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Our People

Prof Carol Adams

BA MSc PhD CA FAICD

Professor of Accounting

Professor Carol Adams MSc PhD CA FAICD is an internationally recognised researcher in corporate accounting and reporting and its role in the relationships between business, society and the environment. She is founding editor and Editor-in-Chief of the Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal.

Biography

Professor Carol Adams MSc PhD CA FAICD is an internationally recognised researcher in corporate accounting and reporting and its role in the relationships between business, society and the environment. Her research has been published in Accounting Organizations and Society, Accounting Auditing and Accountability Journal, British Accounting Review, European Accounting Review, Accounting and Business Research, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Abacus, Sustainability Accounting Management and Policy Journal, Financial Accountability and Management, Accounting Forum, Business Strategy and Environment

Carol’s work has accrued approx.15,000 citations and her Google Scholar H Index is 45. Her 2002 and 2004 sole authored articles are the 8th and 11th most cited articles in the Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal where she has four of the top 40 cited papers published in the journal’s 30 year history. She also has the 2nd most cited article in the British Accounting Review; the 6th most cited article in Critical Perspectives in Accounting; the 5th most cited article in Accounting Forum; and, the 5th and 7th most cited articles in the Sustainability Accounting Management and Policy Journal 

Carol has received research funding from the Australian Research Council, ESRC, UNCTAD-ISAR and several international professional accounting bodies. 

Carol is founding editor and Editor-in-Chief of the Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal which she established to promote research that addresses practice and policy issues capable of improving the relationships between accounting, organisations and sustainable development. 

Carol has sought to advance practice and policy with respect to integrating sustainability considerations into organisations through applied research, leadership, standard setting, advisory work and educating the next generation of business leaders for over two decades. She has authored several industry/professional reports, has made submissions to numerous public consultations and writes on her website at https://drcaroladams.net/ Carol is technical expert to the UNDP's SDG Impact Team contributing to the development of SDG Impact Standards. She consults to multinational corporations and other organisations on corporate reporting and integrating sustainability into business practices. Recent assignments have included work with Royal Bank of Scotland, Cbus Superannuation Fund and Baillie Gifford. Carol has led the development of award winning sustainability reports, management and governance processes. Carol is immediate past Chair of the Stakeholder Council of the Global Reporting Initiative, and a current member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland’s (ICAS) Sustainability Committee, the ACCA Global Forum on Sustainability and the Climate Disclosure Standards Board’s Technical Working Group. She was a member of the International Integrated Reporting Council’s Capitals Technical Collaboration Group.

Carol has a financial audit background with KPMG and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with ICAS. She holds an MSc in Accounting and Finance from the London School of Economics and a PhD in International Corporate Reporting from the University of Glasgow. She has held senior management positions in Universities including as Head of School, Faculty Acting Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor and has previously held Professor of Accounting positions at Monash University and the University of Glasgow. She has served on a number of Boards in the finance, education and not-for-profit sectors. She has also served as a member of the Sustainability Advisory Board for Fuji Xerox Australia and Sustainability Leadership Advisor to the Commonwealth Education Trust. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD). She is an Honorary Research Fellow at Leuphana Universität Lüneburg.

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Research Interests

  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Corporate reporting
  • Integrated reporting
  • Sustainability reporting
  • Integrating sustainability into corporate practices

Research Groups

Publications

    Authored book

  • Adams, C.A. (2015). Understanding Integrated Reporting: A concise guide to integrated thinking and the future of corporate reporting. Do Sustainability.
  • Gray, R., Adams, C.A. & Owen, D. (2014). Accounting, Social Responsibility and Sustainability: Accounting for Society and the Planet. Pearson.
  • Adams, C.A. & Frost, G. (2004). The Development of Corporate Web-Sites and implications for Ethical, Social and Environmental Reporting through these Media. Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS).
  • Gray, R.H., Owen, D.L. & Adams, C.A. (2003). Accounting and Accountability: Changes and Challenges in Corporate Social and Environmental Reporting. Hakuto-shobo Publishing Company: Tokyo.
  • Gray, R.H., Owen, D.L & Adams, C.A. (1996). Accounting and Accountability: Changes and Challenges in Corporate Social and Environmental Reporting. Prentice Hall International: New Jersey.
  • Adams, C.A., Hill, W.Y. & Roberts, C.B. (1995). Environmental, Employee and Ethical Reporting in Europe. Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA): London.
  • Adams, C.A., Weetman, P. & Gray, S.J. (1993). Issues in International Accounting Harmonisation: the Significance of UK/US Accounting Differences and Implications for the IASC's Comparability Project. Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA): London.
  • Chapter in book

