The State of UK Professional Accountancy Education: Professionalising Claims
CRAAG Working Paper No. 05-09
34 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2005
Date Written: December 2005
In advancing the 'professionalising' claims, the UK accountancy bodies emphasise that their members have command of practical and theoretical education, engage in ethical conduct, serve the public interest and act in a socially responsible way. However, such claims are routinely problematised by scandals which highlight the highly partisan role of accounting and accountants and failures of accounting education. Rather than undertaking a radical review of accounting education, the professional bodies seek to rebuild confidence in accounting and their jurisdictions by (re)affirming that accounting education is or will be devoted to producing reflective accountants through educational processes focused on sound education, principles, ethics, professional scepticism, lifelong learning opportunities, distinguishing between private and public interest and serving the public interest. These promises presuppose that students on professional accounting courses are exposed to such values. To advance the debate, this paper examines a number of financial accounting, auditing and management accounting books and finds that beyond a technical and instrumental view of accounting, there is little discussion of theories, principles, ethics, public interest, globalisation, scandals or social responsibility to produce socially reflective accountants.
Keywords: Scandals, Professional Accountancy Education, Ethics, Social Responsibility, Public Interest
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