Critical article review Essay Example

Role of Accounting in Society

A Critical Review of the Article: Accounting as Reality Construction: Towards a New Epistemology for Accounting Practice, Accounting, Organizations and Society

Student Registration:

Module Leader:

Workshop Tutor:


Morgan (1988), asserted that the role of accounting as a conceptual creation of reality, and necessitated by the needs of the society and the organisation. Utilising four examples of accounting with: corporate culture, technology, shareholder perception of the organisation and socio-economic policy, the article elaborates on the field of accounting, and as the main reality driving instrument within an organisation as well as being perspective based. The article demystifies the objectivity instrument often associated with accounting, and instead the paper sought novel ways in which accounting can evolve to be more interpretive and to be applied in socio-economic life. Likening the field to the art world, the paper asserts the field of accounting can be acknowledged differently, and that an implicit understanding developed in a variety of ways, notably captured in the paper through a number of metaphorical inferences. The spirit and letter of paper entails a deepened outlook of accounting far from the number presentations.

Critical Reflections from the Article

Accounting has evolved to become more complex, and in this purely technical form, it does not manifest the social dimensions that the paper is battling to address. On the other hand, reality does not exist independently of accounts of it, as it is a complex set of woven programs and autonomous subsidiary units. However, accounting obliges certain restrictions on it, through theories, and yet in reality organisations must seek to develop such boundaries. Financial statements do not just serve the basic purpose on which accounting is premised on: description and communication of information, rather they take part in construction of the organisation. Organisation just like the society is represented by a web of interrelationships, and since it exists then it is defined. The recognition of a social constructed reality creates an understanding of the same; hence in the process of knowledge development in accounting as envisaged by the article, something needs to a reality before it is measured. As a result accounting is not just a system of numbers as seen in the financial statements; rather there are deep underlying facts behind the numerical representations. Accounting needs to be understood as more than artefacts that is socially constructed with the larger society and organisation in particular as it is a source of new knowledge and can sustain new forms of thought process (Gaffikin, 2008). Reality as understood in accounting and in every other field is socially constructed, hence, reality is the embodiment of the human mind (Deegan, 2000).

Compatibility of the Article to the Essay Topic

Accounting occupies an important spot in a modern society, evolving to a role in social management in organisations and society as a whole. The article endeavours to present the field in a multi dimensional manner, and not just the way in which accounting has been perceived in the past. Therefore, the article seeks to understand accounting as a important tool in modern society, which can aid in the development of knowledge, and not merely a tool used in presentations of numerical values, rather a tool communicating organisational values. Hence, the article can prove a useful contribution towards the development of knowledge on the topic accounting and society.


Deegan, C. 2000. Financial accounting theory. Sydney, McGraw-Hill.

Gaffikin, M. J. R. 2008. Accounting theory: research, regulation and accounting practice.

Frenchs Forest, N.S.W., Pearson Education.