Social Accounting is a broad term for a process that enables an organisation to systematically record those things it does that have an impact on society, to report that impact, and through counting them, improve their performance. Social accounts are in addition to the financial accounts and reports.
The purpose of this process is to maximise the positive impact on society by the organisation by improving its performance, together with its accountability, transparency, and sustainability.
Wikipedia has a page on Social Accounting which provides an overview of its many facets. Social accounting is mostly used by for-purpose organisations but is equally applicable to private businesses that wish to improve their positive impact on their community. Impact was described in the DBL Report thus: ‘by impact we mean the portion of the total outcome that happened as a result of the activity of an organisation, above and beyond what would have happened anyway.’
For more information on the role that social accounting can play in re-building social capital, see the Pro Bono News article on this topic published on 14 December 2016 by Mercury’s Alan Greig.