Skip to main content

Value Added as part of Sustainability Reporting: Reporting on Distributional Fairness or Obfuscation?

Abstract

Distributional fairness of corporate distributions is an important social issue linked to accounting for equality. Value added and the information contained in the value added statement can conceptually be regarded as a reflection of how the company is managed for all stakeholders. We investigate value added information published in sustainability reports to determine if the information provided is useful for assessing distributional fairness between stakeholders. We find that the value added information disclosed lack conciseness, comparability and understandability. The divergence is considerable and the explanations of the disclosed information so limited that the usefulness of the value added disclosures must be questioned. Our results suggest several obfuscating techniques in the disclosure of value added information, including disclosing information that is conceptually compromised, resulting in comparability issues and disclosing information that can’t be verified by reconciling back to the financial statements. Our findings have clear ethical and moral implications as they stress the societal issue of distributional fairness. It seems that companies are either reluctant to provide value added information that is useful, or deliberately use value added disclosures to obfuscate. Information reflecting distributional fairness is therefore compromised.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

Notes

  1. For example, Van Staden (2003) when referring to the South African situation before and after the end of apartheid suggests: “The VAS can therefore be used to downplay the importance of profit and to demonstrate at the same time how much value added was taken up by employees in the form of salaries and wages and by the government in the form of taxes” (p. 239).

  2. In this study we do not refer to the concept of value added as intended in the context of the ‘shareholder value approach’, that is the creation of wealth for investors. According to the shareholder value approach, value added is the present value of future cash flows flowing to investors, i.e. economic value added (EVA™), (see, for example, Rappaport 1986).

  3. Corporate social responsibility reflects the contribution of a company to a sustainable society. Over time many terms have been used when referring to reporting in this area, for example, social and environmental reporting, triple bottom line reporting, corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting and sustainability reporting. We use the terms sustainability reporting and CSR reporting as synonyms in this paper.

  4. The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) characterizes integrated thinking as “taking into account the connectivity and interdependencies between the range of factors that affect an organization’s ability to create value over time” (IIRC, 2013, p. 2). Haller and Van Staden (2014) show that the value added statement has the potential to serve as a practical and effective reporting instrument for Integrated Reporting.

  5. Corporate responsibility reporting in the form of CSR and sustainability reports have been increasing internationally over the last decade (KPMG 2015). In most countries the reporting remains largely voluntary in that there are no obligations to report nor requirements for report content.

  6. The GRI is arguably currently the most comprehensive set of guidelines in the area and is followed by most companies presenting sustainability reports (72 % in the KPMG survey, KPMG 2015), representing a large proportion of the largest companies in the world. The indicator ‘Direct Economic Value Generated and Distributed’ (EVG&D) represents a particular version of the value added concept.

  7. The evaluation of the relative income portion of each group and therefore the ‘fairness assessment’ is a moral and/or political issue and depends very much on societal systems, situations and value judgements.

  8. The UN ‘System of National accounts’ (SNA) was first issued in 1952 and twice updated, the last time in 2008 with the cooperation of the European Commission, the OECD, and the International Monetary Fund.

  9. In terms of IAS 1.99 there are two formats for presenting the income statement, the nature of expenses format and the cost of sales format. Under IFRS both formats are allowed; nowadays in the EU both formats are allowed. In those days in Germany, only the nature of expenses format was legally allowed.

  10. For previous contributions on value added in Italy, see for example, De Dominicis (1976).

  11. For an academic analysis of global value added, see for example, Gabrovec Mei (1995) and Montrone (2000).

  12. Before ‘The Corporate Report’, value added had another period of significance in UK. Value added appeared in British company reporting at the end of 1940s and remained until the early 1950s (Burchell et al. 1985). Moreover, in 1954 in another English-speaking country, the USA, Suojanen suggested the value added concept for income measurement, as a way for management to fulfil their accounting duty to the various interest (stakeholder) groups (Suojanen 1954).

  13. For further explanations of the disappearance of VA in Britain, see Pong and Mitchell (2005).

  14. Even in the USA, where accounting practice and academia have largely ignored the publication of the VAS, the concept of value added is not at all unknown. It had been proposed in the literature as an appropriate performance measure for financial reporting purposes (see for example, Suojanen 1954; Enthoven 1980, 1985; Riahi-Belkaoui 1992, 1993, 1996a, 1996b; Riahi-Belkaoui and Picur 1994a, 1994b; Bao and Bao, 1996).

