Critical Histories of Accounting
Sinister Inscriptions in the Modern Era
Edited by Richard K. Fleischman, Warwick Funnell, Stephen Walker
Routledge – 2012 – 274 pages
The critical tradition in accounting historiography has come to occupy a prominent place in the discipline’s academic scholarship. Some critical literature has confronted the responsibility of accounting and accountants in precipitating contemporary crises, such as the audit failures that spawned Sarbanes-Oxley and the world-wide recession. Certain contemporary issues have long histories, such as the difficulties encountered by women to break the glass ceiling in public accounting, and the suffering of indigenous peoples under the imperialistic yoke. Other episodes in accounting’s long history are seemingly more divorced from the present, but in reality they all have contemporary significance. Slavery in the New World, for example, although abolished more than a century ago, is still rampant in parts of the world, albeit less formally. Critical accounting historians feel it a duty to harken to the "suppressed voices" of the past, those groups of people who had no access to an accounting record – women, persons of color, indigenous populations, alienated proletarians, victims of governmental incompetence and graft, and many voiceless others.
Critical Histories of Accounting: Sinister Inscriptions in the Modern Era draws on the foremost work in this developing literature, both that authored by the co-editors of this volume, and that written by others. Editors Richard K. Fleischman, Warwick N. Funnell, and Steve Walker have written extensively about "the dark side of accounting," gauging the complicity of those performing accounting functions in episodes in human history that are at worst evil and at best reprehensible. The editors have also hand-selected a series of historical and contemporary episodes that have been critically investigated by the wider accounting history community, preceded by a thorough introduction.
Introduction Warwick Funnell and Stephen P. Walker 1. A Review of Critical Histories of Accounting Richard K. Fleischman Part I: Annihilation 2. Accounting for the Holocaust Warwick Funnell 3. Accountants and the Holocaust Ellen J. Lippman and Paula A. Wilson Part II: Subjugation 4. Accounting and Canada’s First Nations Cameron Graham and Dean Neu 5. Accounting and Pauperism Stephen P. Walker 6. Accounting for Famine and Empire Philip O’Regan Part III: Exploitation 7. Cost Accounting, Control and Capitalism Trevor Hopper 8. Somebody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen: Moral Issues of New World Slavery and Accounting Practitioners David Oldroyd, Richard K. Fleischman and Thomas N. Tyson 9. Accounting and Colonial Liberalism Keith Hooper and Kate Kearins Part IV: Exclusion 10. Women and the Accountancy Profession in England and Wales Linda M. Kirkham and Anne Loft 11. African Americans and Certified Public Accounting Theresa Hammond and Denise W. Streeter 12. Racialization in Accountancy Marcia Annisette Notes on Contributors Bibliography Index
Richard Fleischman is Professor Emeritus from John Carroll University. He has published extensively on Industrial Revolution accounting, slave plantation accounting, and US cost accounting. He has served three terms as editor of the Accounting Historians Journal. He has been honored as Ohio’s Outstanding Accounting Educator and the Hourglass Award from the Academy of Accounting Historians.
Warwick N. Funnell is nationally and internationally recognised for his public sector research, in particular the impact of the new public management reforms on public sector audit and accountability and the history of public sector accountability. His most recent book, In Government We Trust: Market Failure and the Delusions of Privatisation (2009)¸ was published in Britain and Australia.
Steve Walker is Professor of Accounting, Cardiff Business School. He is editor of Accounting History Review, a former editor of Accounting Historians Journal, a past-President of the Academy of Accounting Historians and a recipient of the Academy’s Hourglass Award. His most recent book (edited with J.R. Edwards) was The Routledge Companion to Accounting History.