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School of Business and Management

Accounting & Accountability Research Group (AARG)


The Accounting and Accountability Research Group (AARG) aims to promote accounting, accountability and financialization research relating to social justice, sustainability and good governance in public, private and third sectors. In particular, we broadly examine how accountancy and financial devices, discourses and practices shape and are shaped by markets, organisations and society. 

Our research concerns analysis of corporate reports, the accounting profession, accounting regulations and their development, the construction of financial markets and the way actors use and mobilise accounting in their daily life.

To better understand the aforementioned topics, the Group gathers researchers from different disciplines and diverse epistemological traditions with a view to promoting inter-disciplinarity, from critical accounting to capital market related research, and as a result developing new understandings and new knowledge in these areas. 

5th of June – 10am- 12:30pm: Round table discussion / in conversation with the civil society: The controversy of Thames Water: a discussion with the civil society about the sustainable management of water - followed by lunch.


5th of June: 2- 6.30pm: Workshop: The landscape of climate change reporting. A discussion between academics and the profession. Followed by drinks reception.


2nd of July (all day) : SSAF (Social Studies of Accounting and Finance) Workshop: Academic round table : Imagining Accounting and Finance and the performativity of the Social Study of Accounting and Finance.

Working Papers

Creative Accounting! Growing Mindsets for Business and Finance Professionals

Dr Alessandro Merendino (Queen Mary University of London)

Creative Accounting refers to how arts-based interventions can disrupt traditional business and accounting mindsets, build future work capacity for uncertain and complex environments, and promote more integrated approaches to business ( Creative Accounting innovates by bringing together two disparate disciplines, art and accounting, in order to provoke, unsettle and transform accounting thought and practice[1].

Creative Accounting is innovative as it adopts unique and playful methodologies that combine arts-based intervention with technical accounting practice to transform business processes. This project recently won the prestigious PQ Magazine Award in the Editor’s Choice category and was marked as an innovative approach in the Accounting profession. {add link to the QMUL “event”}


The accounting profession, in particular, and businesses, in general, face multiple challenges, such as concerns around climate change and sustainability, the emergence of new technologies and attractivity to the profession. Businesses and accountants feel stuck or do not know how to solve such complex challenges. There is, therefore, the need to make a change, shift the mindset, and allow businesses and accountants to find innovative, novel and creative solutions.

How to do so?

Artistic perspectives and arts-based approaches stimulate innovative thinking and offer new ways of conceptualising solutions to global challenges, fostering integrative mindsets as the basis for future value creation. The goal of Creative Accounting is to induce new frames of reference and fresh thinking, providing innovative solutions to complex business challenges such as sustainability, the adoption of digital technologies and the profession attractiveness. This arts-based approach to investigating wicked problems in accounting can elicit innovative thinking and generate novel responses to grand challenges such as climate change or the opportunities and threats posed by new digital technologies and recruitment and retention of professionals.

In recent months, we have run two innovative arts-based events for accountants, finance professionals and business directors.

First, Creative Accounting’s “Sent to Coventry!” industry event saw a unique collaboration with England’s leading accounting professional bodies – ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Scotland), ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), AICPA & CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) – to quite literally send the accounting profession to Coventry! Leading professional accountants, CFOs, Heads of Finance and senior managers in accounting areas packed their bags and were sent to Coventry (literally!). The event took place at the Drapers’ Hall in Coventry through formal business dinner but with a twist! Artistic intervention was a night of performative provocation, narrative storytelling and mycelium-induced metaphorical discussion.

You may want to watch our video here.

This event was collaboratively created by international artists (Talking Birds and Camille Aubry), business and art scholars, and accounting professionals from the industry.

The event sought to challenge and expand the perspectives of accounting leaders by utilising metaphor, narrative and performative techniques. The dinner centred on the pressing issues of sustainability and digital innovation within the accounting field. Artists led the evening, fostering critical reflection and in-depth and robust conversations to gain more nuanced understandings and actions (Creative Accounting Report, 2024).

Second, a follow-up event took place in the heart of global finance at London’s Toynbee Hall, where accountants, business directors, policy-makers and academics experienced first-hand how an arts-based approach could open new ways of thinking, offering new perspectives towards solution generation. Upon arrival, guests were greeted by tables adorned with mushrooms and tablecloths with quotes from Creative Accounting participants. The event featured an immersive audio experience akin to a "Silent Disco," which set the stage for subsequent panel discussions with speakers from academia, business, artistic practitioners and accounting organisations. The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) were able to join from New York, positioning creativity as the number one capacity required by accountants for a rapidly changing, uncertain future. Before leaving, participants wrote postcards to their future selves, outlining actions they intend to take informed by the Creative Accounting initiative. These postcards are stamped and ready to be mailed out to them in early June as an approach to in-depth reflection and summative summer action. You may want to watch a short video about the event here

An international team of cross-disciplinary academics from Queen Mary University London, Coventry University and Monash University (Australia) has worked on this innovative, novel and unique approach over the past year. It has attracted significant traction from accounting students, practitioners, businesses and professional bodies. Leading global accounting body ACCA, in their report - Integrative thinking: the guide to Becoming a value-adding CFO - described “Creative Accounting” as a novel approach towards integrated thinking. The global connecting body, IFAC, responsible for 180 professional accountancy organisations spanning over 135 jurisdictions, endorsed Creative Accounting as a uniquely innovative project with the potential to transform accounting mindsets. Furthermore, Melanie Proffitt, the Vice President of ACCA and CFO, spoke of how our approach has changed her approach to sustainability and the actions she has taken because of Creative Accounting. You may want to listen to her podcast on our website,

Some Sources:

Our website

Our report: Creative Accounting Report, 2024

Video of the first event “Sent to Coventry!”:

Video of the second event at Toynbee Hall: xxx

Podcast with Melanie Proffitt, CFO and ACCA Vice-President: here

[This is part of an ongoing project whose team comprises Professor Nick Mcguigan, Monash University-Australia, Professor Maureen Meadows and Professor Nick Henry, Coventry University, UK]



[1] If you are a logophile or lexophile, Creative Accounting is a Janus word, i.e. a word with two opposite meanings.

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