Accounting for Business Models: Increasing the Visibility of Stakeholders
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Journal of Business Models
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Purpose: This paper conceptualises a firm’s business model employing stakeholder theory as a central organising element to help inform the purpose and objective(s) of business model financial reporting and disclosure. Framework: Firms interact with a complex network of primary and secondary stakeholders to secure the value proposition of a firm’s business model. This value proposition is itself a complex amalgam of value creating, value capturing and value manipulating arrangements with stakeholders. From a financial accounting perspective the purpose of the value proposition for a firm’s business model is to sustain liquidity and solvency as a going concern. Findings: This article argues that stakeholder relations impact upon the financial viability of a firm’s business model value proposition. However current financial reporting by function of expenses and the central organising objectives of the accounting conceptual framework conceal firm-stakeholder relations and their impact on reported financials. Practical implications: The practical implication of our paper is that ‘Business Model’ financial reporting would require a reorientation in the accounting conceptual framework that defines the objectives and purpose of financial reporting. This reorientation would involve reporting about stakeholder relations and their impact on a firms financials not simply reporting financial information to ‘investors’.