Follow up on my “AccountAbility mess” post

I’ve had an email from AccountAbility about this previous post yesterday.

AccountAbility sent me a letter they have put out to stakeholders. Here’s a copy of it.

AccountAbility, in the note to me, say that the firm is indeed still a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.

But they also, disingenuously, suggested that my post is about the resignation of the standards board. It is not.

My question is a much more fundamental one: Who owns the assets, and who will profit from them, and how.

I sent the following questions in response and will post any answers I get:

1) What is your strategic plan for the organisation? To be a not for profit US-based and led consultancy? In which case, could I ask how the directors are paid, will the profits be paid to them, for example? Or used for another purpose? Will the directors take salaries much higher than in the past? ( I know of some ‘not for profit’ groups where all the profits are simply paid as high salaries to a few directors to retain that status, hence my question)

2) Who now owns the organisation? Ie who are the shareholders? And who are the actual legal directors? And how did they come to ‘own’ a not-for-profit company having not set it up themselves? Was it purchased? If so, can we know from whom, and when?

3) As a not for profit limited by guarantee, what kind of public reporting and accounting will be offered to interested parties?

More soon, I hope.


  1. Toby,

    I hope you don't mind me posting a link to an article by one of your competitors here; "New Man for a New Era". The article, which has been endorsed by AccountAbility, answers some of your questions about the new strategy and business model.

    It describes the goal of reinventing AccountAbility as the 'preeminent global CSR professional services firm' and says that 'a new organization is emerging, under the same name and brand, but with a changed ethos and purpose’.

  2. Thanks for the link Maya. I've read the article. Some tough questions eh? 🙂 Not exactly probing…

    I don't think this answers the fundamental questions about rights and ownership so we'll look forward to hearing back from 'AccountAbility' about those 🙂

  3. No, indeed. It does make interesting reading though, next to the statement in today's letter that "Assertions that AccountAbility's business model has changed are simply wrong"…

  4. A very good point!

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