It is not widely known that the principles of Social Accounting and Audit have been extended to a number of other countries, notably India, Korea, Australia. I was talking to members at SAN India recently and they said that they have now trained more than 20 Social Auditors across India.
There has been a big increase in interest in Social Accounting and Audit in India partly because the government is actively encouraging companies to account for and explain their social impact and then ensure their claims are externally verified to some degree.
During our online conversation, we discussed the important need to recognise that accounting for your social and community impact is not only about using and creating a product but it is about understanding the process of how your own organisation creates beneficial social change.
It is our belief that too many people working in this area focus on the product – a guide, a report, a secret key that opens the door to social reporting. We need more people to understand that accounting for social impact should focus more on the process of change with the ultimate goal of becoming a more effective organisation through open disclosure of showing what your organisation is doing well and what needs to be improved.
Alan is now retired and travelling the world. We look forward to hearing from his travels to India, where he will catch up with SAN India and hear first-hand how social accounting and audit is taking there.