eCite Digital Repository

An investigation of TBL report assurance statements: UK and European evidence


Deegan, C and Cooper, BJ and Marita, S, An investigation of TBL report assurance statements: UK and European evidence, Managerial Auditing Journal, 21, (4) pp. 329-371. ISSN 0268-6902 (2006) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1108/02686900610661388



The purpose of this paper is to document a study of European and UK triple bottom line (TBL) report assurance statements.


In undertaking the research, an international database was constructed from which all known European and UK third‐party assurance statements that accompanied the release of TBL reports were selected for review.


The results of the analysis indicate that there is much variability and ambiguity inherent within the contents of the third‐party statements.

Research limitations/implications

The UK and European reports included within the database compiled by the researchers provide the basis of the information used to develop this paper. In selecting assurance statements to include within the database, the latest TBL report from each reporting organization was obtained (and it should be appreciated that many organizations do not produce TBL reports on an annual basis). Of the 170 reports available internationally at the time the research was undertaken, 8 are from 2000, 86 from 2001, 65 from 2002, and 11 from 2003. Whilst the database is the most extensive one of its type, given the finite nature of resources available, it is stressed that the database is not exhaustive.

Practical implications

Taken together, the results of this analysis lead us to question the value that such assurance statements provide to the TBL reporting process.


Assesses the ambiguity and questions the value of assurance work on TBL statements as currently being undertaken.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:international accounting, economic sustainability, quality assurance, Europe, United Kingdom
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Accounting, auditing and accountability
Research Field:Accounting theory and standards
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in commerce, management, tourism and services
UTAS Author:Deegan, C (Mr Craig Deegan)
ID Code:138460
Year Published:2006
Deposited By:Accounting and Corporate Governance
Deposited On:2020-04-08
Last Modified:2020-04-08

Repository Staff Only: item control page