Accounting at Queen’s
Accounting has existed in various forms and levels of sophistication throughout human history, with the double-entry accounting system that is used today being attributed to the work of Italian mathematician and Franciscan friar Luca Pacioli in the late 15th Century.
Accounting, which is often referred to as the ‘language of business’, involves the preparation, measurement and processing of financial and non-financial information about economic entities such as companies. This information is then communicated to, and used by, a variety of stakeholders, including investors, creditors, management, employees and regulators.
Accounting can be divided into several disciplines including financial accounting, management accounting, auditing and taxation, with accountants analysing data and supporting others in decision making and problem-solving.
Over a period of years, the Accounting Group in Queen’s Management School has developed critical research mass, expertise, networks, and reputation in the areas of:
- Accounting and reporting, accounting change, governance and performance management in not-for-profit organisations
This research, which has focused particularly on performance reporting, stakeholder engagement, and reporting frameworks, has attracted significant external funding and resulted in a range of quality publications (book chapters, research monographs, and papers in major academic journals) which have facilitated an enhanced understanding of the sector, including the appropriateness of accounting and reporting practices adopted by charities. These publications have highlighted the critical importance of the sector’s accountability and have shaped the regulatory framework and reporting practices of charities. Research, in particular, has impacted directly on the form and content of the new Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) for charities, which details how UK charities are required to report.
Ongoing research is examining the possible impact of this new framework on accounting and reporting via the lens of legitimation strategies. Complementary research explores the extent and impact of stakeholder engagement with respect to reporting frameworks, with a detailed critique of the ‘governance’ of charities emerging. New work examines these issues in the context of social enterprise organisations.
Overall, the Group’s research will assist regulatory and policy development relating to not-for-profit accountability and, hopefully, facilitate a more accountable sector.
- Accounting, budgeting, and accounting change in public sector organisations
Research is this area has resulted in a range of significant publications (research monographs and papers in major academic journals) and research grants, often focusing on comparative international analysis. This is particularly the case with respect to accounting and financing changes that often accompany moves towards ‘modernisation’.
This research, much of which is case-based and applied, has the potential to improve accountability by, and management within, public sector organisations. In addition, its results provide significant input to the development of policy with respect to appropriate accounting and accountability instruments.
The research focus and strengths of the Accounting Group align with the School’s Centre for Not-for-profit and Public-sector Research (CNPR), an interdisciplinary research centre which aims to promote research into issues relating to public-sector and not-for-profit organisations.
Meet Our Academic Staff
The members of the Accounting Subject Group at Queen’s Management School undertake research across the discipline of Accounting, with particular focus on issues relating to the not-for-profit and public sectors.
Key Academic Contacts
Subject Group Leader: Professor Ciaran Connolly
BSc Accounting Programme Director: Dr Martin Kelly
MSc Accounting and Finance Programme Director: Dr Martin Quinn
Queen’s Management School hosts an active community of doctoral students in Accounting and related disciplines. Each student is supervised by at least two members of academic staff.
Prospective students who do not yet have the requisite background in Accounting to pursue PhD research directly are encouraged to apply for our MSc Accounting and Finance programme, which embeds core research training skills throughout the degree.
Students have been successful in gaining scholarships to fund their tuition fees and living expenses from various studentship schemes, including the ESRC-funded Northern Ireland and North East Doctoral Training Partnership.