Funnell, W. N., Preserving History In Accounting: Seeking Common Ground Between ‘New’ And ‘Old’ History, School of Accounting & Finance, University of Wollongong, Working Paper 4, 1995.
Traditional conceptions of accounting history and its achievements are being challenged by new accounting historians who are informed by radical philosophies and approaches to history. This is a belated reflection of movements within the wider discipline of history which can be traced to the Annalists in the 1930's and more recently to the influence of postmodernism. At issue between the traditional and new history are the importance of facts and the pursuit of truth by traditional historians. New accounting historians have decried the reactionary effects of traditional history, which they propose to overcome by substituting accounting as an interested discourse for accounting as a neutral, socially sterile technique. As the conventional form of history writing, the narrative form also has been disparaged. The paper concludes by warning that accounting historians should avoid the extreme path of the postmodernist historians. They should instead be tolerant of different approaches to accounting history.