  15. For further information about the GRI and its Framework see www.globalreporting.org.

  16. This is so for all the versions of the GRI guidelines that were developed so far, i.e. G1–G4. The fourth generation (G4) of the GRI guidelines was released in May 2013. Companies are allowed to use the previous versions of the guidelines (G3 and G3.1) until December 2015. The G3 and G3.1 guidelines were in place at the time of our research. For this reason our description is based on the G3.1 and G3 versions of the guidelines. The definition of VA (i.e. the EC1 indicator) and the calculation proposed by the new G4 version does not differ from the G3 and G3.1 versions.

  17. SO6 requires the total value of financial and in-kind contributions to political parties, politicians and related institutions to be disclosed by country.

  18. The GRI Sustainability Disclosure Database was developed over the last 10 years by the GRI with the support of its data partners (including KPMG). It offers users access to all types of sustainability information disclosed by organizations. At 31 January 2013 the database consisted of 12,643 reports of 4978 organizations.

  19. The GRI defines a large company as having more than 250 employees and turnover (revenue) of more than €50 million or net assets of more than €43 million. MNEs have similar size criteria, but are also represented on various continents. SME is defined as less than 250 employees and turnover of less than €50 million or net assets of less than €43 million.

  20. According to GRI3 and GRI3.1 companies are encouraged to indicate the level of application of the GRI guidelines in their reports, using one of the three categories A, B or C, related to the degree of compliance with the guidelines, where A is the highest and C the lowest level of compliance. If the application level has been independently confirmed, the company may add a ‘+’ to the application level. Thus A + indicates a report as having a high compliance with GRI and this has been independently confirmed (see GRI 2013, p.5). This is no longer required by the G4 version (GRI 2013, p. 11).

  21. There are two ways of independent confirmation of the compliance level. This can be done either by the GRI (called ‘GRI-checked’) or by a third party (called ‘third-party-checked’). If none of the two is done, the classification is called ‘self declared’. The GRI Application-Level Check confirms that a sustainability report has the required set and number of disclosures to meet the organization's self-declared application level.

  22. A possible reason for the high incidence in Italy, could be the result of the guidelines on social reporting issued by the working group called ‘gruppo bilancio sociale’ (GBS) which—as mentioned in part 4.2—suggest that social reporting should include a value added statement. The calculation and structure that a VAS should have is also discussed.

  23. It is worth noting that the number of sales-based VA occurrences does not comply with the number of net-based ones because in some cases it was not possible to determine the output measure or to assess how depreciation/amortization have been treated.

References

  • Aldama, P. L., & Zicari, A. (2012). Value-added reporting as a tool for sustainability: A Latin American experience. Corporate Governance, 12(4), 185–498.

    Google Scholar 

  • Andrew, J., & Cortese, C. (2011). Accounting for climate change and the self-regulation of carbon disclosures. Accounting Forum, 35(3), 130–138.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Arangies, G., Mlambo, C., Hamman, W. D., & Steyn-Bruwer, B. W. (2008). The value-added statement: An appeal for standardization. Management Dynamics, 17(1), 31–43.

    Google Scholar 

  • Arbeitskreis ‘Das Unternehmen in der Gesellschaft’. (1975). Das Unternehmen in der Gesellschaft. Der Betrieb, 28(5), 161–173.

    Google Scholar 

  • ASSC. (1975). The corporate report: Accounting standards steering committee. London: The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bahnson, P.R., & Bradbury, M.E. (1993). Value added statements and classification patterns of financial ratios. In Working Paper, University of Auckland, Auckland.

  • Bao, B. H., & Bao, D. H. (1989). An empirical investigation of the association between productivity and firm value. Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, 16(5), 699–717.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bao, B., & Bao, D. (1996). The time series behavior and predictive-ability results of annual value added data. Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, 23(3), 449–460.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Basu, A. K. (1992). Value added as a measure of business performance. Indian Journal of Accounting, XXIII(2), 13–29.

