Portsmouth Business School

Accounting and Financial Management

Introduction

The Accounting and Financial Management Subject Group is actively engaged in research which spans the full range of the discipline. A particular feature of the subject group is that many of our members have practical experience of accounting and are professionally qualified. Therefore our research has also tended to have a practically relevant bias, and this has helped to attract funding from leading UK professional accountancy bodies.

Professor Lisa Jack successfully bid for funding from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants to investigate risk and inter-organisational performance measures in intermediate food chain companies. Lisa has broad interests which extend beyond management accounting and food safety monitoring in the agri-food industry, to include management information for decision-making, accounting communication and the history of fair value accounting. Russell Craig is a visiting professor with a wide range of research interests but with a focus on how accounting and financial reporting can be made better and more objective.  Research from other members of the subject group has covered regulation in accounting and auditing;  the teaching of ethics on undergraduate accounting degrees; institutional ownership and corporate governance; and issues in forensic accounting.

Below are two examples of how research has led to research informed teaching in the Accounting and Financial Management Subject Group and also some information on two of the textbooks produced by the group.

Forensic accounting

Example 1: Research informed teaching arising from joint research with BDO Stoy Hayward

Survey on fraud incidence and financial risk:

The forensic accounting department of BDO Stoy Hayward, chartered accountants in Southampton, requested a joint study to be conducted with Richard Trafford of the Portsmouth Business School, combining both academic empirical research precedent and theoretical perspectives, as well as practitioner approaches to evaluating and understanding fraud levels, susceptible organisational structures, risk management control and the demographics of perpetrators. The survey was conducted anonymously with results being aggregated before analysis and presentation by the University. 

The results were presented at a joint lecture in one of the Business School’s “Hot Topic” public seminars and disseminated by BDO brochure publication. The results were in accord with prior global research of this type and enabled up to date and local analysis to be considered in classes to inform theoretical perspectives around criminology, financial crime and risk management control and mitigation thereof.

Research informed teaching:

Following this joint study the Director of the BDO Forensic Accounting department in Southampton gave talks to the postgraduate classes in Forensic Accounting at the University integrating practitioner issues within the curriculum. 

Accounting

Example 2; Research informed teaching arising from research into audit interactions funded by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales

Research on audit interactions:

Tony Hines, in collaboration with academics from the Universities of Lancaster and Bournemouth, received funding from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales to examine how  regulation, introduced post- Enron has impacted on the interactions between audit partners, finance directors and audit committee chairs in UK listed companies.  The research used a questionnaire survey and interviews, which were written up as case studies and published in a book (Beattie, V., Fearnley, S. and Hines, T. (2011), ‘Reaching Key Financial Reporting Decisions: How Directors and Auditors Interact’, Chichester: Wiley).

Research informed teaching:

Tony includes a lecture on the impact of regulation on the process of finalising the accounts of listed UK companies as part of the final year undergraduate Advanced Financial Accounting unit drawing heavily on his own research, but also identifying alternative research approaches that have been employed on the issue. The students on that unit also have a coursework which is based around one of the cases from the research project. They are required to analyse how the interactions around an issue resulted in a particular outcome and to consider the impact of regulation on that process. The case therefore develops the students’ technical knowledge  of accounting and auditing issues, gives them an appreciation of the auditor / client relationship and the role of ethics in accounting.

Books that inform teaching

Business Planning and Control: Integrating Strategy, Accounting and People

Title: Business Planning and Control: Integrating Strategy, Accounting and People
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Author: Bruce Bowhill
Publication date: 2008

Synopsis:

Business Planning and Control: Integrating Strategy, Accounting and People starts with an introduction to core areas of management accounting and business planning. It then explores relationships between strategy, management accounting information, and the design of control systems, taking into account the needs of both people and organizations. An integrative approach to business planning and control includes a specific focus on the design of planning and control systems. It considers the key techniques of strategic management; uses management accounting techniques for operational, managerial and strategic purposes; provides case study information to form a thematic thread throughout the text.

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Business Planning and Control

The Routledge Companion to Accounting Communication

Title: The Routledge Companion to Accounting Communication
Publisher: Routledge
Editors: Lisa Jack, Jane Davison and Russell Craig
Publication date: 2013

Synopsis:

The Routledge Companion to Accounting Communication represents the first collection of contributions to focus on the power of communication in accounting. The chapters have a shared aim of addressing the misconception that accounting is a purely technical, number-based discipline by highlighting the use of narrative, visual and technological methods to communicate accounting information. The contributors reveal how accounting communications represent, or misrepresent, the financial affairs of entities, thus presenting a state-of-the-art assessment on each of the main facets of this important topic.

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The Routledge Companion to Accounting Communication