Dr Stewart Smyth

Dr Stewart Smyth

The Department of Accounting
Senior Lecturer in Accounting

Contact details

Department of Accounting
Birmingham Business School
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TY

Stewart Smyth joined the Accounting Department, Birmingham Business School in February 2020. He also joined the Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management (CHASM), as core member at the same time. Stewart is an experienced researcher and teacher with over twenty years work in the higher education sector.

Stewart's research interests cover the policy and financing of public services focusing on public/social housing and the use of PPPs to deliver public infrastructure; the use of accounting information by trade unions and social movements, and related conceptions of public accountability.

Stewart has been teaching accounting and related subjects since the late 1990s, with a particular emphasis on financial reporting and auditing, in both the private and public sectors. In recent years he has developed and delivered research methods and philosophical perspectives to accounting and financial management students.

The nature of Stewart’s research leads him to pursue a range of public and policy engagements including speaking at housing policy conferences and writing for different media outlets on accounting and finance issues.


  • PhD in Accounting, 2013 (Manchester Metropolitan University)
  • Master of Research Methods, 2008 (Manchester Metropolitan University)
  • MSc in Public Services Management, 2005 (Nottingham Trent University)
  • Chartered Association of Certified Accountants (ACCA), 1996


Stewart Smyth gained his PhD in 2013 from Manchester Metropolitan University, after completing an MSc in Public Services Management from Nottingham Trent University in 2005. Before moving into education, Stewart worked in practice, industry and the public sector, including as a public sector auditor with KPMG, Reading. He completed the ACCA examinations in 1996.

Stewart is the chairperson of the British Accounting and Finance Association's (BAFA) special interest group on Interdisciplinary Perspectives. He also served on the Irish Accounting and Finance Association's (IAFA) council for three years and as secretary for one year. In 2010, Stewart received the IAFA Scholar of the Year Award, for young researchers. Stewart is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).


Stewart is an experienced lecturer with a teaching career of over twenty years. His main teaching subjects are International Financial Reporting, Financial Accounting and Public Sector Accounting and Finance. In recent years he has developed and delivered modules on Research Methods and Philosophical Perspectives for accounting students. Stewart has taught at undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education levels.

Other activities

Since 2013, Stewart has been the chairperson of the Interdisciplinary Perspectives Special Interest Group (IPSIG), British Accounting and Finance Association (BAFA) and is also a member of the BAFA executive committee.

Housing-related engagement

  • In February 2019 Stewart delivered a keynote speech at a 'Homelessness & Housing’ conference in Belfast, sponsored and funded by the Irish Government’s Foreign Affairs and Trade Department;
  • Stewart was guest speaker at the NIPSA annual conference (May, 2019);
  • He has also been an invited speaker at:
    • the Housing Quality Network (HQN) annual conference in July 2016,
    • a Housing masterclass, as part of the Critical Corporation Project, Cass Business School, City University, June 2015;
    • the AgendaNI Housing Conferences in 2012 and 2014,
    • the Policy Forum NI Securing the quality and supply of housing in Northern Ireland in June 2014.


Recent publications


Scobie, M, Lee, B & Smyth, S 2021, 'Braiding together student and supervisor aspirations in a struggle to decolonize', Organization, vol. 28, no. 5, 857-875, pp. 857-875. https://doi.org/10.1177/13505084211015370

Shu, X, Smyth, S & Haslam, J 2021, 'Post-decision project evaluation of UK public–private partnerships: insights from planning practice', Public Money & Management, vol. 41, no. 6, pp. 477-486. https://doi.org/10.1080/09540962.2021.1909887

Sian, S & Smyth, S 2021, 'Supreme emergencies and public accountability: the case of procurement in the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic', Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 146-157. https://doi.org/10.1108/AAAJ-08-2020-4860

Smyth, S, Cole, I & Fields, D 2020, 'From gatekeepers to gateway constructors: credit rating agencies and the financialisation of housing associations', Critical Perspectives on Accounting, vol. 71, 102093. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpa.2019.102093

Scobie, M, Lee, B & Smyth, S 2020, 'Grounded accountability and Indigenous self-determination', Critical Perspectives on Accounting, vol. 2020, 102198. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpa.2020.102198

Whitfield, D & Smyth, S 2019, 'Infrastructure investment – the emergent PPP equity market', Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, vol. 90, no. 2, pp. 291-309. https://doi.org/10.1111/apce.12234

Smyth, S 2018, 'Embedding financialization: a policy review of the English Affordable Homes Programme', Housing Studies, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 142-161. https://doi.org/10.1080/02673037.2018.1442561

Smyth, S & Whitfield, D 2017, 'Maintaining market principles: government auditors, PPP equity sales and hegemony', Accounting Forum, vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 44-56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.accfor.2016.06.003

Smyth, S 2017, 'Public accountability: reforms and resistance in social housing', Public Management Review, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 212-231. https://doi.org/10.1080/14719037.2016.1153703

Catchpowle, L & Smyth, S 2016, 'Accounting and social movements: an exploration of critical accounting praxis', Accounting Forum, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 220-234. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.accfor.2016.05.001


Smyth, S 2017, 'Interventions and contradictions— recent government social housing policy', Public Money & Management, vol. 37, no. 6, pp. 432-433. https://doi.org/10.1080/09540962.2017.1344025

Commissioned report

Smyth, S 2020, 21st Century Housing for Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland Public Services Alliance (NIPSA) . <https://nipsa.org.uk/attachments/article/484/40295.pdf>

Smyth, S 2017, Our Homes, Our Future: Protecting Public Housing. Northern Ireland Public Services Alliance (NIPSA) . <https://nipsa.org.uk/publications/Ref-A4_0694-web.pdf>

Smyth, S 2013, Keeping Our Housing Public. Northern Ireland Public Services Alliance (NIPSA) . <https://nipsa.org.uk/publications/Ref-A4_0084_web.pdf>


Alawattage, C, Arjaliès, D-L, Barrett, M, Bernard, J, de Castro Casa Nova, SP, Cho, CH, Cooper, C, Denedo, M, Drujon D’Astros, C, Evans, R, Ejiogu, A, Frieden, L, Ghio, A, McGuigan, N, Luo, Y, Pimentel, E, Powell, L, Navarro Pérez, PA, Quattrone, P, Romi, AM, Smyth, S, Sopt, J & Sorola, M 2021, 'Opening accounting: a manifesto', Accounting Forum, vol. 45, no. 3, pp. 227-246. https://doi.org/10.1080/01559982.2021.1952685

View all publications in research portal

Media experience

Stewart has written, and continues to write, for a variety of media outlets including:

Policy experience

Stewart has contributed to the development of housing policy with a particular focus on Northern Ireland. This work has included:

  • Three commissioned research reports on housing in NI for the Northern Ireland Public Services Alliance (NIPSA) trade union;
  • In 2015, a contract research report for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) on ‘Funding Mechanisms for New Social Housing in Northern Ireland: A UK-wide Comparative Study’.