    Google Scholar 

  • Boiral, O. (2013). Sustainability reports as simulacra? A counter-account of A and A + GRI reports. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 26(7), 1036–1071.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Boiral, O., & Henri, J. F. (2015). Is sustainability performance comparable? Business & Society,. doi:10.1177/0007650315576134.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Burchell, S., Clubb, C., & Hopwood, A. G. (1985). Accounting in its social context: Towards a history of value added in the United Kingdom. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 10(4), 381–413.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cahan, S. F., & Van Staden, C. J. (2009). Black economic empowerment, legitimacy and accounting disclosures: Evidence from post-apartheid South Africa. Accounting & Finance, 49(1), 37–58.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Campedelli, B. (2005). Reporting aziendale e sostenibilità. I nuovi orizzonti del bilancio sociale. Milano: Francoangeli.

    Google Scholar 

  • Carroll, A. B. (1998). The four faces of corporate citizenship. Business and Society Review, 100(1), 1–7.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Catturi, G. (2004). La determinazione e la rilevazione del valore creato (Vol. II). Padova: Vita aziendale e simbologia contabile, CEDAM.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cho C. H., Roberts, R. W., & Patten, D. M. (2010). The language of U.S. corporate environmental disclosure. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 35(4), 431–443.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cho, C. H., Laine, M., Roberts, R. W., & Rodrigue, M. (2015). Organized hypocrisy, organizational façades, and sustainability reporting. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 40, 78–94.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cho, C. H., Michelon, G., & Patten, D. M. (2012). Impression management in sustainability reports: An empirical investigation of the use of graphs. Accounting and the Public Interest, 12(1), 16–37.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cho, C. H., & Patten, D. M. (2007). The role of environmental disclosures as tools of legitimacy: A research note. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 32(7/8), 639–647.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Christensen, J. (2010). Conceptual frameworks of accounting from an information perspective. Accounting and Business Research, 40(3), 287–299.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB). (2015). CDSB Framework for reporting environmental information and natural capital: Advancing and aligning disclosure of environmental information in mainstream reports. http://www.cdsb.net/sites/cdsbnet/files/cdsb_framework_for_reporting_environmental_information_natural_capital.pdf. Accessed March 22, 2016.

  • Congiu, P. (2009). Il bilancio sociale delle imprese cooperative. Milano: Giuffré Editore.

    Google Scholar 

  • Conselho Federal de Contabilidade. (2008). Resolucaõ Conselho Federal De Contabilidade CFC No. 1.138 DE 21.11.2008. Conselho Federal de Contabilidade, Brasilia.

  • Cox, B. (1979). Value added: An appreciation for the accountant concerned with industry. Portsmouth, UK: Heineman [for] the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants.

  • De Dominicis, U. (1976). Lezioni di ragioneria generale (Vol. III). Capitale, costi, ricavi e reddito, Tipografia Babina, Bologna.

  • De Villiers, C., & Van Staden, C. J. (2011). Where firms choose to disclose voluntary environmental information. Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, 30(6), 504–525.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Deegan, C. (2002). The legitimizing effect of social and environmental disclosures: A theoretical foundation. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 15(3), 282–311.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Deegan, C., & Gordon, B. (1996). A study of the environmental disclosure practices of Australian corporations. Accounting and Business Research, 4, 187–199.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Deegan, C., & Hallam, A. (1991). The voluntary presentation of value added statements in Australia: A political cost perspective. Accounting & Finance, 31(1), 1–21.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dowling, J., & Pfeffer, J. (1975). Organizational legitimacy: Social values and organizational behaviour. Pacific Sociology Review, 18(1), 122–136.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Elkington, J. (1998). Cannibals with forks: The triple bottom line of 21st century business. Stony Creek, CT: New Society Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  • Enthoven, A. (1980). International management accounting: a challenge for accountants. Management Accounting, 62(3), 25–32.

    Google Scholar 

  • Enthoven, A. (1985). Mega accounting trends. Center for International Accounting Development at the University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, TX.

  • European Union (EU) (2014). Directive 2014/95/EU of the European parliament and the council of 22 october 2014 amending directive 2013/34/EU as regards disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by certain large undertakings and groups. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=OJ:L:2014:330:FULL&from=EN. Accessed March 22, 2016.

