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The role of accountants in sustainability reporting - a local government study


Williams, B and Wilmshurst, T and Clift, R, The role of accountants in sustainability reporting - a local government study, Conference Proceedings, APIRA 2010, 11-13 July 2010, Sydney Australia, pp. 1-18. (2010) [Refereed Conference Paper]

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This paper explores the role of accountants in sustainability reporting from a local government perspective.


A mail survey document was employed to collect data from 190 respondents, in particular, Chief Financial Officers (CFOs).


Findings indicate that just over 50% of respondent local councils are using accountants in the sustainability reporting process in a variety of key roles. To further this role, local authorities need to take a broader view of the accountant’s role and accountants, themselves, need to engage more in issues of sustainability.

Research Limitations/Implications

The paper provides initial evidence of the accountant’s role in sustainability reporting in local government in Australia. By doing so, it highlights the need for a greater recognition of the role that accountants can play in this developing field.


This is an exploratory study examining an area of accounting in which there are few others. It seeks to contribute to the literature by exploring and examining the accountant’s role in sustainability reporting in the local government sector in Australia.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:sustainability reporting, public sector, local government, accountant
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Accounting, auditing and accountability
Research Field:Sustainability accounting and reporting
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in commerce, management, tourism and services
UTAS Author:Williams, B (Dr Belinda Williams)
UTAS Author:Wilmshurst, T (Associate Professor Trevor Wilmshurst)
UTAS Author:Clift, R (Professor Robert Clift)
ID Code:67330
Year Published:2010
Deposited By:Accounting and Corporate Governance
Deposited On:2011-03-02
Last Modified:2014-11-03
Downloads:6 View Download Statistics

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