A pariah profession? Some student perceptions of accounting and accountancy

Roy Fisher, Vivienne Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Accountancy is firmly established as an important profession and as a major employment destination for graduates in the UK. There is, however, some ambivalence regarding the image of the accountancy profession as well as the status of accounting as an academic discipline. This paper reports on small-scale surveys of the perceptions of groups of accounting and non-accounting students which suggested that negative stereotypes of accountants which were prevalent during the 1960s have survived beyond the Thatcherite revolution. The surveys undertaken indicated that within the two groups there was an apparent co-existence of high status and low esteem in their perceptions of accounting and accountancy. The authors follow this with a brief discussion of a range of historical and sociological factors which may have contributed to this contradictory condition. The transformation of accounting pedagogic practice, through the incorporation of critical approaches to knowledge, is seen as a necessary prerequisite to the creation of a more positive image for accountancy as well as to the general progression of accounting as an academic discipline
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-58
Number of pages14
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1995


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