Edinburgh Research Explorer

Accounting & Society

Organisational unit: Research Theme

Organisation profile

Accounting is ubiquitous. From individual pay-slips to national debts, via various kinds of performance measures, we are constantly surrounded by accounting calculations that report on, and scrutinise individual, organizational and social actions re-defining them in financial and numerical terms.

While there is a general tendency to view accounting and financial data as neutral and objective, resulting from mundane practices of calculation, evidence has shown that this is never the case. The recurrent occurrence of accounting scandals questioning current approaches to transparency, the increasing complains about the growth of compliance at the expense of judgment when governing large corporations, the lack of conversation about data produced by increasingly silosed financial functions leading to wrong financial decisions and the recent negotiations on the Greek debt with its emphasis on financial issues that obscure more important geo-political and ethical matters have provided evidence for reflecting on how financial calculations are always embedded in organizational, social and political contexts. Accounting calculations matter more for the effects that they generate rather than for the supposedly information that they provide. 

Research activities & awards

  1. UKRI JST Joint Call on AI and Society Assessment Panel (External organisation)

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of public/government advisory/policy group or panel

  2. Toby Walsh

    Activity: Hosting a visitor typesHosting an academic visitor

  3. Mark Wallace

    Activity: Hosting a visitor typesHosting an academic visitor

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ID: 19711195