Speculations About the Implications of the Pathways Vision for How We Understand Accounting

25 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2017

See all articles by Eileen Zalkin Taylor

Eileen Zalkin Taylor

North Carolina State University

Paul F. Williams

North Carolina State University - Department of Accounting

Date Written: August 1, 2017

Abstract

In the spirit that a picture is worth a thousand words, the Pathways Commission Vision’s “perception” of accounting is a simplistic caricature of a practice epitomized by bookkeeping and governed by a “black letter” tradition whereby hard-and-fast rules exist for distilling the vast number of data business generates into a meaningful narrative about the financial state and performance of a firm. The “Reality” Vision is a rather heroic self-perception the profession has for the role it will play in producing a prosperous society. The problematic ambiguity with the “Reality” obviously revolves around the concept of “prosperous society” and what implications different notions of prosperous have for accounting’s role in society, given accounting’s (and accountants’) limitations. We propose a vision for a prosperous society based on the 17 UN goals, specifically focusing on the two which relate to income distribution and sustainability. We consider how accounting can play a role in helping achieve this view of a prosperous society.

Suggested Citation

Taylor, Eileen Zalkin and Williams, Paul F., Speculations About the Implications of the Pathways Vision for How We Understand Accounting (August 1, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3052976 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3052976

Eileen Zalkin Taylor (Contact Author)

North Carolina State University ( email )

Campus Box 8113
Nelson Hall
Raleigh, NC 27695-8113
United States
919-513-2476 (Phone)

Paul F. Williams

North Carolina State University - Department of Accounting ( email )

3158 Nelson Hall
P.O. Box 8113
Raleigh, NC
United States
919-515-4436 (Phone)
919-515-4446 (Fax)

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