The purpose of this article is to provide a brief overview of the development of corporate social and environmental reporting practice since it first began to achieve some degree of prominence on an international scale in the 1970s, before offering a critical evaluation of the state of current practice. This article focuses on the contribution of present day reporting, and associated assurance, initiatives made towards enhancing the transparency of corporate social and environmental impact, together with delivering enhanced levels of accountability to organizational stakeholders. A large part of this article draws on research in social and environmental accounting within the field of interdisciplinary accounting research. This research field has a thirty-five-year history and has developed in parallel with certain streams of corporate social responsibility research in the management literature. For example, social and environmental accounting research embraces both normative concerns with fulfilling obligations and duties to the wider society.