Contemporary Issues in Accounting Essay Example

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  1. Briefly overview the article (max 150 words) 30%;

The article by Morgan (1988) seeks to refute the notion that accountants are objective evaluators of reality and who present the reality as it is in the work that they do. The author is of the view that accountants seldom present the reality about an organization or any aspect of an organisation because by presenting one aspect as a reality, they distort another aspect or squeeze it from view. Morgan (1988) also adds that although accountants are expected to be objective, objectivity is a myth in the field of accounting. This is because objectivity is premised on a set of accounting principles or metaphors, which distort the reality by looking at issues based on a partial and one-sided perspective. To remedy this, the author suggests that accountants should learn to look at issues from multiple dimensions to make it possible for many insights to emerge from those issues.

  1. Critically reflect on what is positive or negative about the article from an academic perspective  (max 250 words) 50%;

There are many positives about the article based on the article’s characteristics. To start with, the article meets the definition of academic writing, which according to Ng (2003, p. 11), is writing that examines or explores some facet of knowledge. From the start, Morgan (1988) indicates in the abstract of the article that accountants consider themselves as objective evaluators of reality who present the reality as it is. The author then indicates that the article will take a different view, which is that accountants generally construct reality in restricted and one-sided perspectives. Therefore, Morgan’s (1988) work challenges a certain body of knowledge.

Another positive aspect of the article by Morgan (1988) is in relation to the article’s structure, content and organisation. According to Ng (2003, p. 11), a good academic article will typically have the following features: purpose, objectivity, generalisations, use of evidence, good structure (introduction, body and conclusion), citation and good language style. Many of these aspects are evident in the article by Morgan (1988). For instance, there is an abstract that outlines what the entire article is all about and the main points addressed. There is evidence of objectivity and use of generalisations in describing some phenomena in the article. Use of evidence is also seen through the use of an image and quoting of various written works. Other people’s ideas and images are cited throughout the article and acknowledged in a bibliography. Additionally, the ideas are logically presented in a language that is easy to understand.

  1. Identify whether, how and why this article will or will not be useful for your chosen essay topic due in Week 13 (max 100 words) 20%.

The article will be useful to my essay topic since I will be critiquing some of the implications of positive accounting theory. This theory views the world “as it is” (Napier 2014, p. 105). In contrast, Morgan (1988, p. 477) opposes the notion that accountants present the reality “as is”. I believe that accountants need to make decisions based on evaluation of many aspects related to an issue about which the decision is to be made. Morgan (1988) emphasises this point by noting that accountants need to probe issues from multiple dimensions instead of acting as objective commentators, since objectivity cannot be truly achieved in accounting.


Morgan, G 1988, ‘Accounting as reality construction: towards a new epistemology for accounting practice’, Accounting, Organisations and Society, vol. 13, no. 5, pp. 477-485.

Napier, C 2014, ‘English-language theories of financial reporting’, in C van Mourik, & P Walton (eds), The Routledge companion to accounting, reporting and regulation,Routledge, Oxon,pp. 93-110.

Ng, P P-t 2003, Effective writing: a guide for social science students, The Chinese University Press, Hong Kong.