This study seeks to identify how professional accountants in France are educated in sustainability; we examine the French accounting programs in regard to sustainability accounting education recommendations.Design/methodology/approachWe analyze a variety of documents to ascertain what comprises the typical accounting education program in France. Additionally, we conduct five interviews of various stakeholders to understand the importance of sustainability accounting and education in the French context.FindingsWe note an interesting paradox in the French context: while the government requires the reporting and auditing of corporate sustainability information, we find that sustainability is not greatly present in the government-funded French accounting education program. We determine that the government’s power in setting the education agenda combined with its budget restrictions and ability to defer responsibility to other parties has resulted in this paradox in the French setting.Practical implicationsThis research draws attention to the consequences of society ignoring sustainability education for professional accountants.Social implicationsThis paper contributes to the discussion on how to educate responsible professional accountants and the implications for the planet if accountants are not trained in sustainability.Originality/valueThis research contributes to the important domain of sustainability accounting education. We also explore additional implications for the accounting profession and the general public.
Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 21, 2018
Keywords: France; Accounting education; Sustainability accounting; Professional accountants; Accounting curriculum; Competency Map