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COVID-19 and accounting as multidimensional technical, social and moral practice: a framework for future research

Garry D. Carnegie (Department of Accounting, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)
Delfina Gomes (School of Economics and Management, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal)
Karen McBride (School of Accounting, Economics and Finance, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK)

Meditari Accountancy Research

ISSN: 2049-372X

Article publication date: 3 January 2023

Issue publication date: 7 February 2023




The purpose of this study is to augment an understanding of the importance and relevance of a proposed new definition of accounting to reset, inform and develop accounting education, professional practice and research, from tomorrow, for the purpose of shaping a better world. In the process of setting an agenda, we outline, discuss, and analyse the eight articles which follow depicting complementary and insightful scenarios during COVID-19.


This study applies an original informing framework for discussion and analysis purposes, described as Framework of the Multidimensional Nature of Accounting. The proposed, multidimensional definition is “Accounting is a technical, social and moral practice concerned with the sustainable utilisation of resources and proper accountability to stakeholders to enable the flourishing of organisations, people and nature” (Carnegie et al., 2021a, p. 69, 2021b).


Accounting is conceived, understood and examined in the research portrayed as a combined technical, social and moral practice concerned with shaping a better world to enable the flourishing of organisations, people and nature. To the contrary, accounting is not recognised as a mere neutral, benign, technical practice.

Research limitations/implications

While this paper examines the other articles, there is no substitute for carefully reading, and reflecting on, all the articles published. Importantly, each contribution provides unique and comprehensive insights on accounting during the initial global pandemic period.


Accounting is studied in different organisational and social contexts against the backdrop of a global pandemic, among other “wicked problems” worldwide.



The authors are grateful to the anonymous reviewers, and the reviewers we chose, for commenting on earlier iterations of this article. Concerning the latter, we extend our appreciation to Giulia Leoni, Venkat Narayanan, Brendan O’Connell, Lee Parker, Shannon Sidaway, Erin Twyford and Gillian Vesty for the helpful and constructive comments rendered. Gratitude is also expressed to the reviewers of articles submitted/re-submitted for consideration for publication in this special issue.

Funding: Delfina Gomes has conducted the study at Research Center in Political Science (UIDB/CPO/00758/2020), University of Minho/University of Évora and supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) and the Portuguese Ministry of Education and Science through national funds.


Carnegie, G.D., Gomes, D. and McBride, K. (2023), "COVID-19 and accounting as multidimensional technical, social and moral practice: a framework for future research", Meditari Accountancy Research, Vol. 31 No. 1, pp. 1-26.



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