Professor Peter Friedrich, University of Tartu
Professor Jüri Sepp, University of Tartu
Professor Dorothea Greiling, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria
Associate Professor Sirje-Ilona Pädam, Tallinn University of Technology
Social accounts give information to highlight the performance of an economic unit. Therefore, social accounting approach is relevant for a university accounting to assess social success, because of social objectives and reasons of its activities.
In general, non-market benefits and externalities of education are complicated to identify, but even more complex to measure. Therefore, education non-market benefits which are measured by willingness to pay show scant evidence of availability in the literature.
Exist many different approaches to social accounting, but there is the research gap concerning the social accounting for a university and concerning methodology which considers the welfare change in form of ex-post analysis with a related bookkeeping system accounting periodical social success of a university faculty. Usual approaches to social accounting such as social audits, human resource accounting and corporate social accounting do not offer an integrated bookkeeping approach. Therefore, it had to be evolved.
The development of this kind social accounting for a university is based on welfare theory and the evaluation methods of benefit-cost analysis. Basic decision on how to identify social success of the university faculty and the requirements of a bookkeeping approach determine the structure of the social accounting approach. An adequate bookkeeping system comprising the commercial and an additional social one has developed. A chart of an additional social bookkeeping and appropriate bookkeeping rules are suggested, and assessment of social success, social balance and total social balance has taken place. The attempt is verified by bookings of stocks and flows relying on actual receivable data in the case of the faculty of the University of Tartu, Estonia.
Social benefits and costs stem from operations of the university faculty, which are due to the main tasks. There are considered main groups of tasks as teaching, research, consulting and management.
Presented bookkeeping approach opens the way to identify social capital and the current net-benefit in terms of net-benefit. In the future this approach might be used to formulate a normative welfare oriented management theory of faculties or universities. This approach creates possibilities for further developments in extension towards dynamic and comparative analysis.