Natural disasters require authorities in charge of recovery, to be accountable to all those involved in the process, including victims. Accounting systems can be used to track and account for the fair and transparent management of disaster specific funds, giving visibility to the recovery process and its outcomes. However previous studies suggest that the process of accounting, with its individualizing effects, may create “distance” between the accountor and the accountee, thereby undermining accountability. This paper investigates the social aspects of the accounting system used by authorities in charge of the recovery from the devastating Italian flood of November 2010. We found that accounting procedures activated after this disaster not only gave visibility to flood damages and recovery actions, but also favored a sense of inter-dependency between all of the players involved. Accounting fostered dialogue, mutual understanding, trust and solidarity among victims, who played a crucial role in enabling the overall accountability process. Our paper provides evidence of the socializing effects of accounting in natural disaster contexts, thereby opening up an interesting area for further research in the streams of critical accounting.

The socializing effects of accounting in flood recovery

Leoni G;
2014

Abstract

Natural disasters require authorities in charge of recovery, to be accountable to all those involved in the process, including victims. Accounting systems can be used to track and account for the fair and transparent management of disaster specific funds, giving visibility to the recovery process and its outcomes. However previous studies suggest that the process of accounting, with its individualizing effects, may create “distance” between the accountor and the accountee, thereby undermining accountability. This paper investigates the social aspects of the accounting system used by authorities in charge of the recovery from the devastating Italian flood of November 2010. We found that accounting procedures activated after this disaster not only gave visibility to flood damages and recovery actions, but also favored a sense of inter-dependency between all of the players involved. Accounting fostered dialogue, mutual understanding, trust and solidarity among victims, who played a crucial role in enabling the overall accountability process. Our paper provides evidence of the socializing effects of accounting in natural disaster contexts, thereby opening up an interesting area for further research in the streams of critical accounting.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/941716
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