Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business (Research)


Accounting and Information Systems

First Advisor

Sylvia Dempsey


In recent years, the appropriateness of the measures used in performance measurement systems is one of the areas within Management Accounting that attracts significant interest. Even though a lot has been written on the advances in measurement systems in for-profit organisations there is a lack of literature on performance measurement systems in not-for-profit organisations. This dissertation describes and evaluates the performance measurement system used by credit unions in Ireland.

A literature review on performance measurement identifies the criteria that a performance measurement system needs in order to be effective: namely it should be linked to the organisation’s strategic objectives, reflect internal and external concerns, report past performance, create opportunities for the future, aid decision making, communications and learning and have the commitment of the entire organisation.

To achieve these criteria, a wide-ranging nature of performance measures must be used. The measures used will vary from organisation to organisation depending largely on what the organisation considers important to it, but in general, in order to meet the criteria of an effective performance measurement system, they must be: financial and non-financial; have a long-term and short-term focus; be objective and subjective; be sufficient in numbers to focus management on the areas important to the organisation and be able to adapt to the changing business environment.

A credit union is evident in almost every community in Ireland. More than half of the population of Ireland are members of nearly five hundred and fifty credit unions. Research conducted by the Irish League of Credit Unions has highlighted a number of key issues to be addressed to ensure the future development and sustainability of credit unions. As the issues that need to be addressed have been identified, progression towards achieving them should be monitored by the performance measurement system.

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