Accounting Education for Sustainable Development: A View from the Profession
Joanne Tingey-Holyoak, Roger L. Burritt Abstract Purpose: The connections between accounting, sustainable development and business are widely acknowledged, and the question examined by the paper is whether practicing accountants perceive that social and environmental accounting is important as a part of the education of graduates. Design/Methodology/Approach: The paper employs a survey design with a sample of 121 firms randomly drawn from a sampling frame of accounting professionals in South Australia. Findings: Findings suggest accounting firm managers do not perceive social and environmental accounting education as currently provided by universities to be important but would prefer that universities did provide it. Originality/Value: The paper contributes to the discourse on professional bodies and accounting education and the urgent need for an integrated perspective on social, environmental and economic activities of businesses. Introduction Over the last 40 years recognition of the connection between social and environ- mental issues and the accounting profession has been growing (Mathews 1997; Gray 2001). The now somewhat distant catalyst encouraging professions to engage was provided by the Bruntland Report (UNWCED 1987), which in the context of discussing sustainable development advised: „The integration of economics and ecology is the fundamental message of Our Common Future …. Each of us will need to assess our responsibility and ability to contribute to a sustainable future. Professional organizations, for example, especially integrating professions such as engineers, economists, urban and industrial designers, and landscape planners, could have a large impact on social values and productive practices” (UNWCED 1987: 25). 150 Joanne Tingey-Holyoak, Roger L....
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