Dr Ann-Christine Frandsen

Dr Ann-Christine Frandsen

The Department of Accounting
Reader in Accounting

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Ann-Christine Frandsen joined Birmingham Business School on 1 January 2016 and currently works as a Reader in Accounting.  Ann-Christine is also Programme Director for MSc International Accounting and Finance and teaches Advanced Management Accounting at UG and PG levels.


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

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)

2004 (May) PhD. School of Economics and Commercial Law at Gothenburg University.

Thesis Title (English version) Space time and money – a study of accounting in practice.


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, Japan, Norway 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. 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, 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


Advanced Management Accounting, Issues, Theories and Cases. Optional module in MSc International Accounting and Finance programme.

Advanced Management Accounting (KPMG) 3rd year Undergraduate module.

Postgraduate supervision

  • Jyoti Jeetun, (Warwick Business School) completed PhD September 2009: Strategy as accounting?  Insights from the Mauritius sugar industry
  • Solmaz Rohani-Najafabadi, (Warwick Business School) completed PhD February 2015: Towards a Critical Understanding of the Implementation of Environmental Accounting and Disclosure Practices
  • Tajammal Elahi, (Essex Business School) completed PhD February 2015: The Project to Improve Financial Reporting and Auditing (PIFRA): Issues in the implementation of ERP in Public sector of Pakistan
  • Dominic Roberts, (Essex Business School) completed PhD June 2015: Exploring risk perception and management in U.K banks
  • Ahmed Alamari, (Essex Business School) completed February 2016: Management Accounting Change in the Saudi Public Health Sector: A Neo-Institutional Perspective


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 particularly looks at accounting’s different knowledge forms, 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 machine’): (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'.

Ann-Christine is pursuing three related areas of research:

Pursuing prices: This research project studies how accounting today circulates and translates monetary values across institutional settings, through a field-based study of how skilled traders in financial markets think and act through 'prices' and 'pricing' in their trading practice, in a 'knowledge-world' which increasingly recognises that conventional price theories do not adequately explain or match trading practice. The research seeks to extend the scope of approaches to how experts think and act in knowledge worlds where sophisticated theorizing is integral to practice, and perhaps open a path to theorizing differently on prices and pricing within one such world. 

Accounting as embodiment: This area builds on an approach to understanding 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. .

Accounting as statement: 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 before 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. 


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

M. Bettner, A-C Frandsen, and E. McGoun ‘Listening to Accounting’, Critical Perspectives on Accounting Vol. 21. Issue 4, 2010, pp. 294-302.

A-C Frandsen & E. McGoun, “To account is to be human?”  Accounting and the Public Interest, Vol. 1, 2010, pp.1-12.

A-C Frandsen, “From psoriasis to a number and back” Information and Organization, Volume 19, Issue. 2, July, 2009, pp. 103-128

A-C Frandsen ‘The role of disciplining/translating accounting practices in patient-centred-care: A Nordic Perspective’ Special Issue:, International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 23, Issue 4, 2010, pp. 381-391. 

Book chapters

A-C Frandsen (2016) (in press) Kritiska Perspektiv på Redovisning (Critical Perspectives on Accounting) in Rimmel & Jonäll (Eds.) Redovisningsteorier (Accounting Theories) Sanoma Publisher: Stockholm. pp. x-x.

A-C Frandsen and J. Mouritsen ‘Scale, Distance and Performance Management - The Invention of the “10-Minute Patient” and the Composition of Medical Practices in Thomas Gstraunthaler and Martin Messner(eds), Performance in context: Perspectives from management research, pp. 155-168. Innsbruck University Press, 2008.

A-C Frandsen  'Från 0 till oändligheten och tillbaka - samtal under en presenning', in Baldvinsdottir, Johansson and Nörreklit(eds), Företagsanalys I dess komplexitet, pp. 352-372. BAS, 2007. 

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