Management accounting in third sector: Empirical study in private social solidarity institutions

Márcia R. Cadete Santos, Raul M. S. Laureano, Maria João Machado


In today’s economy, state and philanthropic support is extremely selective, failing to address all requests of social sector institutions. Private non-profit charity institutions (IPSS) – social institutions par excellence – are also affected by the reality of this constraint and, as such, are expected to apply the allocated resources effectively and efficiently in order to justify receiving awards. In order to understand to what extent the management of these organisations have information to support their decision-making, this research sought to relate the level of maturity of the management accounting systems with elements influencing organisational capacity: stakeholders and human and financial resources. Through a survey of 61 IPSS, it was found that, even when it was possible to obtain management information to identify deficit situations, the accounting systems in use do not guarantee support for decision-making. As justification, institutions indicate possessing sufficient information, which can reveal a non-perception of obsolete systems, highlighting the need for training in third sector organisations.


Management accounting, third sector, non-profit organisations (NPO), private non-profit charity institutions (IPSS), decision-making.

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