Does public services accounting belong in the curriculum?

Does public services accounting belong in the curriculum? Purpose – This paper aims to analyse the extent to which undergraduate courses in New Zealand contain content on issues from the public and not‐for‐profit sectors, in addition to a for‐profit business focus. Design/methodology/approach – The research is based on the premise that contextually‐appropriate accounting is required within the public services sphere where transactions are complex and ambiguous, have a long‐term focus, and where the government often performs a regulatory role. It is informed by a survey of educators, document reviews and semi‐structured interviews. Findings – This research finds that profit‐oriented financial accounting education in New Zealand crowds out the teaching of public services content, especially when the same accounting concepts can be applied to all sectors. The imposition of sector‐specific accounting standards offers an opportunity to highlight public services, but its inclusion in a crowded curriculum may require coercion from the profession. Originality/value – This paper offers a contemporary analysis of the focus of teaching in New Zealand at a time when accounting standards and auditing regulation is on the brink of change. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Pacific Accounting Review Emerald Publishing

Does public services accounting belong in the curriculum?

Pacific Accounting Review, Volume 25 (1): 16 – Apr 19, 2013

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0114-0582
DOI
10.1108/01140581311318986
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to analyse the extent to which undergraduate courses in New Zealand contain content on issues from the public and not‐for‐profit sectors, in addition to a for‐profit business focus. Design/methodology/approach – The research is based on the premise that contextually‐appropriate accounting is required within the public services sphere where transactions are complex and ambiguous, have a long‐term focus, and where the government often performs a regulatory role. It is informed by a survey of educators, document reviews and semi‐structured interviews. Findings – This research finds that profit‐oriented financial accounting education in New Zealand crowds out the teaching of public services content, especially when the same accounting concepts can be applied to all sectors. The imposition of sector‐specific accounting standards offers an opportunity to highlight public services, but its inclusion in a crowded curriculum may require coercion from the profession. Originality/value – This paper offers a contemporary analysis of the focus of teaching in New Zealand at a time when accounting standards and auditing regulation is on the brink of change.

Journal

Pacific Accounting ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 19, 2013

Keywords: Public sector accounting education; Accounting education; Not‐for‐profit sector accounting education; Accounting; Education; Public sector accounting; New Zealand

References

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