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.


Växjö is a modern city with more than 80,000 inhabitants. The city has been declared "the Greenest City in Europe" because of its focus on environmentally sound solutions and the environmental programs implemented.

Being a student in Växjö you have easy access to everything – the city centre, the woods and the lakes. The pedestrian path from campus around Lake Växjösjön reaches almost all the way to the city centre and is perfect for jogging or taking long walks.

Campus Växjö is modeled along the lines of an American campus university and is the natural meeting place for students in Växjö. Campus is always bustling with life, and students move between lecture rooms, the University Library and the restaurants, pubs and outdoor recreational areas.