Institutional agents missing in action?: Management accounting at non-governmental organisations

Brendan Clerkin*, Martin Quinn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The objective of this paper is to establish the management accounting role of finance managers at international development non-governmental organisations and their role as institutional agents. Through empirical evidence from three case organisations, the management accounting role of finance managers is shown as primarily reporting on spending of specific donor grants, rather than providing insights which could help maximise the overall social impact of their organisation. This dynamic potentially limits the social impact of accounting in such organisations, and potentially in the wider sector. The findings suggest finance managers, by focusing on donor-compliance, do not act as ‘definers’ of institutional elements of management accounting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102276
Number of pages16
JournalCritical Perspectives on Accounting
Early online date19 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 09 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The paper has benefited from the views of anonymous reviewers. We are also grateful to the three organisations and the people who contributed to this research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Institutional Agent
  • Management Accounting
  • Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO)
  • Social Impact
  • Uganda

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Information Systems and Management


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