  • Gabrovec Mei, O. (1995). Sistemi contabili e strutture del conto del risultato economico. CEDAM, Padova.

  • Gabrovec Mei, O. (1999). Il linguaggio contabile. Torino: Giappichelli.

    Google Scholar 

  • GBS (2013). Principi di redazione del bilancio sociale. In IAAER conference.

  • Gray, R. H., Adams, C., & Owen, D. (2014). Accountability, social responsibility and sustainability: Accounting for society and the environment. Harlow: Pearson Education.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gray, S. J., & Maunders, K. T. (1980). Value added reporting: Uses and measurement. London: The Association of Certified Accountants.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gray, R., Owen, D. L., & Adams, C. A. (1996). Accounting and accountability: Changes and challenges in corporate social and environmental reporting. London: Prentice Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  • GRI (2011a). Sustainability reporting guidelines. https://www.globalreporting.org/resourcelibrary/G3.1-Guidelines-Incl-Technical-Protocol.pdf. Accessed March 22, 2016.

  • GRI (2011b). Indicator protocols. https://www.globalreporting.org/resourcelibrary/G3.1-Guidelines-Incl-Technical-Protocol.pdf. Accessed March 22, 2016.

  • GRI (2013). Sustainability reporting guidelines. Reporting principles and standard disclosures. https://www.globalreporting.org/resourcelibrary/GRIG4-Part1-Reporting-Principles-and-Standard-Disclosures.pdf. Accessed March 22, 2016.

  • Haller, A. (1997). Wertschöpfungsrechnung. Stuttgart: Schäffer-Poeschel Verlag.

  • Haller, A., & Stolowy, H. (1998). Value added in financial accounting: A comparative study of Germany and france. Advances in International Accounting, 11, 23–51.

    Google Scholar 

  • Haller, A., & Van Staden, C. J. (2014). The value added statement: An appropriate instrument for integrated reporting. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 27(7), 1190–1216.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hooghiemstra, R. (2000). Corporate communication and impression management: New perspectives why companies engage in corporate social reporting. Journal of Business Ethics, 27(1–2), 55–68.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ianniello, G. (2008). Il conto economic a valore aggiunto: Archeologia o innovazione contabile? Contabilitá e cultura aziendale, 7(2), 28–56.

    Google Scholar 

  • International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). (2010). The conceptual framework for financial reporting. London: IASB.

  • International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC). (2013). The International Framework. www.theiirc.org. Accessed March 22, 2016.

  • Karpik, P., & Riahi-Belkaoui, A. (1990). The relative relationship between systematic risk and value added variables. Journal of International Financial Management and Accounting, 17(3), 259–276.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • KPMG (2014). A New Vision of Value: Connecting corporate and societal value creation. https://www.kpmg.com/Global/en/topics/climate-change-sustainability-services/Documents/a-new-vision-of-value.pdf. Accessed Nov 30, 2015.

  • KPMG (2015). Currents of change: The KPMG international survey of corporate responsibility reporting 2013. http://www.kpmg.com/CN/en/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/Documents/kpmg-survey-of-corporate-responsibility-reporting-2015-O-201511.pdf

  • Larrinaga, G. C. (2001). Aspectos socials y politicos del estado de valor añanido. Revista de Contabilidad, 4(8), 35–62.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lehmann, M. R. (1954). Leistungsmessung durch Wertschöpfungsrechnung. Essen: Verlag W. Girardet.

  • Leong, S., Hazelton, J., Taplin, R., Timms, W., & Laurence, D. (2014). Mine site-level water reporting in the Macquarie and Lachlan catchments: A study of voluntary and mandatory disclosures and their value for community decision-making. Journal of Cleaner Production, 84(1), 94–106.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • MacFarlane, S. (1993). Stop talking about profits … value-added is more relevant in the New South Africa. Accountancy SA, June 4–5.

  • Machado, M. A. V., Macedo, M. S., & Machado, M. R. (2015). Analysis of the relevance of information content of the value added statement in the Brazilian capital markets. Revista Contabilidade & Financas, 26(67), 57–69.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Matten, D., & Crane, A. (2005). Corporate citizenship: Towards an extended theoretical conceptualization. Academy of Management Review, 30(1), 166–179.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Maunders, K. T. (1985). The decision relevance of value added reports. In F. Choi & G. G. M. Mueller (Eds.), Frontiers of international accounting: An anthology (pp. 225–245). Ann Arbor, US: UMI Research Press.

