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Accounting history

Explore our research into accounting history


Accounting is often seen as a discipline that focuses on contemporary issues, but many of the issues in accounting are not new. 

Our accounting history research explores the past – through archives and historical documentation – to learn more about the accountancy, business and management issues experienced by previous generations, and enables us to reflect on the history of the discipline in a meaningful way.

And by developing a better understanding of how historic accountancy issues were addressed, we're able to draw valuable insights that can help us deal with the challenges posed within modern accounting.

Our research covers the following topics

  • The historical development of accounting thought and practice
  • Accounting and its contribution to history and heritage
  • Providing a historical perspective on contemporary accounting issues
  • The relevance of accounting, business and management history to present day problems and solutions

We rely on a variety of theoretical, archival and empirical research methods – including microhistory, case studies, biography, cliometrics, content analysis, hermeneutics, oral history, prosopography, and social networks.

Partnerships and collaborations

Our research is frequently collaborative in nature, and interdisciplinary. We have academic partnerships with other universities with accounting history specialisms and with organisations external to the University.

We have strong links with organisations in Portsmouth's Historic dockyard, with the Property Trust, the Mary Rose museum and the Royal Maritime museum, as well as with other local heritage locations including Weald and Downland museum and Fishbourne Roman Palace, who provide access to their specialist data and expertise.

Projects and publications

The outputs of our research are frequently published in leading academic journals within the field, such as the Business History Journal, Accounting History Journal, Accounting Historians Journal, and the British Accounting Review.

Our current research projects include studies of Royal Navy accounting and controls in the 18th and 19th century, World War II costings, Samuel Pepys work in the 17th century, and Standard Costing in Russia 1930s.

Publication highlights

Our members

Lisa Janet Jack Portrait

Professor Lisa Jack

Professor of Accounting

Lisa.Jack@port.ac.uk

Portsmouth Business School

Faculty of Business and Law

PhD Supervisor

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Karen Mary McBride Portrait

Media ready expert

Dr Karen McBride

Reader in Accounting

Karen.McBride@port.ac.uk

School of Accounting, Economics and Finance

Faculty of Business and Law

PhD Supervisor

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Ian Piper Portrait

Media ready expert

Mr Ian Piper

Senior Teaching Fellow

Ian.Piper@port.ac.uk

Portsmouth Business School

Faculty of Business and Law

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Roza Sagitova Portrait

Media ready expert

Dr Roza Sagitova

Senior Lecturer

roza.sagitova@port.ac.uk

Portsmouth Business School

Faculty of Business and Law

PhD Supervisor

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Ian Francis Toon Portrait

Mr Ian Toon

Programme Lead (UG Accounting)

Ian.Toon@port.ac.uk

School of Accounting, Economics and Finance

Faculty of Business and Law

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Discover our areas of expertise

Accounting history is one of our four areas of expertise in our Accounting research area. Explore the others below.

Applied accounting and financial management

We're investigating the behaviours, actions and responses of both providers and users of accounting information. Explore our applied accounting and financial management research.

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Forensic accounting, management control and governance

We're exploring how accounting can help organisations combat financial crime, deal with the challenges of new technologies and more effectively govern themselves – to the benefit of all.

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Accounting education

Through our research, we're taking a closer look at how best to educate the next generation of accounting professionals around the world.

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Interested in a PhD in Accounting?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Accounting postgraduate research degrees page.