Does public services accounting belong in the curriculum?

  • Carolyn Cordery
  • Pacific Accounting Review, April 2013, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/01140581311318986

What is it about?

This paper analyses teaching on public and not-for-profit sectors within undergraduate accounting courses in New Zealand. Using a survey of educators, document reviews and semi-structured interviews, it finds there is an emphasis on for-profit entities. It offers a contemporary analysis of the focus of teaching in New Zealand at a time when accounting standards and auditing regulation is changing.

Why is it important?

Contextually-appropriate accounting is required for public services as transactions are complex and ambiguous, have a long-term focus, and often a regulatory role is involved. Yet, profit-oriented financial accounting education in New Zealand crowds out the teaching of public services content. This paper highlights the dangers of a crowded curriculum.


Professor Carolyn J Cordery
Aston University

What to teach and balancing content is a perennial problem for academics. This highlights the issues in New Zealand with teaching financial reporting. As standards change, teaching must change too - students will be all the more prepared for their future in all sectors.

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Carolyn J Cordery