Further Thoughts on Mega-Accounting and the Need for Standards

M. R. Mathews


This paper continues previous research (Mathews 1984, 1997b, 2000a, 2000b, 2003) into developing a proposal for a system of comprehensive
reporting based on a concept called megaaccounting. The ideas in mega- accounting are similar to those behind GRI (2002) and triple bottom line (TBL) reporting (Elkington 1997), but with a different underlying  philosophy, a social contract approach compared to one based on organisational legitimacy or the need for management to drive sustainability and sustainable capitalism which is sometimes called ‗the
business case‘. The paper attempts to develop the concept of mega- accounting by identifying the purpose underlying the reports, identifying the basis of a conceptual framework and providing an indication
of the content that social and environmental accounting reports may include in the future. Of necessity the research perspective is normative
and deductive, as is much of the process of developing accounting standards, the model upon which it is argued social and environmental
accounting should be based. The paper concludes by reiterating that the way forward for social and environmental accounting and reporting is for a conceptual framework to be agreed and standards developed via a normative-pragmatic process that will provide the basis for comprehensive, audited, corporate reports encompassing the social, environmental and economic dimension.  Furthermore, additional work is needed on the areas of macro-social accounting and externalities in order to develop a comprehensive framework.


Mega accounting, social and environmental accounting and reporting, standards for disclosure, Triple Bottom Line (TBL), GRI Guideline.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22164/isea.v2i2.30


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