Creating critical thinking accountants

Accounting academia has not had the impact on the real world that it should have done, says Professor Richard Murphy in the latest PQ magazine.

Too many courses, he ventures, take for granted the existing structures without critically reflecting on their origins and alternative approaches. The focus is also, far too often, on large, quoted companies.
Murphy fears that this might be because too much of the content of undergraduate accounting teaching has been dictated in countries like the UK by the curriculum laid down by the various accounting institutes.

This means the emphasis on these courses has been deeply technical. Murphy says:“When it comes to tax, knowing how the benefit-in-kind on the use of a company car is calculated seems to be essential.”

He revealed that now a team of academics led by Professor Susan Smith at University College London are asking whether it is time to rewrite the accounting curriculum used in UK Universities.

What they seem to want to create is accountants who are capable of critical thinking. It is also something the professional bodies say they want too!

Read more about the work of this group in the latest magazine: