Professor Ataur Belal

Professor Ataur Belal

The Department of Accounting
Professor in Accounting and Sustainability

Contact details

Birmingham Business School
University House
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Ataur is a Professor of Accounting and Sustainability at the Department of Accounting within the Birmingham Business School. Before coming to Birmingham he held professorships at Aston and Sheffield Universities where he also held various senior leadership positions including a stint as as member of Senior Management Team, Head of Department and Research Development Director. He has a longstanding research interests in the field of social and environmental accounting in emerging economies. His research continues in this field.

Other significant latest research interests include accounting for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and NGO accountability with a focus on beneficiary accountability. His teaching interests is closely aligned with his current research interests. So far, he has supervised nine PhD students to completion.

His work in area of sustainability has led to a number of international large project collaborations funded by the British Council, British Academy and CIMA. He has published extensively in international leading peer reviewed journals, contributed a book and various book chapters. He has presented his work at various conferences around the world. He has also held visiting positions in various universities around the world including Kobe University, Japan and University of Ottawa, Canada.

View Ataur's blog on Climate Action


  • PhD The University of Sheffield
  • FCCA   UK
  • FHEA Advances HE UK
  • MBA University of Wales, Cardiff
  • B.Com. (Hons), M. Com. University of Chittagong, Bangladesh


Ataur is a Professor in Accounting and Sustainability. He joined Birmingham Business School in August 2022 having previously been a professor in the Department of Accounting at Aston University. During his 16 years of service at Aston, he also served as the Head of the Department and member of the Senior Management Team. Before that he was an Associate Professor at the University of Chittagong, Bangladesh. In Birmingham, he is a member of the Department of Accounting located within the Birmingham Business School.

He has held visiting positions and taught at the universities of Toulouse (France), Regensburg (Germany), University of Ottawa (Canada), Kobe University, Japan and De los Andes (Colombia). His editorial positions include former Editorship of Advances in Environmental Accounting and Management, Associate Editorship of Accounting Forum and editorial Board Memberships in Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, Critical Perspectives on Accounting and Business Ethics: A European Review. His Google Scholar H Index is 26 and has nearly 4500 citations.

His principal research interest lies in the area of social and environmental accounting from the context of developing countries such as Bangladesh, India and Vietnam. His work in this area has led to a number of international large project collaborations funded by the British Council, British Academy and CIMA. He has presented his research in leading international conferences and workshops in various countries. His research papers have appeared in leading international journals in the field such as Work, Employment and Society, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, Journal of Business Ethics, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Accounting Forum, Financial Accountability and Management, and Accounting and Business Research.


Ataur's teaching is research informed and adopts a critical perspective on accounting. He brings in the latest insights from his research field in social and environmental accounting. He also brings guest lecturers in from the industry to provide practical insights to the students.

His role is mainly to facilitate students’ teaching and learning process by invoking and sometimes provoking their latent critical minds. Ataur's teaching ethos includes looking at accounting from an alternative perspective which promotes the role of accounting in capturing the social and environmental impacts and thereby promotes the transparency and accountability of organisations. This is informed by the view that accounting has a much broader role to serve wider social interests.

This is a point of departure from the narrow and traditional perspectives on accounting which applies it mainly as a tool to aid corporate decision making with a view to maximise shareholders’ wealth. He has taught various accounting modules to undergraduate, postgraduate and post experience audience. Ataur has the experience of running CPD sessions for professional accountants internationally.

Of late, he has been specialising in teaching sustainability accounting in the UK and abroad including Kobe University in Japan.

Other activities


  • Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Accounting Forum and Business  Ethics, Environment and Responsibility

Grant Review

  • Expert reviewer of research proposals and reports for ESRC and British Council. Recently invited to join the peer review college of UKRI Future Leaders Funding Scheme.

International advisor

  • SESAMI Program (Strategic Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Alliance Management Initiatives), Kobe University, Japan.
  • Panel member of 13 university professors, ESG Investing, UK for ESG related accreditation for investment funds.
  • Member, UKRI peer review colleague for Future Leaders Scheme.
  • Academic Fellow, Humanitarian Academy for Development, Birmingham UK.


Recent publications


Belal, A & Cooper, S 2018, Editors’ introduction. Advances in Environmental Accounting and Management.


Cordery, CJ, Goncharenko, G, Polzer, T, McConville, D & Belal, A 2023, 'NGOs’ performance, governance, and accountability in the era of digital transformation', The British Accounting Review.

PARSA, SEPIDEH, DAI, NARISA, Belal, A, Li, T & TANG, GULIANG 2021, 'Corporate social responsibility reporting in China: political, social and corporate influences', Accounting and Business Research, vol. 51, no. 1, pp. 36-64.

Al Mahameed, M, Belal, A, Gebreiter, F & Lowe, A 2021, 'Social accounting in the context of profound political, social and economic crisis: the case of the Arab Spring', Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, vol. 34, no. 5, pp. 1080-1108.

Dewi, MK, Manochin, M & Belal, A 2021, 'Towards a conceptual framework of beneficiary accountability by NGOs: an Indonesian case study', Critical Perspectives on Accounting, vol. 80, 102130.

Yates, D, Belal, A, Gebreiter, F & Lowe, A 2021, 'Trust, accountability and 'the Other' within the charitable context: U.K. service clubs and grant-making activity', Financial Accountability & Management, vol. 37, no. 4, pp. 419-439.

Uddin, MM & Belal, AR 2019, 'Donors’ influence strategies and beneficiary accountability: An NGO case study', Accounting Forum, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 113-134.

Belal, AR, Mazumder, MMM & Ali, M 2019, 'Intellectual capital reporting practices in an Islamic bank: A case study', Business Ethics: A European Review.

Dewi, M, Manochin, M & Belal, AR 2019, 'Marching with the Volunteers: Their Role and Impact on Beneficiary Accountability in an Indonesian NGO', Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal.

Nwagbara, U & Belal, A 2019, 'Persuasive language of responsible organisation? A critical discourse analysis of corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports of Nigerian oil companies', Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal.

Li, T & Belal, A 2018, 'Authoritarian state, global expansion and corporate social responsibility reporting: The narrative of a Chinese state-owned enterprise', Accounting Forum.

Sharmin, S, Khan, NA & Belal, AR 2018, 'Governance Capabilities and Sustainability Concerning “Corporate-NGO” Collaboration: the Case of Lifebuoy Friendship Hospital in Bangladesh', Global Social Welfare.


Belal, A, Thomson, I & Cordery, C 2023, 'Critical perspectives on NGO governance and accountability', Critical Perspectives on Accounting, vol. 92, 102583.

Cordery, C, Belal, AR & Thomson, I 2019, 'NGO accounting and accountability: past, present and future', Accounting Forum, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 1-15.

Review article

Qian, W, Tilt, C & Belal, A 2021, 'Social and environmental accounting in developing countries: contextual challenges and insights', Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 34, no. 5, pp. 1021-1050.

View all publications in research portal


Sustainability accounting and accountability; NGO accountability; SDG implementation and accounting

Languages and other information

English and Bengali


Ataur has experience of working with a range of Bangladeshi policy makers in the area of sustainability accounting. Some of them include: the Central Bank of Bangladesh; Dhaka Stock Exchange; the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh and the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Bangladesh.

His research informed the green banking guidelines issued by the Central Bank of Bangladesh. He engaged with the senior management of the Central Bank of Bangladesh to inform the Green Reporting Guidelines developed by the Central Bank. The Governor of the Central Bank confirmed the impact via an endorsement letter dated 3rd June, 2012. Since then, the Central Bank of Bangladesh requires all banks in Bangladesh to undertake green reporting. Ataur's research has also influenced the national corporate reporting award scheme organised by the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Bangladesh as evidenced by a letter from the President of the Institute.