McNair Scholars Research Journal


This study documents and reviews the current state of corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting in the United States. Prior accounting research examining CSR reporting mostly analyzes annual reports. However, recent evidence suggests that with the increase in companies using standalone CSR reports, the level of disclosure of environmental information within the annual report has decrease (Frost 2007). Results suggest that despite the lack of regulations requiring U.S. companies to publish CSR reports, the number of companies doing so has grown each year. According to Mathews (1997), "continuing the tradition of empirical research aimed at documenting [the practice] of social and environmental accounting...is valuable as a record of the current state of organizational disclosure and, therefore, of the distance that remains to be travelled along the path to full accountability by economic actors" (p.504). Consequently this research seeks to document the current status of standalone CSR reporting in the United States. My findings suggest that there is a growth trend in U.S. companies issuing standalone CSR reports, however, thee are very few reports that are audited or assured in the United States.