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INTRODUCTION Nonprofit Organizations NPOs in India play an important role as change agents for social and economic development As they command substantial resources their financial performance measurement and reporting is a major concern In the absence of a single regulatory authority and specific accounting standards for NPOs the practices of accounting and reporting vary across organizations Based on an exploratory study this paper documents the status on requirements of accounting and reporting vis--vis the current practices of NPOs identifies the gaps and proposes an action plan to bridge the gaps The paper classifies the gaps in accounting and reporting under conceptual and institutional frameworks In order to bridge the gaps in the conceptual framework the paper recommends the need for developing a uniform accounting and reporting system for all NPOs This should start with conceptualizing the information needs of the stakeholders and end with conceptualizing appropriate financial statements to meet these needs and in the process resolve any ambiguity in the accounting treatment of specific transactions At an institutional level the paper suggests consultative processes among various stakeholders to develop the proposed system and recommends a need for amendments in various acts to implement it Nonprofit Organizations NPOs provide important services throughout the world Their scope covers inter alia health and welfare research education social organizations and professional associations The fundamental features of NPOs are 1 They exist to fulfil a charitable purpose 2 they function without the use of coercion 3 they operate without distributing profits to shareholders and 4 they exist without simple and clear lines of ownership and accountability Keating and Frumkin 2001 In India the state played a dominant role in the process of economic and social development after independence in 1947 NPOs also emerged soon after independence as many followers of Mahatma Gandhi established voluntary agencies to work closely with the governmental programs on social and economical issues They organized handicrafts and village industries rural development programs
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