The intellectual foundations of financial reporting

7.5 credits

For almost as long as humans have been writing, there has been different forms of bookkeeping and accounting. The system of double-entry bookkeeping still used today was most likely invented in the late middle ages in northern Italy and the basic accounting reports took a familiar shape around the 19th century.

Financial reporting today, in the form of standards such as IFRS, is arguably more advanced than ever, but is also very much a product of historical accounting development. Modern financial reporting is indeed based on an amalgam of sometimes-contradictory ideas and conceptions that most take for granted when preparing financial reports.

In this course, we study the various ideas and intellectual traditions that has dominated accounting thought throughout history, and explore in what way these have shaped contemporary accounting standards in the form of IFRS. This enables a more sophisticated understanding of contemporary financial reporting as well as insight into the history of accounting.


Linnaeus University’s campus is located roughly 15 minutes with bicycle from the city centre. Campus is like a small society in its own right, with the university, student accommodation and student life all in one place. Everything happens on campus – here you become part of a creative knowledge environment and an eventful student life.

What will you find when exploring Växjö? There is a great selection of restaurants and cosy cafés. There is a large lake in the city centre, beautiful nature is always nearby. Many students enjoy the combination of the city centre in Växjö and life on campus. This is where your dream of the future begins!