Whither the accounting profession, accountants and accounting researchers? Commentary and projections


Purpose - This commentary reflects on possible disruptions for the accounting profession, accountants and academics in the next 25 years. The traditional and highly valued role of the accounting professional, accountants and academic scholarship is rapidly changing in an intensely networked and interdisciplinary world. The purpose of this paper is to provide a summary of AAAJ activities for 2015 and in the next few years, it also delivers a call to action to interdisciplinary accounting researchers to undertake innovative research that reflects on what these turbulent times mean for society, nations, organisations and individual accountants, practitioners and educators. Design/methodology/approach - The paper employs a literature-based analysis and critique to provide a critical reflection on current and future developments in academic accounting research. Findings - In highlighting disruption to traditional accounting practice and research the authors provide a foundation from which researchers should contemplate their motivation, informing theories and values to ensure that their academic endeavours make a contribution to practice, policy and a wider societal good. Practical implications - It is hoped the practical and research issues explored in this commentary will invoke more interdisciplinary perspectives on accounting and the accounting profession, and assist scholars to reflect on the challenges they face. Originality/value - Providing a forward looking vision on the important role of academic researchers, the authors urge colleagues not to limit their vision to the narrowness that is an increasing feature of North American economics-based accounting research and to not simply observe, but rather construct an enabling accounting that can benefit society more widely

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