Circular for January 2015

List of Contents


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Contacts & Coordinators

Social Audit Network January 2015

Social Accounting and Audit

Making it Work for Me 

and My Organisation 

Putting the Theory into Practice

The Social Audit Network’s Annual Gathering

Friday 17th April 2015

Salford University, Media City Campus, Media City UK, 

Plot B4, Salford M50 2HE

Event Fee £125 per delegate SAN members £75

To book your place

E-mail or call 0151 706 8121

SAN is pleased that this gathering will be hosted by Salford University’s award winning Business School at its spectacular Media City campus (right next to the BBC complex). The University was also awarded the Social Enterprise Gold Mark in November of 2014. 

The event will include a Keynote speech from Hazel Blears MP and opportunity to ask your questions of our Expert Panel with: 

Matt Leach - HACT, Verity Timmons – Furniture Resource Centre, and Alison Page - Salford CVS

There will also be workshop sessions with your chance to learn about: Social Accounting Approaches and Methods (With: Helen Vines / Sean Smith (SAN), Jeremy Nicholls (SROI Network), Peter McCafferty (Social Impact Tracker), and representatives from Salford University Business School.

And Social Accounting and Audit in Practice (With: Philip Clegg (Huddersfield University), Elaine Samms (City West Housing), Matthew Lanham (NMC), and Julia Brosnan (Dovetail)).


SAN News

Social Audit Network and the SROI Network (soon to be Social Value UK)  strengthen links through reciprocal membership

Colleagues from the Social Audit Network (SAN) and the SROI Network (soon to be Social Value UK) recently met to discuss joint interests and potential areas for closer working. Now formally members of each other’s organisations, one area of discussion was the increasing need for independent assurance of social accounts and SROI reports. If social value reporting is to be credible in the medium and long term, there needs to be independent verification or audit for meaningful inclusion in tender evaluation.

Jeremy Nicholls, CEO of the SROI Network and SIAA, soon to be Social Value International, said 'we're delighted to be working more closely together with SAN. Our organisations have a number of shared values and aims, and we hope that this reciprocal membership will lead to a more united front to work towards more accounting for social and environmental impact and value.'

Lisa McMullan, Chair of the SAN Board, said 'With the increased interest which we have seen since the Social Value Act, we hope that by working more closely together, SAN and Social Value UK can help organisations in the social economy decide how best to measure their social impact’

Jeremy Nicholls will also be presenting a workshop on SROI at this year’s SAN Annual Gathering, which will be held in partnership with Salford University’s Business School, at their Media City Campus, on Friday 17th April 2015. For more information, go to the SAN website

SAN and SIAA, soon to be Social Value International, are also hoping to be able to put their global networks in touch with each other across the world.
SAN and the SROI Network had previously released a joint statement which described the similarities and differences in the two frameworks, available to download here.
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Salford CVS will again be hosting the Social Audit Network for a two-day Prove, Improve and Account (PIA) Workshop on 23rd and 24th March 2015, and is now planning further courses and support with social accounting for social economy organisations. Using funds received from the local Clinical Commissioning Group, the CVS aims to build a centre of expertise in the city as part of the Social Value City programme.

If you would be interested in attending further social accounting training in the Greater Manchester area, please contact Anne Lythgoe.

The PIA Workshop aims to introduce participants to the process of social accounting and audit and to explore the resources in the SAN Guide and CD from both doer and facilitator point of view. Learning outcomes include to be able to compile a set of social accounts of one’s own organisation and present these for audit; and to be able to assist others in the process.

Other SAN training planned for 2015 includes Measuring Social Impact training in Scotland. For more information see or contact the SAN office.

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Review of the Social Value Act

SAN has responded to the review of the Social Value Act, and recommends that:

  • Application of the Act should stretch beyond services, and extend into goods and works
  • It should also apply below the EU de minimis thresholds.
  • The language of the Social Value Act should be strengthened so that mandatory compliance will result in positive action.
  • Independent verification (audit) is key to robust and reliable reporting of Social Value, as well as ensuring that Social Value does not develop a poor image. Although the subject matter can be qualitative and the subject of opinions, if reported in a sound accounting framework and independently verified – then the results can be seen to be sound and robust. There is also a need for independent social auditors to help with verification as commissioners cannot do this due to time constraints - but they may want the assurance of an independent audit. 
  • Social value should clearly NOT be restricted to an ‘added value’ consideration in the procurement process, through application of a small percentage in tender evaluation. The Act or its guidance should mandate public authorities to consider social value throughout the whole of the quality assessment in any procurement exercise. 
  • More should be done to better understand what the term ‘Social Value’ means – perhaps the Act or its guidance could contain clearer examples. However, our work would suggest that the Act should NOT prescribe social value, by putting in place a specific definition or national outcomes measurement framework. Our stakeholder engagement has shown that social value in any given contract or situation should be about what matters to the place or people affected.
  • If there is to be standardisation, it should be around the principles used to account for social value. Reference should be made to the principles of Social Accounting and Audit (
    • Clarify Purpose
    • Define Scope
    • Engage Stakeholders
    • Determine Materiality
    • Make Comparisons (benchmarking)
    • Be Transparent
    • Verify Accounts
    • Embed the process
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Congratulations go to Social AdVentures

Congratulations go to Social AdVentures, winner of the Health and Social Care enterprise of the year award at the SEUK awards, as well as the Furniture Resource Network, long time reporters of social value and supporters of social accounting.

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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