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The future of the accounting profession

Academics will contemplate the future of the accounting profession in the wake of the Enron scandal at a forum for critical accounting in Europe next week.

The general theme of a profession in crisis will be discussed at a major international event hosted by the University of St Andrews, aimed at debating and analysing issues in accounting. Critical Accounting is the study of the significance of accounting from a sociological perspective and has the capacity to make sense of scandals such as Enron or pensions crises and mortgage shortfalls.

Around 30 academics from all over the UK and the US will gather to discuss the main theme of the accounting profession post-Enron, as well as other diverse themes within critical accounting.

The ‘European Critical Accounting Studies Conference’ (21st-22nd July, 2003) is being organised by the University’s Department of Management.

Amongst the topics covered will be:

· The future of accounting in the wakes of scandals such as Enron · Professions in crisis · ‘Financialisation’ in daily life · Ethnicity, Gender and Globalisation · ‘Immaterial labour’ – work you don’t get paid for · Ethnic minorities’ struggles with fitting the corporate image

Dr Randy Martin of New York University will deliver a keynote talk on the ‘financialisation’ of daily life which addresses the fact that in today’s world we are confronted with so many decisions related to finance whether it involve credit cards or mortgages. It looks at the inexorable pressures of financialisations which are felt from nursery school onwards. Another session will focus on ‘immaterial labour’, which will look at unpaid work such as checking work emails from home or the hours spent online searching for the best deal whether it be for a holiday or a loan.

Professors Gerry Hanlon and Frank Mueller of the University of Leicester’s Centre for Research on Professions in Society (CROPS) will examine the view that in the wake of Enron, the accounting profession moved from being pillars of the community to pillagers.

Meanwhile, Professor Tony Tinker from the City University of New York and a member of the Integrity in Accounting Association will look at how professionalism was flouted during Enron.

Delegates will also be given a literary reading by award winning novelist Meaghan Delahunt, who will read from her award winning text ‘In the Blue House’. The conference is being organised by the University’s Dr Chris Carter and Professor Alan McKinlay and Professor Tony Tinker of the City University of New York.

Dr Chris Carter said:

“For many years mainstream accounting studies dismissed critical accounting as being at best marginal, at worst irrelevant. In the wake of Enron, pension scandals and the question of whether endownments will be paid off, critical accounting as an intellectual endeavour has been more than vindicated.

“Moreover, it has a unique capacity to make sense of financial pressures felt throughout the organisation and social World.”

This is the second year the University has hosted the ECAS conference, and in particular, it aims to act as an interface between developments in organisation studies, labour process theory and critical accounting.

Delegates will be offered the traditional social taste of St Andrews with whisky tasting sessions, historical walking tours and golf trips, but unusually, delegates will be relieved during the conference with lunchtime sessions of detox acupuncture.

ENDS

NOTE TO EDITORS:

YOU ARE INVITED TO ATTEND ANY OF THE SESSIONS OF EUROPEAN CRITICAL ACCOUNTING STUDIES CONFERENCE

THE FULL PROGRAMME IS AVAILABLE ONLINE AT http://www.st- andrews.ac.uk/management/index.htm

PLEASE CONTACT ORGANISER DR CHRIS CARTER ON 01334 462820 OR MOBILE 07752 533 846 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE CONFERENCE.

ABSTRACTS WILL BE AVAILABLE ON MONDAY – CONTACT GAYLE COOK (DETAILS BELOW).

Issued by Beattie Media On behalf of the University of St Andrews Contact Gayle Cook on 01334 467227, mobile 07900 050103, or email gec3@st-andrews.ac.uk Ref: Critical Accounting conference pr 180703 View the latest University news at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk

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