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Professor Lisa Jack

Professor of Accounting

Lisa Jack


I began my career as an ACCA graduate trainee with Eastern Electricity and then with Ernst & Whinney (now Ernst & Young) in Ipswich. Subsequently, I worked as an auditor in local government and higher education. After ten years auditing, I moved into teaching professional accountancy and management programmes, becoming a qualified teacher as well as a qualified accountant.

Whilst teaching at Writtle College - a land-based higher education institution - I became interested in how accounting practices in the agri-food industry were very different to those in other industries. This formed the basis of my thesis, a socio-historic analysis entitled 'The persistence of post war accounting practices in UK agriculture', which won the Coleman Prize for the best thesis on a British business history subject 2004/5 awarded by the Association of Business Historians. After six years University of Essex, I moved to Portsmouth as Professor in Accounting in 2009 where I have continued my research into management control in food supply chains.

At Portsmouth, I have developed my expertise in forensic accounting and since the horsemeat scandal in 2013, have been able to bring this, together with my expertise in food supply chains, to the study of fraud in the food and drinks industry.  I set up the Food Fraud Group within the University of Portsmouth Centre for Counter Fraud Studies in 2014, which works alongside the Gate-to-Plate research group in the BusinessSchool. 

I am President (2016-18) of the British Accounting and Finance Association (BAFA) (vice-president 2015-16)  I am also a member of the council for the Management Control Association, the Finance and Management Committee of the ICAEW and the advisory board of CIEH Food.

Research Interests

In general terms, my research interests lie in management information for decision-making, including accounting communication and education, I am particularly interested in the use of social theory investigate the reasons why accounting tasks are done in the way they are and why they might be done differently, to paraphrase Raymond J. Chambers.  My book 'Accounting and Social Theory: an Introduction' was published in October 2016 and explores the use, mis-use and abuse of accounting communications and how these affect relationships in societies. I am involved in international networks using strong structuration theory and pragmatic constructivism in accounting research, as well as the study of management control and accounting. I have co-edited a themed issue for Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal on strong structuration theory in accounting with Alan Coad and Ahmed Kholeif (AAAJ Vol. 29 Issue 7 2016).

My main area of research is the agri-food industry. In 2011, a team consisting of myself and Dr Juan M. Ramon Jeronimo and Dr Raquel Florez-Lopez of University Pablo Olavide in Seville, was one of only four successful bids under CIMA’s ‘Relevance Required’ Initiative, investigating risk and inter-organisational performance measures in intermediate food chain companies. 

At present, I am establishing new projects to investigate how management control and forensic accounting form the basis for the detection, prevention and understanding of fraud in the food and drink industry.

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