Social and Ethical Accountability, Auditing and Reporting
Social and Ethical Accounting, Auditing and Reporting (SEAAR) is
“the process of defining, observing, and reporting measures of the ethical behavior and social impact of an organization in relation to its aims and those of its stakeholders" (Zadek, 1994).
A SEAAR process benefits an organisation in many ways:
- It enriches its corporate governance structure;
- It increases corporate accountability to all stakeholders, communicating and discussing with them the objectives and results of corporate activity;
- It solves the problem of incomplete information characterising most relations between the company and its stakeholders; and
- It improves the company’s strategy and policy development through a dialogue with stakeholders enabling the management to better understand and anticipate stakeholders’ interests, expectations and reactions.
The Social and Ethical Accountability process represents for the company both a strategic management tool and a communication tool going beyond traditional (financial) reporting, enabling the company to engage in effective dialogue with stakeholders (source: Sacconi, de Colle & Baldin: The Q-RES Guidelines for Management, 2002).
The Institute of Ethics scholars have worked with internationally-known initiatives and standards in the field of social and ethical accountability. Dr Simone de Colle is the co-founder of the Q-RES project in Italy, contributed to the Working Group of ISO 26000 and served as Council Member of the Institute of Social and Ethical Accountability in London, that elaborated AA1000 Accountability Principles Standard, the first global standard focused on “securing the quality of social and ethical accounting, auditing and reporting”.
Our experts can assist organisations in enhancing their social and ethical accountability by establishing a systematic approach to collect information on their social and ethical performance. This process generates both useful information for the management’s strategic decision-making, and a basis for building trust with the organisation’s stakeholders.
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