The Role and Perception of Management Accountant in Sustainable Development: Evidence from Sri Lankan Textile and Apparel Sector


  • W.G.N.K. Ilangasekara Department of Accounting, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka
  • S.M.C. Seneviratne Department of Accounting, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka



The paper investigates the perceptions that management accountants have of their roles in accounting for sustainable development and the perceived barriers in the involvement of accounting practices related to sustainable development activities in Sri Lanka apparel sector companies. The study was conducted using a mixed-method. To collect data, the survey was administered among the top 75 apparel sector companies registered under Sri Lankan Export Development Board, which carries the highest export value, and semi-structured interviews were conducted. The study found that the involvement of management accountants of the top-ranked apparel companies in sustainability practices is considerably high and they have a greater understanding of their role in adopting sustainable practices. Moreover, it is found that small apparel manufacturing companies are discouraged from adopting sustainable practices hence, they have chased profit orientations rather than considering society, environment, and economy as a whole. The findings have been biased as the sample was selected considering only the top 75 apparel manufacturing companies in Sri Lanka with the highest export value. This finding assists accountants to understand their role in sustainability and management and understanding the value of a management accountant's involvement in a company's sustainability development. Further, this study will allow organisations’ management accountants to advance accounting within their organisations for sustainable development by systematically dealing with the problems that have deterred such advancement.

Keywords: Sustainable Development, Management Accountants, Perceptions, Apparel Manufacturing Sector