Meeting the evolving corporate reporting needs of government and society: arguments for a deliberative approach to accounting rule making

David J. Cooper*, Wayne Morgan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We review ways in which corporate reporting might be useful for the government's management of the macro economy and for society's needs for more comprehensive reporting of corporate social and environmental performance. We highlight the constitutive as well as the representational nature of corporate reporting and how accounting subtlety impacts the culture and focus of governments, societies and corporations. Prominent examples are the ways accounting encourages financialisation and fails to account for externalities and the environment. While many proposals for the reform of corporate reporting emphasise more standards and rules, we suggest that what is needed instead are different rules, brought about by a more deliberative approach. A move to deliberation, however, requires that accountants highlight the pervasive but often subtle impacts of accounting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-441
Number of pages24
JournalAccounting and Business Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2013


  • deliberation
  • financialisation
  • social audit
  • stability
  • sustainability accounting
  • the state
  • political economy
  • sustainability reports
  • financial instruments
  • construction
  • assurance
  • crisis
  • perspectives
  • information
  • capitalism
  • expertise

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