Governments increasingly contract out social services to nonprofit, but also to for‐profit organizations. Consumers may also make co‐payments for services from these organizations. Government, consumers, and other stakeholders (including equity investors) are likely to demand financial reporting to assess management's performance and to make decisions regarding providing organizational resources. This research note asserts that the moral dimension of such reporting includes the need to report on probity and to preserve intergenerational equity.

By using an example of the early childhood education sector in New Zealand, this paper shows how attempts to “corral” financial reporting standards through conceptual framework projects has the potential to fail to meet the needs of salient users of financial reporting. This empirical example adds depth to prior critiques of conceptual frameworks.

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