From the onset of my academic career, I have been a ‘critical’ accountant. Being ‘critical’ does not mean I criticise accounting, rather I ‘critique’ accounting, examining both positive and negative aspects. Arguably it is a middle-range approach, distanced from the Marxist criticism of capitalism and the non-critical academic observer of accounting practice. However, my observation is that too many academics do not critique accounting practice. Rather, accounting academics are more likely to follow the latest hot topics in accounting practice (e.g., Integrated Reporting) than do anything meaningful to critique them. The lack of critical thinking about accounting practice is one reason there is a continuing gap between academia and practice. Should academics conduct critical research, it should drive changes in accounting practice. However, all too often it appears that academics follow practice and get caught up in researching and writing about it long after accounting practitioners have moved onto something else. Therefore, I will explore the role and responsibility of the critical accounting academic in reversing this phenomenon so that accounting can create new knowledge and lead practice.
16 Jul 2016
8th Asia-Pacific Interdisciplinary Research in Accounting Conference