Our research

Our research at the Department of Accounting covers five broadly defined areas:

Accounting for sustainable development

Our research in accounting for sustainable development is at the heart of Birmingham Business School’s mission to provide thought leadership for a responsible future. We study how accounting and accountability practices can enable humanity to address the complex social and ecological challenges it currently faces, including those set out by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs).   

Central to this work is our research on accounting for carbon net-zero and nature-positive, to address the interconnected challenges of climate change and nature loss. We have pioneered new understandings of how accounting calculations interact with the social-ecological systems comprising Earth’s biosphere, upon which our economies and societies depend. This research fundamentally informs our teaching and our engagement with the accounting profession, industry and governments.  

Projects in Accounting for Sustainable Development, led by scholars in the Department of Accounting include:

Accounting for Nature Positive: Conceptualising Robust Organisation-level Metrics and Targets, funded by the UKRI Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) in collaboration with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).  

Accounting for SDG-15 Life on Land: Constructing UK Government Indicators on Biodiversity.  

Carbon Emissions Reporting in the UK Energy Industry, funded by the British Accounting and Finance Association (BAFA).  

Corporate Social Responsibility within Tax Strategy Reporting. 

Corporate Communications in the Nuclear Power Industry following the Fukushima Disaster.

The Accounting Profession and Sustainability Transformation in China.

Digital Transformation of Global Accountability Standards: Competition, Collaboration and Standardisation, funded by Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand (AFAANZ). 

Associated people

  • Salma Ashour
  • Ataur Belal
  • Annika Beelitz
  • Thomas Cuckston
  • Bisola Joloko
  • Mayya Konovalova
  • Li Lin
  • Parvez Mia
  • Nick Rowbottom 

Financial accounting regulation and practice

Associated people

  • Omiros Georgiou
  • Shahed Imam
  • Elisavet Mantzari
  • Nick Rowbottom
  • Stephanie Tiller
  • Idlan Zakaria

Taxation policy and practice

Academics in the Department of Accounting look at taxation from a social and organisational perspective. We examine the political and organisational issues surrounding the creation of tax regulation and tax policy for direct taxes such as corporate tax, and indirect taxes including environmental taxes, both in the UK and outside of the UK. Tax policy making raises both interesting governance issues and organisational practice considerations by tax administrations especially where problematic tax regulations are put in motion. 

We look at corporate tax reporting, including voluntary tax disclosures and mandatory tax disclosures including compliance with international standards with particular reference to the areas of tax transparency and tax havens. 

Other research areas focus on corporate communication between different social actors within tax administration, and the role of trust within tax compliance.

Associated people 

  • Salma Ashour
  • Mayya Konovalova
  • Rodrigo Ormeno Perez
  • Penelope Tuck

Management control and performance management systems

A key area of expertise in the Accounting Department is the research and education in management control and performance management systems in various organisational contexts, including the public and third sectors. Previous research projects explored the design and implementation of performance measurements and management control systems, particularly as organizations face the challenges coming from change, integration, and sustainable development.

Projects in this area included the investigation of risk management, internal controls, strategic use of accounting, and the impact of integrated thinking in internal systems and controls. 

The development of research projects and educational case studies based on such expertise has offered meaningful insights in advancing both theory and practice, while a range of high-quality international publications as well as externally funded projects continue to contribute to understanding the role of management accounting and control in dealing with contemporary organisational challenges such as technology and sustainability. 

Members of the department have active roles in learned societies and networks such as the Management Control Association (MCA) that supports the BAFA Management Accounting stream, the ENROAC (European Network of Research on Organizational and Accounting Change) and the IRSPM (International Research Society for Public Management) Accounting and Accountability SIG. 

Associated people 

  • Inya Egbe
  • Florian Gebreiter
  • Elena Giovannoni
  • Melina Manochin
  • Gabriela Rozenfeld
  • Robert Scapens

Accounting history

Projects in this area bridge critical and historical perspectives, drawing on traces from the past as a means to illuminate future trajectories and delve into the often contested and ambiguous functioning of accounting practices in their material, spatial, social and organizing contexts. 

James Brackley's The Critical Accountancy Podcast

Associated people 

  • Ann-Christine Frandsen
  • Keith Hoskin
  • Elena Giovannoni

Interested in a PhD in Accounting?  

We specialise in offering supervision to researchers wishing to pursue a Full-time or Part-Time PhD using interpretive or critical approaches. Potential research topics are listed on the PhD in Accounting programme page where you will also find further details on the programme, including how to apply.

Publications

Ozbilgin, MF, Gundogdu, N & Akalin, J 2024, Artificial Intelligence, Gig Economy and Precarity. in E Meliou, J Vassilopoulou & MF Ozbilgin (eds), Diversity and Precarious Work During Socio-Economic Upheaval : Exploring the Missing Link. Cambridge University Press, pp. 284-305. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108933070.014

Troshani, I & Rowbottom, N 2024, 'Corporate sustainability reporting and information infrastructure', Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, vol. 37, no. 4, pp. 1209-1237. https://doi.org/10.1108/AAAJ-01-2023-6244

Hodges, R 2024, 'Debate: Extending the literature on accounting information manipulation', Public Money & Management, vol. 44, no. 2, pp. 152-153. https://doi.org/10.1080/09540962.2023.2267302

Exworthy, M, Lunt, N, Tuck, P & Mistry, R 2024, 'From commodification to entrepreneurialism: how commercial income is transforming the English NHS', Public Money & Management, vol. 44, no. 4, pp. 308-316. https://doi.org/10.1080/09540962.2023.2243775

O’Dwyer, B, Humphrey, C & Rowbottom, N 2024, 'From institutional integration to institutional demise: The disintegration of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC)', Critical Perspectives on Accounting, vol. 99, 102699. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpa.2023.102699

Rowbottom, N 2024, How to distinguish Sustainability in your accounting and business teaching.. <https://www.timeshighereducation.com/campus/how-distinguish-sustainability-your-accounting-and-business-teaching>

Busco, C, Giovannoni, E, Riccaboni, A & Frigo, M 2024, 'The micro-foundations of Corporate Purpose: Performance management in dynamic environments', Management Accounting Research. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mar.2024.100890

Rautiainen, A, Scapens, B, Järvenpää, M, Auvinen, T & Sajasalo, P 2024, 'Towards fluid role identity of management accountants: A case study of a Finnish bank', The British Accounting Review. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bar.2024.101341

Ufodike, A, Egbe, I, Ogharanduku, BE & Akinyemi, TE 2023, 'A Knowledge Synthesis of Anti‐Black Racism in Accounting Research', Accounting Perspectives. https://doi.org/10.1111/1911-3838.12336

Ozbilgin, M & Gundogdu, N 2023, 'A75 Cross-Institutional Ex-Ante Evaluation of Gender Equality Plans' Interventions', BMC Proceedings, vol. 17 , no. 15, pp. 34-34. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12919-023-00275-w

View all Accounting publications in research portal