oa Meditari : Research Journal of the School of Accounting Sciences - The financial accountability of HIV / AIDS



HIV / AIDS has implications of varying severity across a wide spectrum of businesses in South Africa. Financial accountability is therefore required to enable investors and other stakeholders to be advised regarding the effect of HIV / AIDS on company performance and to make informed decisions.

This paper explores financial accountability with regard to HIV / AIDS. It investigates top management's awareness, coping strategies and financial information (available and required) that is communicated internally and to stakeholders. Its empirical content concentrates on major public companies that operate in industries in which HIV / AIDS is known to be present. It reveals that companies are informed and pragmatic. However, many do not engage in legally permissible prevalence testing, and thereby frustrates attempts at a clear definition of the problem and at forecasting. Most companies are therefore unable to project what the effect of HIV / AIDS on future performance and profitability will be.
The paper concludes that, although HIV / AIDS receives attention in terms of corporate governance, there is an absence of financial accountability via annual reports and financial statements. Many companies have no information available, while others may elect not to disclose it.


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