In order to understand an organization’s survival and growth, legitimacy plays a key role. This paper explains how social accounting can generate legitimacy for a social company and make companies more sustainable. The demand to know the value that different organizations generate or detract from society has increased since the global crisis of 2008. Sustainable organizations are those that positively impact all stakeholder groups. In this paper, an analysis of 20 Spanish social companies that have implemented or are going to implement social accounting is made. We analyzed, through interviews, the expectations and integration of social accounting, determining change-emerging factors occurring after the application of social accounting. For the qualitative analysis of the information collected, NVivo 12 was used, a software program adequate for qualitative and mixed-methods research. The main finding shows that most companies communicate results internally; thus, these companies expect a higher involvement in the implementation of social accounting. Social companies, since their value is fundamentally not centered on that which comes from commercial activity, need to evidence their effort on specific social values that do not go through the market, and so are not reflected in traditional financial statements.
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