicated.

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Your Value…

On 8th November, Community Matters launched a Your Value – a new tool for measuring the ‘triple bottom line’.
This new online tool is aimed at voluntary and community organizations, who Community Matters say ‘have long argued that the added value they bring to their beneficiaries and neighbourhoods should count for something when they’re competing for funds or contracts’.  
According to Community Matters, ‘Your Value! builds a profile of an organisation’s contribution to its community and will help them to show real added value, over and above any specific service outcomes when bidding for grants, contracts or even asset transfer. The report it generates will describe in plain English the group’s reach and connectedness as well as the social capital they build and their contributions to the local economy and environment.’ It is for smaller organizations, who can upload their evidence to generate a standard-looking report and has an annual registration fee of £100.
Further information about Your Value will be provided in a later edition of this newsletter.


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Stop Press

Job Vacancy

Chief Executive Officer:  ASAN (Wolverhampton based charitable company)
000- 000:   Dependent upon experience and knowledge

All Saints Action Network (ASAN) is a development trust, community enterprise and a local network bringing together members of the local community and local organisations from the public, community and private sector in and around the All Saints area of Wolverhampton. Its vision is to improve the quality of life for people living and working in All Saints and surrounding areas.

ASAN delivers a number of locally managed services including a Children’s Centre and community maintenance & recycling service. It also runs a number of thriving community enterprises such as The Workspace, ASAN Consultancy, The Big Garage Car Park and Southside Sports. All surpluses from the enterprises are reinvested to create local employment and benefit the local area.

Have a look at our website for more information

We are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated individual to step into our Chief Executive role and drive the organisation forward building on the achievements of ASAN’s founding and longstanding Chief Executive (Mike Swain) who passed away recently.

This is an exciting opportunity to lead a successful organisation and grow it even further to bring further benefits to an economically deprived area of Wolverhampton.

Closing date for applications is strictly: 12pm Thursday 5th January 2012

We anticipate that interviews will be held on 12th January 2012.
Please contact Diann Baker at for an application pack.  Alternatively please visit our website to download the required documents.



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PLEASE NOTE: Barbara Beaton's email address (see below)

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Contacts and Coordinators

North East England

Julie Gowland

South East

Barbara Beaton

South Central England

Dave Furze

North West England

Liz Brooks Allen and Anne Lythgoe

West Midlands and East Midlands

Iftikar Karim (until June 2016) and Sean Smith

Yorkshire and Humber

Bernie Speight

South West England

Helen Vines

Northern Ireland

Peter MacCafferty