Title: Guardians of the galaxy: public accounting and the public interest

Authors: Wm. Dennis Huber

Addresses: School of Business and Technology, Capella University, Minneapolis, MN 55402, USA

Abstract: Many profession-changing events have occurred in the 25 years since Sikka, Willmott and Lowe published Guardians of Knowledge and Public Interest, among them the collapse of Enron and other international corporate frauds and failures, the demise of Arthur Anderson; the creation of the PCAOB; and the creation of the PIOB. This paper extends their work by examining who, or what, is entrusted as guardians of accounting knowledge and the public interest by comparing claims of serving the public interest of UK, USA, and international professional accounting agencies and organisations. Adopting the method of Sikka, Willmott and Lowe of examining their internal documents and public records, this paper finds that claims of advancing accounting and auditing knowledge and serving the public interest are inconsistent and contradictory. It further finds that protecting the public interest is compromised as a result of conflicting claims of what interest is protected and served.

Keywords: public accounting; public interest; accounting knowledge; auditing knowledge.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCA.2015.073513

International Journal of Critical Accounting, 2015 Vol.7 No.5/6, pp.466 - 476

Received: 12 May 2015
Accepted: 16 May 2015

Published online: 10 Dec 2015 *

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