The Social Audit process started in 1940 in the United States, with its pioneer Theodore J. Kréps, who by means of his own methodology he made the social audit of the North-American economy and big companies, disclosing the results of this “Social Auditing”. The methodology developed by Kréps was part of a monograph pertaining to the Temporary National Economic Committee's collection, created by the US Congress after the request made during a speech by President Franklin Roosevelt. The author's concept of Social Audit: “A social intervention process whose object is to control the universal heritage (human, social and environmental resources) and with the objective to make this collection of resources become accessible and available for the sustainable utilization by local communities, in harmony with global society.
Currently, big corporations move freely around the globe, while governments and citizens remain attached to their physical locations. One of the purposes of the Social Audit is to make people aware, through the visibility of data and public information, such standard of appropriation of knowledge and natural resources that belong to local communities for sustainable use.
Several types of businesses have been developed over the centuries, and most of them through the appropriation of the collections that belonged to local communities, exploiting their natural resources and misappropriating their ancestral knowledge, identifying and associating the access and availability of such gene pool. Such ancestral knowledge was achieved from man's direct connection to nature. Many academics make a confusion between Social Audit and Social Responsibility, but these processes meet specific interests: while Social Responsibility keeps the company as the single provider of information on its own operations, thus turning that into a monologue, it is different in case of Social Audit, which uses other concepts, techniques and methodologies to produce, by means of integration with other official data, a Social Dialogue, even for big limited companies that do not disclose their accounting statements in Brazil.
Finally, the author believes that Accounting Science is strongly linked to — and why not say imprisoned within — a fragile submission structure: the useful application of economics. In order to so, it is necessary to expand it, substituting profit with sustainability, thus extending the equity object to human, social, and environmental resources of local communities, and at last turning the steadiness (richness) of equity into dynamism for global prosperity.
Maria de Fátima de Lima Pinel (2012)