Areas of research
In addition to the work aimed at constructing an iSORP, CEARC is also undertaking research in three areas:
- Generally Accepted Accounting Principles/Practices (GAAP) issues
- Non-financial reporting
- Current co-operative practice
GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles/Practice) issues
There are a number of areas of GAAP is of particular interest to co-operatives. Examples include: the classification of members shares as equity or liabilities, patronage returns, treatment of dormant membership accounts, and accounting and reporting co-operative mergers. CEARC is currently collaborating on an international research project looking at the characteristics of co-operative shares and their classification as equity or liabilities.
Much of the content of annual reports is non-financial and offers co-operatives an opportunity to explain to readers, their purpose, activities and their performance in relation to co-operative, social, environmental and sustainability goals. CEARC aims to undertake research looking at existing practice and considering the possibilities for developing co-operative recommended practice on non-financial reporting.
Current co-operative practice
The extent of existing research on co-operative accounting and reporting is very limited. CEARC aims to carry out further research aimed at developing our understanding of current co-operative accounting practice. For example, researchers involved in CEARC surveyed co-operative financial reporting in Nova Scotia.