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Professionalising claims and the state of UK professional accountancy education: some evidence

Sikka, Prem, Haslam, Colin, Kyriacou, Orthodoxia and Agrizzi, Dila (2007) Professionalising claims and the state of UK professional accountancy education: some evidence Accounting Education, 16, (1), pp. 3-21. (doi:10.1080/09639280601150921).

Record type: Article


In advancing the 'professionalizing' 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 problematized by scandals that 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 focussing 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, globalization, scandals or social responsibility to produce socially reflective accountants.

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Published date: March 2007
Keywords: scandals, professional accounting education, ethics, social responsibility, public interest


Local EPrints ID: 45583
ISSN: 0963-9284
PURE UUID: 15715338-d767-4849-846a-377f6d07fb46

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Date deposited: 02 Apr 2007
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:11

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Author: Prem Sikka
Author: Colin Haslam
Author: Orthodoxia Kyriacou
Author: Dila Agrizzi

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