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 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 position in history
- Providing a historical perspective on contemporary accounting issues
- The relevance of accounting history to present day problems and solutions
We rely on a variety of theoretical, archival and empirical research methods – including case studies, biography, cliometrics, content analysis, hermeneutics, oral history, prosopography, and social networks.
Partnerships and collaborations
Our research is frequently collaborative in nature, and we have academic partnerships with other universities with accounting history specialisms.
We also have strong links with Portsmouth's Royal Maritime museum library, and with other local heritage locations. Including the Mary Rose, 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.
Carnegie, G. D., McBride, K., Napier, C. J., and Parker, L. D. (2020). The British Accounting Review, pages 1–17, volume 52, issue 6.
Jack, L. (2020). Accounting History Review, pages 233–242, volume 30, issue 2.
Jack, L. (2020). In J. R. Edwards, and S. P. Walker (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Accounting History, 2nd Edition, chapter 15.
McBride, K. (2020). ‘And one man in his time plays many parts’ – Samuel Pepys business administrator, accomptant and auditor. Business History, pages 1–19.
McBride, K. (2020). The British Accounting Review, volume 53, issue 2.
Mcbride, K., and Verma, S. (2021). The British Accounting Review, volume 53, issue 2.
Sidorova, M., McBride, K., and Nazarov, D. (2021). Accounting Historians Journal, pages 47–64, volume 48, issue 1.
Discover our areas of expertise
We're investigating the behaviours, actions and responses of providers and users of accounting information, to improve standards across the industry.
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.
Interested in a PhD in Accounting?
Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Accounting postgraduate research degrees page.