SOCIAL VALUE AND AUDIT

 “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted” [1]

Introduction

There is change now underway in corporate practices amid the business sector which involves the move for organisations to acknowledge their social, economic and environmental impact, this means understanding, measuring and promoting their Value.

Social Value is a process which collects, analyses and interprets descriptive, quantitative and qualitative information gathered in order to produce an account of your organisations social, environmental and economic performance and impact. The process may also include an external audit of reviewing and verifying the organisation’s Draft Social Accounts at the end of each social accounting period.

Identifying your Social Value allows ALL your stakeholders, i.e. those who benefit from what is done, those who work for you, those who pay for it, those who work in partnership, to understand the true nature of the organisation’s core values, achievements, developments and the difference your organisation is making.

Why Social Value?

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Social Value is innovative and transforming.

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Social Value audit means changing the old approach and getting ahead of the curve.

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Social Value is where the company’s corporate objectives and values include the concern for social, economic and environmental responsibility, these are measured and reported upon.

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Social Value is a tool for the company to measure and publicise the real outcomes and impact of its Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy.

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A Social Value Report gives the company a reference point that is being more and more appreciated by staff, stakeholders and communities.

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In March 2012, The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 came into effect. This ensures that Social Value is part of every Public Sector procurement process.

Who benefits?

The Social Value Audit benefits all groups involved with the company’s activities. It provides useful information for directors and Boards to make decisions regarding the true ethos and value of the company. It also supports the organisation’s social / charitable / voluntary programs they may wish to support.

Conducting the Social Value Audit stimulates the employees, stakeholders and customers to take part in choosing further social actions and projects, thus improving internal communication and integration between managers, staff, stakeholders and customers.

Stakeholders and funders learn how the company faces its responsibilities with regard to people, social impact and the environment, which is a good indicator of how the company is run. The Social Value Audit shows consumers its philosophy and the quality f the project or service that is provided, pointing to the way the company chooses to make itself known.

P3 Social Value Audit model

P3 uses the Social Accounting and Audit (SAA) model. The model is simple and objective, which enables organisations to publish their Social Value Accounts regardless of size and sector. The Social Accounts can cover the whole company, a single department or a specific project. NEF’s SROI principles are also used to support the SAA model

Social Accounting is not another system to be imposed on your organisation. It is a framework approach that enables you to report on your organisation in the fullest and most effective way possible. Social Accounting makes use of the information that an organisation already gathers – reports that already have to be prepared, and consultations that have already been carried out. Any gaps in existing documentation and information systems will be identified and new or improved methods of capturing necessary information and gathering stakeholder views developed.

There is astrong case to link social accounting into an established business planning cycle and your existing business systems. What you plan to do is directly linked to what you have found out about your performance and the difference you have made.

What are the benefits for your organisation?

Through social accounting and audit you will understand the impact your organisation has on people, the planet and the way you use resources. It will also help you manage your organisation and improve your effectiveness. Other benefits

Social Value can bring:

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Identify organisational issues that require review or a change of focus

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Clarify what your ‘Organisational Values’ mean to your staff, and stakeholders

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Understand your performance and your impact on beneficiaries

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Report comprehensively to stakeholders on your performance and impact

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Communicate better with investors and potential funders – thus winning contracts and business

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Improve the services you provide through listening to stakeholders’ views

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Understand the relationship you have with all your stakeholders

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Be more accountable through better reporting back to your stakeholders

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Learn new skills

First Steps…

Initially we can offer up to three days expert support linked to your financial audit.

This initial advice includes an awareness session for senior staff to enable them to fully understand the Social Value process and the benefits this can bring to your organisation.

Our Social Value consultant will discuss the options available to you, whether the process

covers your whole organisation, a certain department or a specific project.

We will scope out the initial stages of the Social Audit and allow your company to assess whether you wish to move on to further stages to fully embrace Social Accounting and the full reporting process.

Our Social Value consultant will offer you the appropriate support and advice about the

right approach, what this entails and outline the resources it will require.

For more information, please contact us …



[1] From a sign hanging in Albert Einstein’s office

at Princeton