Dr Ann-Christine Frandsen

Dr Ann-Christine Frandsen

The Department of Accounting
Reader in Accounting

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Frandsen’s academic home is Birmingham Business School, at University of Birmingham, UK. Her research seeks to deepen our theoretical and practical understanding of accounting on how accounting in its various forms shapes our way of seeing and acting in everyday lives within from diachronic and synchronic perspectives – as a ‘space-time-value dispositif’. The research areas cover accounting practice, accounting education, and the ways in which accounting shapes management and strategy across private and public sector settings.


2004 (May) PhD. School of Economics and Commercial Law at Gothenburg University.
Thesis Title (English trans.) Space time and money – a study of accounting in practice.

1996 MSc Accounting and Finance. Accounting and Finance department, Institute of Business Administration, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Gothenburg University. (Modules taken at Aarhus Business School Denmark / Master thesis Gothenburg).

1995 Civilekonom (Equivalent to MSc in Economics & Management), Accounting and Finance department, Institute of Business Administration, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Gothenburg University.


Ann-Christine Frandsen joined Birmingham Business School as a Reader in January 2016 from the University of Essex. She entered University as a mature student studying for her BSc, MSc, and PhD at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg, obtaining her PhD (entitled Space, Time and Money: A study of accounting in practice) in 2004. Ann-Christine then joined Warwick Business School in 2006 before moving to Essex in 2011. In her earlier career she worked first as a practical nurse and then for the Gothenburg Bus and Tram Company, first as a bus driver and then in logistics. During her studies she also worked as Publisher for a publishing house, BAS, editing and seeing to publication Gothenburg University PhD dissertations. Ann-Christine also worked in an accounting and advisory role to the board of a Cleaning company during a period of rapid expansion, and as an analyst within the shipping industry. 

As a researcher Ann-Christine engages with ‘big questions’ on accounting in focused ways (see research summary) and has given invited seminars nationally and internationally in Denmark, France, Japan, Norway, Slovenia and Sweden. She also seeks to bring these questions into her teaching at all levels. Ann-Christine has senior administrative experience, e.g. as Undergraduate Teaching Director for all Essex Business School degrees, where she led a re-design of teaching and learning to promote the mix of technical, critical and cross-disciplinary competences in all students; at BBS she is director for the MSc International Accounting and Finance programme, and as Head of Department 2018-2021. As an academic she has acted as a PhD examiner in the UK and abroad, has organized conferences including the international Critical Studies in Finance conference in 2011 and 2019, as well as regularly reviewing journal and conference papers. Ann-Christine is currently also on the editorial board of Accountancy Business and the Public Interest


MSc Accounting and Finance

  • Professional Integrity and the Reflective Practitioner (core module)
  • Advanced Management Accounting: Issues in strategy and accounting (optional module)

BSc Accounting and Finance

  • Public Sector Accounting (final year optional module)


Postgraduate supervision

PhD supervision

  • Raeni Raeni
  • Nicholas Bailey


Generally, Ann-Christine's research interests focuses on accounting in practice and as a practice, on how accounting shapes strategy, in the area of accounting and strategy interplays. She looks at accounting’s different knowledge forms, and in particular accounting as the first writing, and how accounting in its various forms shapes our way of seeing and acting in everyday lives within different settings, such as health care, public transport, banking, investment companies, education and architecture. 

Specifically Ann-Christine's research seeks to deepen our theoretical and practical understanding of accounting and its impacts across a wide range of fields, including accounting practice and accounting education, the ways in which accounting shapes both management and strategy in both private and public sector settings, and the relations between accounting and business history and our ways of thinking and acting in the present. Intellectually, her research therefore contributes to developing critically informed understandings of accounting, analysing it (i) as key valuing practice (and ‘space-time-value dispositif’): (ii) as actor shaping economic, managerial, institutional and personal thought and action; and (iii) as insufficiently understood form of communicating information and values. 

In relation to (i) and (ii) above, her published work and ongoing papers investigate dimensions of how accounting, as value-machine and/or actor, circulates and translates monetary values across institutional settings, e.g. how nurses construct a ‘10-minute patient’ to manage their time, work, patients and managers: how bus drivers are re-made as ‘accounting-aware professionals’; and how changing ‘money of account’ assumptions re-shape bank architecture.

