Category Archives: Global Financial Crisis

All the world’s a stage: Accounting behind the fourth wall

Miley, F. M., & Read, A. F. (2011). All the world’s a stage: Accounting behind the fourth wall. Paper presented at the International Conference on Critical Accounting, New York.


The aim of this research is to enrich understanding of why the accounting profession appears to have been relatively unaffected by the global financial crisis, and why the global financial crisis has not prompted accounting to a closer examination of its raison d’être.  Drawing on the concept of the fourth wall, which is taken from dramatic theatre, a view of accounting in time of crisis is proposed.  The global financial crisis is portrayed as breaking through the fourth wall that separates accounting, its users and those whose interests it protects from its public audience.  Both the players and audience want the fourth wall restored as quickly as possible because, while it is down, all are uncomfortable, so strong interests support the status quo continuing as before the global financial crisis.

Link to full paper

Link to 2011 International Conference on Critical Accounting