Vacant jurisdictions: the accountancy profession and the UK charity sector

Danielle McConville*, Elisa Henderson, Carolyn J. Cordery

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Professions enjoy privileged positions and expend efforts to sustain these in public and interprofessional domains. This research investigates a previously vacant and largely uncontested jurisdiction in the UK charity sector that was claimed, maintained and subsequently expanded by the accountancy profession. We find that the dominant involvement of the accountancy profession leads to a charity regulatory framework that centralises the giving of an account. Over time, the accountancy profession advances highly specialised charity accounting and novel disclosures in annual reports. The study contributes to a deeper understanding of professions expanding jurisdiction in the absence of competition. In our conclusions, we scrutinise implications for trust and legitimacy in the UK charity sector, balancing increased information demand on charities with accessibility to users.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-360
Number of pages17
JournalFinancial Accountability and Management
Issue number3
Early online date27 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: McConville, D, Henderson, E, Cordery, C. Vacant jurisdictions: The accountancy profession and the UK charity sector. Financial Acc & Man. 2021; 1– 17, which has been published in final form at  This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.


  • charity
  • institutional work
  • jurisdiction
  • professions


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