This book presents the views of accounting educators, accounting education policy-makers, and accounting practitioners from across the world on the challenging topic of liberalising the accounting curriculum within university education. Accounting is a relatively new subject within universities and has been absorbed into a high level of education without any real attempt to do so within the traditional ethos of a liberal arts education. In this book, the logic of teaching using the liberal arts is described and contrasted with the practical vocational training approach of teaching which has formed the foundation of accountancy courses for many years. A proposal to change this established practice, by integrating the liberal arts into the university accounting curriculum, is followed by a series of short chapters which address the relevance, validity and worthiness of the proposed approach. Comments and counter-arguments are then discussed before further chapters illustrate how the proposed change may be achieved in a variety of different contexts - ranging from that of the global financial crisis (which began in 2008) to the inclusion of ethics and sustainability within the accounting curriculum. This book will aid those teaching accounting in universities to improve the design of their accounting degree programmes by moving away from an excessive emphasis on technical skills towards a broader consideration of a liberal contextualisation of the accounting curriculum. This book was originally published as a special issue of Accounting Education: an international journal.
Alan Sangster has 30 years' experience as a university accounting teacher. Having worked in six universities in the UK and the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, he is now Professor of Accounting at Griffith University in Australia and Editor of Accounting Education: an international journal. He has a PhD in accounting education, is co-author of the top-selling textbook Business Accounting, has published over 60 research papers and book chapters, and has presented his research at over 100 conferences worldwide, including many plenary presentations. Richard M. S. Wilson is Emeritus Professor of Business Administration and Financial Management at Loughborough University, UK. During his career, he has been a practitioner and professor across many disciplines and in more than a dozen countries. For 40 years he has been active nationally and internationally in educational policy-making on the interface of accounting education and training. He has published widely, is the founding editor of Accounting Education:An International Journal; holds two Lifetime Achievement Awards (one specifically for his work in the field of accounting education); and is an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences.