Sheri (Xianrui) Zeng

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PhD Student



  • Master of Business in Accounting (First Class Honours), AUT
  • Master of Accounting and Finance, Sheffiled, United Kingdom
  • Graduate Diploma in Finance, Exeter, United Kingdom
  • Bachelor of Accounting, China

Memberships and Affiliations:

  • Member of the Accounting for Social Impact Research Group
  • Member of Beta Gamma Sigma

Research Areas:

  • Accountability of social business
  • Social impact measurement

Research Supervisors

  • Professor Chris van Staden
  • Dr Mahmood Ahmed Momin

Thesis title

Accounting and accountability of social business

The proposed research aims to investigate how social businesses construct and discharge their accountability, as well as exploring how social businesses measure their social impact. Social business is receiving increased attention, due to its role in pursusing a social mission through self-financing business models, rather than relying on philanthropy to survive. As the hybrid nature, the organisations may face challenges which include achieving their social targets while also generating income and being accountable to their stakeholders. Many previous studies have focused on the accountability of non-profit organisations, but little research has been done to analyse the accountability of social businesses. Thus, this research aims to analyse how social businesses discharged their accountability. Furthermore, a major challenge for social businesses is to measure their social impact. The field is developing rapidly, and domestic and international debates are conducted within institutions, academia and communities of practice. It is worth further exploring this complex issue. By doing so, this research aims to structure an accountability measurement framework for social businesses.


  • 2018 Beta Gamma Sigma, AUT Chapter
  • 2017 Top International graduate in the Master of Business, AUT
  • AUT PhD Scholarship (Accounting)