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The Accountants’ Perspective on Sustainable Business Practices in SMEs


Williams, BR and O'Donovan, G, The Accountants' Perspective on Sustainable Business Practices in SMEs, Social Responsibility Journal, 11, (3) pp. 641-656. ISSN 1747-1117 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Emerald

DOI: doi:10.1108/SRJ-07-2014-0096


Purpose – This paper aims to explore the accountants’ perspective towards their role and function as business advisors in assisting with the adoption of sustainable business practices (SBPs) in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Design/methodology/approach – A questionnaire-based study was conducted on members from one of Australia’s leading professional accounting organizations. Findings – Key findings from this research highlighted deficiencies in the effectiveness of the accounting profession in assisting SMEs in implementing SBPs despite a desire from clients for accountants to provide this advice and a belief that accountants are best placed to do so. Further, an expectations gap is evident between the level of involvement accountants believe they should be having in assisting SMEs and the level of involvement that is currently occurring. Research limitations/implications – This finding has implications for the accounting profession, with accountants needing to examine their current business approaches in an effort to close this gap. If this does not occur, SMEs will most likely seek this much-needed advice and support from outside the profession. Originality/value – Little attention has been given to the accountant’s role in respect of sustainability from an accountant’s perspective. The findings contribute to understanding the accountant’s importance in advancing their involvement in assisting SMEs in the uptake of SBPs.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:SME, sustainable business practices, environmental, 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, BR (Associate Professor Belinda Williams)
UTAS Author:O'Donovan, G (Professor Gary O'Donovan)
ID Code:97182
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:TSBE
Deposited On:2014-12-05
Last Modified:2018-03-28
Downloads:78 View Download Statistics

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