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Contemporary accounting practice has shown signs of a broadening scope of activities being undertaken both from within and as a service provided to organisations. Based upon a historiographic linking of past and present, this paper examines the past 100 years of broadening professional practice in the discipline as a basis for offering a presentist examination and critique of contemporary accounting education and research opportunities. The scope of what constitutes accounting work is found to have been expanding for over 100 years, becoming increasingly at variance with accountants’ traditional beancounter image. Recent professional accounting association investigations reveal an array of contemporary environmental factors that have accelerated this broadening of the profession’s scope into financial planning, assurance services, strategic, risk, knowledge and change management, and management advisory services. This has called for an expanded accounting skills base which has gained momentum towards the end of the 20th century. The elements of some of these developing areas of professional work and their implications for contemporary and future education and research are examined.

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This page is a summary of: Back to the Future: The Broadening Accounting Trajectory, The British Accounting Review, December 2001, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1006/bare.2001.0173.
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