There is no right answer for accountants!

Accounting can play a major role in answering the planet’s ‘big questions’ and help solve its ‘wicked problems’, according to a new paper from the IFAC Knowledge Gateway.

However, first accountancy educators need to get their students to think differently! The authors of ‘Redefining accounting for tomorrow’ stressed students must stop asking “what is the right answer?” Instead, students need to be able to argue positions which are developed and held based on the use of judgement, decision-making acumen and an appreciation of accounting’s effects. That means accounting turns into an intellectually stimulating discipline.

And, that in turn means accounting education has to move away from being regarded as a process for implementing regulatory compliance, where the emphasis is on accounting as a technical practice alone. The challenge now is to position accounting of tomorrow as a combined technical, social and moral practice to help shaping a better world.

  • The authors also put forward a new definition of accounting: “Accountancy is a technical, social and moral practice concerned with the sustainable utilisation of resources and proper accountability to stake holders to enable the flourishing of organisations, people and nature.”