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The Local Government Accountants’ Perspective on Sustainability


Williams, BR, The Local Government Accountants' Perspective on Sustainability, Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, 6, (2) pp. 267-287. ISSN 2040-8021 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Emerald Group Publishing Limited

DOI: doi:10.1108/SAMPJ-07-2014-0043


Purpose - This study focuses on the local government accountants’ perspective towards their current and potential role in the sustainability reporting process and explores potential factors influencing the further development of their role. Design/Methodology/Approach - A mail survey approach was adopted across local government organisations with deeper analysis provided through semi-structured interviews. Findings - Findings indicate that accountants are supportive of involvement in sustainability reporting but their actual level differs significantly from the level of involvement they believe they should have, pointing to the existence of an execution gap. Potential factors are investigated, highlighting the limited integration of sustainability beyond the organisational level, the lack of understanding of sustainability by accountants and the current need for further up-skilling by accountants. Research Limitations/Implications - The study 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 their current and future prospects in the reporting process in the local government sector in Australia.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Sustainability reporting, accountant, 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:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in philosophy and religious studies
UTAS Author:Williams, BR (Dr Belinda Williams)
ID Code:98670
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:13
Deposited By:TSBE
Deposited On:2015-02-24
Last Modified:2017-11-15
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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