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The public sector accountants' perspective on sustainability


Williams, BR, The public sector accountants' perspective on sustainability, Online, 2-4 December 2012, Wollongong, Australia, pp. 1-20. (2012) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]

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Purpose: This paper focuses on the accountants‟ perspective towards sustainable development and sustainability reporting in local government authorities, and their current and future role in the reporting process.

Design/Methodology/Approach: A multi-method approach was employed to collect data utilizing both mail survey and interview techniques.

Findings: Findings indicate that whilst local authorities are perceived to consider sustainable development important at the organisational level, there is reduced emphasis being placed on the integration of sustainable development activities into the accounting processes and reporting functions of the organisation. Accountants are supportive of involvement in sustainability reporting but their actual involvement differs significantly from the level of involvement they believe they should have. This points to the need for further up skilling required by accountants but in doing so, it brings into question accountants traditional training and the need to develop an appreciation of the sustainable development agenda.

Research Limitations/Implications: The paper enhances understanding of the accountant’s perception towards sustainability reporting practices within the public sector, with particular focus on local government.

Originality/Value: This is an exploratory study examining an area of accounting in local government which there are few others. It seeks to contribute to the literature by exploring and examining the accountant‟s perception towards sustainable development and sustainability reporting and their current and future prospects in the reporting process in the local government sector in Australia.

Item Details

Item Type:Non Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:accountant, sustainability reporting, public sector, local government
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Accounting, auditing and accountability
Research Field:Sustainability accounting and reporting
Objective Division:Commercial Services and Tourism
Objective Group:Other commercial services and tourism
Objective Field:Recreational services
UTAS Author:Williams, BR (Associate Professor Belinda Williams)
ID Code:82941
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:Accounting and Accountability
Deposited On:2013-02-25
Last Modified:2013-03-07
Downloads:4 View Download Statistics

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