Ed Talk: Understanding the Societal Impact of Accounting

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Understanding the Societal Impact of Accounting

“They’re going into businesses and into practice and actually, they’re going to have a huge impact on the world around them.”

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Leanne Morrison is a lecturer of financial accounting theory and in this Ed Talk, speaks about how her students extend their foundations of numbers and equations. In the course, students start to consider real world scenarios including societal, environmental and political factors that can influence companies and their accounting decisions.

“At the beginning of semester, quite often we see students not really buying into the idea that there could be a philosophy of accounting…they’ve become used to thinking of accounting in a certain way.” She says, “Usually, after the first few weeks we start to see the lightbulbs go off”.

She goes on to say that if we just look at the dollars and cents then it doesn’t give us the full picture. In order to make the best accounting decisions, we need to weigh up the dollars and cents alongside a company’s impact on society, the environment and multiple other possible factors.

She says that it is important for students to understand this and also understand the impacts their own decisions as professional accountants on wider society. “They’re going into businesses and into practice and actually, they’re going to have a huge impact on the world around them.”

Learning & Teaching Portfolio - College of Business and Law - RMIT University