Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What's in a name

Dear Colleagues

Is Social Benefit Accountancy the right name for the system of accountancy that Tr-Ac-Net has been working on ... or should it be Social Business Accountancy?

The reason that Social Benefit Accountancy is better than Social Business Accountancy is that the system needs to have a broader use than simply for the social business. In fact, the fundamental premise is that the entity that aims to get the benefit is society and not merely a business in the society.

So this leads to a broader question ... is either of these names right? Benefit sounds like something that is derived from welfare and given by a government ... but that is not what the system is measuring at all. Social sounds like the system is thinking from a socialist perspective, and again that is not the perspective of the system either.

Rather the system is about community and about impact. So instead of calling the system Social Benefit Accountancy (SBA), a preferable name may well be Community Impact Accountancy (CIA)

The initials may prove to be problematic. SBA usually stands for Small Business Administration which may be a confusion in some circles. CIA has other connotations, that might be even worse. But Community Impact Accountancy seems to be a good name for the system.

Any comments on this?


Peter Burgess