Ann-Christine's current and future research agenda investigates dimensions of accounting as 'space-time-value-machine' and 'actor'. In particular she researches, historically and in contemporary settings, how accounting enables truth-games where its forms of 'naming and counting' produce both objects of knowledge and 'objective' modes of valuing across financial and non-financial settings, from the constitution of 'money of account' to the valuing of assets, debts, capital, etc., to the measuring and valuing of human performance, labour and 'human capital'. Her research also includes issues around climate change, accounting and governance, and gender /gendering discourse issues.

Ann-Christine is pursuing three related areas of research:

Accounting, the non-glottographic statement form and the first writing: 

This research informs the more contemporary studies above by considering accounting from its inception five millennia before writing as first form of 'visible sign' statement. By re-thinking accounting as the first writing it seeks to open a more general way of understanding accounting's modes of constituting value statements in different eras, drawing on Foucault's analyses of the statement as both 'event' and 'thing'. It seeks thereby to bring into focus the discursive role of accounting (as statement) in constructing knowledge forms and truth-games, thus complementing approaches which have focussed on its role as practice in constructing knowledge-power relations. Again, this may help open ways of reconceptualising what accounting is and has been, and how it relates to related practices and discourses such as management. Here, ongoing work on gender/gendering discoursing is under way, along with climate change.

Accounting as dance and embodiment:

This area builds the above areas, accounting as non-glottographic statement, but extend it further to understand the relation of embodiment to knowing and truth-telling as found in already-published work on translating accounting into music and dance. Picking up from approaches to the human as embodied subject and object (e.g. from Nietzsche, Merleau-Ponty and Foucault), the research constructs translations of accounting into other forms of embodiment, as in accounting as music and dance. It thereby seeks to challenge understandings of accounting purely as form of disembodied and/or visualist statement (e.g. text plus graphs) as well as to build connections to research and researchers in seemingly distinct and disparate disciplines. 

The Role of the Role play in learning professional Ethics:

This research takes its focus on professional ethics and how students engagment in Role Play can trigger further reflections and understanding of ethical dilemmas, and the choices and decisions made. This research was supported financially by the University of Birmingham’s Alumni Impact fund. The research also feeds into issues around responsible business and thinking otherwise in doing business in collaboration with the expertise in the department but also beyond such as with Professor Frank Birkin, Sheffield University.


Raeni, R., Thompson, I. and Frandsen A-C (2022), Mobilising Islamic Funds for Climate Actions: From Transparency to Traceability. Social and Environmental Accountability Journal, Published, On line April 2022.

Frandsen, A-C and Elton McGoun (2019/20) The Barriers of Banking. Architecture & Finance, The European Association for Banking and Financial History Bulletin, Vol. 3. pp.24-31.

Bassnett, S, Frandsen, AC, and Hoskin K (2018) ‘The Unspeakable Truth of Accounting: On the genesis and consequences of the first “non-glottographic” statement form’ (in press) in Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal. Special issue on Accounting and Translation.  (ABS 3* journal),

Frandsen AC. 'An Editorial Note on Accounting – A  rethinking'. Austin Journal or Business Administration and Management 2017 Vol 1 issue 2.

Frandsen, A-C., T. Hiller, J. Traflet, and E. McGoun, ‘From Money storage to Money store: Openness and Transparency in Bank Architecture’ Business History, Volume 55, Issue 5, 2013, pp 695-720. (ABS 4*)

Book chapters

Amee, K., & Frandsen, AC (2022) ‘What you see is not what you get: Articulating annual reports with Barthesian analysis’ in SAGE Research Methods Cases: Business and Management. SAGE: London In press

Frandsen, A-C & Hoskin, K (2022), ‘Accounting, Governing, and the historical construction of the ‘Governing Subject’, in (eds.) Carnegie, G., & Napier, C., Edward Elgar Handbook of Accounting, Accountability and Governance.  (Forthcoming)

Frandsen, A-C and K Hoskin, (2018) ‘Innovations From the Sixteenth Century: Pedagogic Practices, Accounting Modes of Thinking and Acting’ in Massimo SargiacomoStefano CoronellaChiara MioUgo SosteroRoberto Di Pietra (eds.), The Origins of Accounting Culture: The Venetian Connection, pp 327-372. Routledge: New York .

View all publications in research portal


Barriers of Banking and the cashless society blog
10 November 2020, University of Birmingham