The four-step accountability model We have discussed the four steps within our accountability model, being:
• why report
• to whom to report
• what to report
• how to report.
Let us now consider how these four steps relate to each other, in particular how the response to each step impacts the response to the subsequent step, as evidenced in Figure 1.3. Let us start with the first step in the model. If your response to the issue why report is that you believe you have a primary duty (responsibility) to your shareholders/investors to maximise their wealth, then perhaps the answer to whom to report to will be investors. Once you have identified investors as the target of your reporting, then you can ask them what types of information they want. Based on who you are reporting to (investors in this case), it would more likely be information about various aspects of financial performance. If it is determined that the investors only want information about financial performance, then in terms of how this information will be presented, it would be by using a financial reporting framework which relies upon various accounting standards. Since investors would be expected to have access to the Internet, the financial reports would typically be made available on your organisation’s website.
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