Preparing financial statement: the restricted accountability of Non-profit organizations

Saita Massimo, Franceschelli Maria Vittoria

Previous research has analyzed the differences between Non-profit and For-profit organizations, for example divergences in vision, function, organizational structure and motivation. The present work is a conceptual paper where we have developed a deep analysis of the Non-profit literature, integrating the Italian literature to the international one within the institutional and organizational theory framework. Therefore, we have studied the reason why many Non-profit organizations use to prepare the financial statement used by For-profit organizations, in particular the economic and financial statement. We argue that because of normative isomorphism, legitimacy, in particular strategic legitimacy and because of the fundamental importance, for this type of organization, of internal and external control, a large number of Non-profit organizations tend to prepare the financial statement similar to the For-profit ones, also if it often does not fit well with their activities and can been even disadvantageous.

Key-Words: non-profit organization, financial statement, organizational and institutional theory, isomorphism, legitimacy