Research Areas

The following Group members are involved in research in this area:

The Research area of Accounting is focused on the social and technical aspects of accounting policy and practice. Theoretical and empirical insights are drawn upon to help organisations improve how they interact with their stakeholders through publicly available organisational reports and also how they measure performance and manage against those measures.

The research activity of the group has been funded by both private and public sector organizations such as The British Council, ESRC, CIMA, British Accounting Association and Advanced Institute of Management Research (AIM).

The wide ranging interests of the group are reflected in the substantive areas of research the group is working on:

  • Sustainability Accounting and Accountability (Belal) research aims to consider the policy and practice of corporate sustainability reporting and accountability mechanisms. The research undertaken adopts a stakeholder approach to consider how corporations incorporate stakeholder concerns into their decision-making processes and how these are reported. The impact of recent social accounting standards, such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), AA1000 and SA8000, is considered in both the UK context and in the context of emerging and less developed economies (Belal). Recently Ataur Belal has completed a British Council funded project on environmental and climate change reporting in Bangladesh. Currently the project is being replicated in Indian small and medium sized enterprises as part of another British Council funded project. The future plan is to replicate this project in other South East Asian countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia. Ataur Belal supervises a number of PhD students on this topic and publishes extensively on this topic in highly influential journals.
  • Financial Reporting, Transparency & Accountability Alan Lowe recently co-authored a 100 page monograph for ICAEW on this area focussing on the opportunities presented by digital reporting initiatives which make use of recent developments in regulatory policy, and in digital communication techniques and the associated attributes of the internet.  Other research which uses a socio-technical perspective includes publications on enterprise resource planning and Casemix systems in the health sector (Lowe).
  • Auditing and Corporate Governance projects have examined the market for audit services in the public and private sectors (Basioudis), explored the relationship between audit fee and audit firm alumni, and developed a model of audit fees based on the industry and city-level analysis of the audit market (Basioudis). Also, auditor reporting decisions for financial stressed companies have been investigated (Basioudis).  The role of banking auditors in the financial crisis and the implications for the future of the external audit function have also been the subject of published papers (Woods). 
  • Accountability and governance in public services research (Manochin) examines practices and structures of governance with a number of studies in empirical fields such as social housing associations, the National Health Service, local authority audit committees, local authorities’ financing and university resource allocation processes. Currently a project with  Melina Manochin, Professor Joan Ballantine (Ulster), Tony Wall (Ulster) and Kathryn Heynes (Newcastle) investigate the potential of the Gender Equality Strategy review and the gender mix of public sector executives funded by Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister of  Northern Ireland.
  • Accounting Education and Pedagogy research aims at current learning policies and practices in accounting education that shape and aspire accounting professionals in their potential roles. A number of projects investigate various aspects in this domain including flexible pedagogies for the development of competencies (Finley and Manochin); usage of facebook and student academic performance; student engagement and performance (Basioudis, Davies and DeLange - RMIT, Australia); employability (Gebreiter), the positioning of dialogic and flexible learning in accounting curriculum (Manochin), assessment approaches and practices (Basioudis and Davies; Gee) and comparative management accounting education studies in the UK and Vietnam (Manochin, Lorenz, Phi Anh).