  • McLeay, S. (1983). Value added: A comparative study. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 8(1), 31–56.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Meek, G., & Gray, S. (1988). The value added statement: An innovation for U.S. Companies. Accounting Horizons, 2(2), 73–81.

    Google Scholar 

  • Meyer-Merz, A. (1985). Die Wertschöpfungsrechnung in Theorie und Praxis. Zürich: Schulthess.

    Google Scholar 

  • Montrone, A. (2000). Il valore aggiunto nella misurazione della performance economica e sociale dell’impresa. Milano: FrancoAngeli.

    Google Scholar 

  • Moore, M. H. (1995). Creating public value: Strategic management in government. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Morley, M. (1978). The value added statement: A review of its use in corporate reports. London: Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.

    Google Scholar 

  • Morley, M. (1979). The value added statement in Britain. The Accounting Review, 54(3), 619–629.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mudd, G. M. (2008). Sustainability reporting and water resources: A preliminary assessment of embodied water and sustainable mining. Mine Water and the Environment, 27(3), 136–144.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Neu, D., Warsame, H., & Pedwell, K. (1998). Managing public impressions: Environmental disclosures in annual reports. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 23(3), 265–282.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nobes, C., & Parker, R. B. (2016). Comparative international accounting (13th ed.). London: Pearson.

    Google Scholar 

  • Orlandini, P. (2008). Rendicontazione e responsabilità sociale. Torino: Giappichelli Editore.

    Google Scholar 

  • Owen, D. L., Swift, T. A., Humphrey, C., & Bowerman, M. (2000). The new social audits: Accountability, managerial capture or the agenda of social champions? European Accounting Review, 9(1), 81–98.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Patten, D. M. (2002). The relation between environmental performance and environmental disclosure: A research note. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 27(8), 763–773.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Piketty, T. (2014). Capital in the twenty-first century. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Pong, C., & Mitchell, F. (2005). Accounting for a disappearance: A contribution to the history of the value added statement in the UK. Accounting Historians Journal, 32(2), 173–199.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Porter, M. E., & Kramer, M. R. (2011). Creating shared value, Harvard Business Review. January-February, 89, 62–77.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rappaport, A. (1986). Creating shareholder value: The standard for business performance. New York: Free Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Reichmann, T., & Lange, C. (1981). The value added statement as part of corporate social reporting. Management International Review, 21(4), 17–22.

    Google Scholar 

  • Renshall, M., Allan, R., & Nicholson, K. (1979). Added value in external financial reporting. London: The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

    Google Scholar 

  • Riahi-Belkaoui, A. (1992). Value added reporting: Lessons for the United States. Westport, Connecticut: Quorum Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Riahi-Belkaoui, A. (1993). The information content of value added, earnings, and cash flow: US evidence. International Journal of Accountancy, 28(1), 140–146.

    Google Scholar 

  • Riahi-Belkaoui, A. (1996a). Performance results in value added reporting. Westport, Connecticut: Quorum Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Riahi-Belkaoui, A. (1996b). Earnings–Returns relation versus net-value-added-returns relation: The case for a nonlinear specification. Advances in Quantitative Analysis of Finance and Accounting, 4, 175–185.

