The reflective accountant: Towards a new model for professional development

Sivakumar Velayutham*, Hector Perera

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The accounting profession in recent times has been under intense scrutiny. Questions have been raised about, among other things, the right of the profession to regulate its activities, the behaviour of accounting firms and the usefulness of accounting information, a situation that would seem to indicate the existence of a crisis. This paper argues that the present crisis facing the accounting profession can be attributed to the inability of the traditional (technical rationality) model for professional development to cope with the new demands placed on the modern accounting profession which is characterized by professional pluralism. The paper proposes an alternative model for professional development based on the concept of the ‘reflective practitioner’. It is argued that the proposed model would equip accounting professionals with a degree of flexibility which is considered essential in carrying out their functions in a changing environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-301
Number of pages15
JournalAccounting Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1993


  • professional crisis
  • professional development
  • professional pluralism
  • reflective accountant
  • technical rationality


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