University of Gothenburg


The Accounting Section of the School of Business, Economics and Law broadly conducts research in two fields: Financial accounting and reporting, and Management accounting. Within these fields the faculty is engaged in a wide variety of empirical and theoretical research.

Within financial accounting and reporting the section covers topics such as regulation, preparer choice, and effects on users. In these areas, the section is strong both in research and in interaction with practice, leading to a high societal impact.

The section's research in management accounting includes topics such as design choices and usage of management accounting and control systems in different contexts, the diffusion of management accounting innovations, management accounting for sustainability, and the relationship between information systems/technology and management accounting.

In addition, the section conducts pedagogical research on effects of teaching methods in accounting courses in higher education.

Research at the section is internationally oriented. The faculty collaborates with scholars at many international universities and business schools for joint research projects. The research findings of the section have been published in a range of leading international research journals.

Financial accounting and reporting

Regulation of accounting

In the area of accounting regulation the section is active both in research projects and as a contributor to wider society through involvement with standard setters and publishing in practice-oriented outlets. The close interrelation with the standard setting processes in Sweden and Europe enables the research group to get involved in recent topics on standards formation and the implementation of standards within organizations. Currently, a major focus in this area is regulation and enforcement in banking and insurance.

More information about specific projects: Jan Marton

Accounting choice and implementation of regulation

Within the section there is diverse research on accounting choice and implementation of regulation. It relates to measurement in primary financial statements, mandatory disclosures in the notes, and various forms of discretionary disclosures including sustainability reporting. Research methods vary, and include archival studies, content analysis, textual analysis, as well as case studies with interviews. Many of the accounting choice studies focus on implementation of new regulation, e.g. International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and Integrated Reporting Framework (IIRC). There are also studies with a particular focus on accounting choice in settings of high uncertainty, and the role of audit in accounting quality.

More information about specific projects: Marita Blomkvist, Berit Hartmann, Kristina Jonäll, Jan Marton, Savvas Papadopolous, Mari Paananen, Emmeli Runesson, Niuosha Samani

Effects on users

The section has research projects on the effects of different accounting standards and policies on users. Projects include a comparison between shareholders and creditors as users of information and the effect of high uncertainty in the reporting process. Other studies focus on corporate governance effects of different accounting standards, including effects on executive compensation.

More information about specific projects: Marita Blomkvist, Jan Marton, Savvas Papadopolous

Management accounting

The design and use of management accounting and control systems

This stream of research focuses on the design and use of management accounting and control systems (MACS) for operational and strategic purposes in and between both private and public sector organizations. Projects investigate topics such as the supply, demand and diffusion of MACS innovations; the role of MACS in entrepreneurial processes; how and why MACS develops over time in organizations; the influence from general contextual factors, firm characteristics, and institutional pressures on MACS; the relationship between dimensions of competition and competitive strategy and MACS; the role of MACS in complex inter-organizational relationships; the design and use of MACS as a package.

More information about specific projects: Henrik Agndal, Christian Ax, Lars-Eric Bergevärn, Mikael Cäker, Viktor Elliot, Ulf Nilsson, Joakim Wahlberg, Johan Åkesson

Information systems for management accounting and control systems

Research belonging to this category examines how the use of information systems (IS) can contribute to creating organizational and business value. Current projects can be divided into two categories: (1) How the delivery of organizational and business benefits from IS investments can be improved by using Design Thinking methodology and (2) How the use of business intelligence (BI) can support the implementation of management accounting and control systems for sustainability.

More information about specific projects: Elisabeth Frisk, Berit Hartmann

Management accounting and control systems for sustainable business

In this research area, the role of management accounting and control systems (MACS) in developing and implementing strategies for economic, environmental, and social sustainability is investigated. For this purpose, we apply constructive and critical approaches to enable the development of sustainable businesses. Projects in this area include topics such as the design and use of MACS for the implementation of sustainability strategies; management accountants and sustainability framing issues and paradoxes; illusionary and real accounts of sustainable development or sustainability; MACS, accountability, and stress; the role and development of sustainability accounting in higher education.

More information about specific projects: Peter Beusch, Elisabeth Frisk, Berit Hartmann

Pedagogical research

Effects of teaching methods in accounting courses in higher education

Studies are made on how systematic implementation of pedagogical ideas – especially variation theory – affects student understanding in introductory financial accounting courses. Also, the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in teaching is evaluated. This is a way to make the teaching of accounting more evidence-based. Pedagogical ideas are also implemented in the writing of textbooks. The section is the leading producer of financial accounting (and management accounting) textbooks in Sweden.

More information about specific projects:Marita Blomkvist, Kristina Jonäll, Jan Marton