Accounting; Ethics and Business Law; Veritas Institute

Date of this version


Document Type



public interest, accounting education, liberal education, professional ethics, vocation


This paper puts forward a vision that integrates liberal and accounting education to engage students with the idea of vocation and pursuit of the common good through their chosen field of accounting. We adopt a common good definition of the public interest that seeks to advance not only the good of institutions and communities (mutual interests) but also the good of individuals (private interests). This approach engages students to critically reflect on how their life experiences, personal commitments, and future professional work can relate to one another. We first discuss disciplinary fragmentation in higher education and its implications for integrating liberal and accounting education. Next, we describe general learning objectives and concepts that support the integration of liberal learning and accounting education with a public interest orientation. We then apply the approach to critique accounting practices that arguably harm the public interest. The concluding section provides a summary and describes how accounting educators may adapt and scale an approach that fits their institutional setting.

Published in

Accounting and the Public Interest

Citation/Other Information

DOI: 10.2308/apin-10341

Included in

Accounting Commons