    Google Scholar 

  • Riahi-Belkaoui, A., & Fekrat, M. A. (1994). The magic in value added: merits of derived accounting indicator numbers. Managerial Finance, 20(9), 3–15.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Riahi-Belkaoui, A., & Picur, R. D. (1994a). Explaining market returns: earnings versus value added data. Managerial Finance, 20(9), 44–55.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Riahi-Belkaoui, A., & Picur, R. D. (1994b). Net value added as an explanatory variable for returns. Managerial Finance, 20(9), 56–64.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rutherford, B. A. (1977). Value added as a focus of attention for financial reporting: some conceptual problems. Accounting and Business Research, 7(27), 215–220.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rutherford, B. A. (1978). Examining some value added statements. Accountancy, 89(7), 48–52.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rutherford, B. A. (1980). Published statements of value added: A survey of three years’ experience. Accounting and Business Research, 11, 15–28.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schäfer, E. (1951). Vom ‘Mehrwert’ zur ‘Wertschöpfung. Zeitschrift für Betriebswirtschaft, 21, 449–459.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schneider, P. (1985). Finanzwirtschaftliche Nebenrechnungen – Eine empirische Untersuchung von Geschäftsberichten börsennotierter deutscher Aktiengesellschaften zum Publizitätsverhalten bei Kapitalfluß-. Wertschöpfungs- und Kapitalerhaltungsrechnung, Frankfurt: Umsatzüberschuß-.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schreuder, H. (1979). Corporate social reporting in the federal republic of Germany: An overview. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 4(1/2), 109–122.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shaoul, J. (1998). Critical financial analysis and accounting for stakeholders. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 9(2), 235–249.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stainbank, L. (1992). Value added reporting in South Africa. DE RATIONE, 6(1), 43–58.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stainbank, L. (2009). The value added statement: Does it add any value? Meditari Accounting Research, 17(2), 137–149.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Struckmann, P. (1989). A critical evaluation of value added reporting in South Africa. Cape Town: Department of Accounting, University of Cape Town.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sullivan, R., & Gouldson, A. (2012). Does voluntary carbon reporting meet investors’ needs? Journal of Cleaner Production, 36, 60–67.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Suojanen, W. W. (1954). Accounting theory and the large corporation. The Accounting Review, 29(3), 391–398.

    Google Scholar 

  • Talbot, D., & Boiral, O. (2016). GHG reporting and impression management: An assessment of sustainability reports form the energy sector. Journal of Business Ethics. doi:10.1007/s10551-015-2979-4.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tonkin, D. J. (1989). World survey of published accounts. London: Lafferty Publications.

  • Tweedie, D., & Hazelton, J. (2015). Social accounting for inequality: Applying Piketty’s capital in the twenty-first century. Social and Environmental Accountability Journal, 35(2), 113–122.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • UN (2008). Systems of National Accounts, UN, New York, NY: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/nationalaccount/sna.asp. Accessed Dec 28, 2015.

  • Van Staden, C. J. (1998). The usefulness of the value added statement in South Africa. Managerial Finance, 24(11), 44–59.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Van Staden, C. J. (1999a). Aspects of the predictive and explanatory power of value added information in South Africa. South African Journal of Accounting Research, 13(2), 53–75.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Van Staden, C. J. (1999b). Revisiting the value added statement: A case for the formulation of statutory requirements for financial reporting. Meditari Accountancy Research, 7, 257–275.

    Google Scholar 

  • Van Staden, C. J. (2003). The relevance of theories of political economy to the understanding of financial reporting in South Africa: The case of value added statements. Accounting Forum, 27(2), 224–246.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Van Staden, C. J., & Hooks, J. (2007). A comprehensive comparison of corporate environmental reporting and responsiveness. The British Accounting Review, 39, 197–210.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Walton, P., Haller, H., & Raffournier, B. (2003). International accounting (2nd ed.). London: Thompson.

  • Zeghal, D., & Maaloul, A. (2010). Analysing value added as an indicator of intellectual capital and its consequences on company performance. Journal of Intellectual Capital, 11(1), 39–60.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank participants and commentators at the Asia Pacific Interdisciplinary Research in Accounting (APIRA) conference in Kobe 2013, the Center for Social and Environmental Accounting Research Australasian (ACSEAR) conference in Hamilton 2013, the Annual European Accounting Association (EAA) conference in Talin 2014, and the International Association for Accounting Education and Research (IAAER) Conference in Florence in 2014, as well as seminar participants at Deakin University and the University of South Australia for their useful comments.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Chris J. van Staden.

Appendix

Appendix

See Table 6.

Table 6 Selection of empirical studies on the publication and characteristics of value added statements

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Haller, A., van Staden, C.J. & Landis, C. Value Added as part of Sustainability Reporting: Reporting on Distributional Fairness or Obfuscation?. J Bus Ethics 152, 763–781 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-016-3338-9

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-016-3338-9

Keywords

  • Distributional fairness
  • Value added
  • Value added statement
  • CSR reporting
  • EVG&D
  • GRI