Visual methodologies for accounting and accountability

Jane Davidson, Samantha Warren

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    The visual is an entire domain of communication that offers an abundant array of signs that relate to accounting and accountability, and that has become omnipresent in contemporary society. In both financial and management accounting reports, the visual comprises pictures, photographs, cartoons, charts, maps and diagrams in addition to financial graphs. Accounts are in themselves visual artefacts, whose presentation has been influential on patterns of thinking from medieval times to present-day formats ; colour too is an important signifier in accounting documents, together with design features such as the use of fonts. Annual reports are almost universally used as a means of moulding corporate identity and reputation, important intangibles on which the accounts remain largely silent, but whose traces go beyond annual reports to logos, web pages, press releases and advertisements. Organizations increasingly present their financial results using video and other visual media, and even the annual general meeting is a visual, indeed theatrical, event. The visual space of the architecture occupied by organizations both impacts behaviour within, and projects organizational and professional identity beyond its walls. In accounting history, there are visual aspects to archival, oral and critical accounting work.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Qualitative Accounting Research Methods
    EditorsZahirul Hoque, Lee D. Parker, Mark A. Covaleski, Kathryn Haynes
    ISBN (Electronic)9781315674797
    ISBN (Print)9781138939677
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2017


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