The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA, 2013c:2) states that a co-operative
as business model has the ability to address unstable economic circumstances
for citizens around the world. The business model is inter alia focused upon the
well-being of the individual and bringing economic resources under democratic
control – it has been proved that the co-operatives sector has already provided
millions of jobs worldwide. The United Nations has also identified the potential of
co-operatives to play an important role in social and economic growth to such an
extent that they decided during 2009 to proclaim 2012 as the United Nations
International Year of Co-operatives.
The ICA (2013c:3) aims to provide co-operatives with direction for future growth
in its proposed Blueprint. The expansion of existing accounting practices of profitorientated
business is identified amongst other actions that should be taken to
ensure that co-operatives succeed in playing a significant role in economic, social
and environmental sustainability by 2020.
This study focuses upon the nature, status and accounting requirements of cooperatives
by means of a literature review. Existing financial reporting guidance
as well as research already performed for the development of financial reporting
guidance for co-operatives is also investigated, followed by the empirical portion of the research. Three South African co-operatives are investigated with
reference to their financial reporting requirements – the information is gathered
by means of semi-structured interviews which are held with stakeholders relevant
to the financial reporting function of co-operatives in South Africa.
The study concludes with a perspective on the relevance of existing financial
reporting frameworks of co-operatives and specifies the shortcomings thereof
with regard to the financial reporting requirements of co-operatives.
Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2015.