Abe Briloff's restriction on the scope of critical accounting research—to the “sacred covenant” of auditing—does not square with his own avowals concerning the scope of public interest research. First, the restriction excludes from public interest scrutiny many emergent areas of accounting work. Second, evidence from decades of research into professions (including accounting) provides little ground for a theocratic liberalism that places trust in “The Profession” as a reliable custodian of the public's interest. Professions are no different from other commercial institutions under capitalism. They have a checkered history in effecting public interest concerns.
Sikka and Willmott offer an alternative program for critical accounting that is underwhelming in three respects. First, this program displays a limited understanding of Briloff's work. Second, absent of any comparable achievements to Briloff, Sikka and Willmott substitute an inferior product in terms of a picaresque narration of their “efforts,” “work‐done,” and other process‐oriented descriptions. Third, the exaggerated importance that they attach to collaborations with two Labor Members of Parliament betrays an infatuation that has the hallmark of what Marx called “Parliamentary Cretinism.”