Mission Statement

To study how accounting, the accounting profession, and various calculative practices impact on the management and governance of organisations, cultural formations, and the definition of economic and social relationships.

Background

The Accounting and Finance group at the University of Edinburgh Business School has a long and established research tradition in the area of interdisciplinary studies of accounting. By drawing upon this tradition, and on exceptionally strong relationships with professional and accounting bodies, the CAS Research Network aims to become a world-leading centre of excellence in researching the organisational, social, historical, cultural, and technical aspects of accounting.

Accounting is ubiquitous. From individual payslips to accounts of national debt, through various kinds of performance measures, we are constantly surrounded by accounting calculations that report on and scrutinise individual, organisational, and social actions, redefining 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 recurrence of accounting scandals questions approaches to transparency and have deep social and economic consequences. The increasing need for compliance at the expense of judgement and the lack of debate about the quality of data produced in siloed financial functions demonstrate how financial calculations are always embedded in organisational, social, and political contexts.

Accounting calculations matter as much for the effects that they generate as the information they provide.

Further Information