Promoting charity accountability: understanding disclosure of serious incidents

Diarmuid McDonnell*, Alasdair C. Rutherford

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Charities are under increasing pressure to be accountable. Using a novel dataset, we provide the first analysis of the characteristics of charities voluntarily disclosing details of serious incidents that may threaten their organisation. Financial loss, fraud and theft, and personal behavior account for a majority of serious incidents reported. Larger, older organisations that have previously been subject to a regulatory investigation are more likely to report serious incidents. However, it is smaller, younger charities where the regulator perceives there to be greater risk of organisational demise arising from the incident.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-61
Number of pages20
JournalAccounting Forum
Issue number1
Early online date16 Apr 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • performance accountability
  • charity transparency
  • charity regulation
  • charity risk
  • nonprofit accountability


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