  • Adams, C, , Hoque, Z. & McNicholas, P. (2018). Case studies and action research. In Methodological issues in accounting research. Hoque, Z. Spiramus.
  • Rob, G, Adams, C & Owen D (2018). Social and Environmental Accounting and the Critical Accounting Project(s): In search of creative tension? In The Routledge Companion of Critical Accounting. Roslender, R. London: Routledge. 241-257.
  • Gray, R.H Owen, D. & Adams, C.A. (2010). Some theory for social accounting? A review essay and a tentative pedagogic categorisation of theorisations around social accounting. In Civil Economy, Democracy, Transparency and Social and Environmental Accounting Research Role. Baldarelli, M-G. McGraw-Hill: Rome.
  • Gray, R., Owen, D. & Adams, C. (2009). Some theories for social accounting?: A review essay and a tentative pedagogic categorisation of theorisations around social accounting. In Sustainability, Environmental Performance and Disclosures. Freedman, Martin & Jaggi, Bikki Bingley: Emerald. 4: 1-54.
  • Adams, C.A. & Narayaran, V.A. (2007). The standardisation of sustainability reporting. In Sustainability Accounting and Accountability. Unerman, J., O'Dwyer, B. & Bebbington, J. Routledge: Oxford.
  • Adams, C.A., Hoque, Z. & McNicholas, P. (2006). Case studies and action research. In Methodological Issues in Accounting Research: Theories and Methods. Hoque, Z. Spiramus Press: Biggleswade. 361-373.
  • Guthrie, J. & Adams, C.A. (2005). Social and environmental reporting. In Environmental Management and Decision-Making for Business. Staib, R. Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke. 159-165.
  • Adams, C.A. & Zutshi, A. (2005). Corporate disclosure and auditing. In Ethical Consumer. Harrison, R., Newholm, T. & Shaw, D. Sage: Thousand Oaks. 207-217.
  • Adams, C.A., Frost, G. & Webber, W. (2004). Triple bottom line reporting: a review of the literature. In The Triple Bottom Line: Does it all Add Up?. Henriques, A. & Richardson, J. Earthscan. 17-25.
  • Adams, C.A., Weetman, P., Jones, E. & Fray, S.J. (2004). Reducing the burden of US GAAP reconciliations by foreign companies listed in the US: the key question of materiality. In Developments in International Accounting: General Issues and Classification. Nobes, C.W. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Weetman, P., Jones, E., Adams, C.A. & Gray, S.J. (2004). Measurement in UK accounting standards: a case of increasing disharmony in relation to US GAAP and IASs. In Developments in International Accounting: International Harmonization of Accounting. Nobes, C.W. Edward Elgar Publishing: Cheltenham.
  • Adams, C.A., Frost, G. & Gray, S.J. (2003). Corporate environmental and social reporting. In International Finance and Accounting Handbook. Choi, F.D.S. John Wiley: Oxford. Chapter 23.
  • Gray, R.H., Owen, D.L. & Adams, C.A. (2001). What is social accounting? In Earthscan Reader in Business and Sustainable Development. Starkey, R. & Welford, R. Earthscan: London. 122-125.
  • Roberts, C.B., Gray, S.J. & Adams, C.A. (1997). Corporate social and non-financial disclosures. In Handbook of International Accounting and Finance. Choi, F.D.S. & Mueller, G. John Wiley: Oxford.
  • Adams, C.A. (1996). The IASC's comparability project: will it bridge the divide between UK and US GAAP? In Readings in International Accounting. Blake, J. & Hossain, M. International Thomson Business Press: London. 111-117.
  • Adams, C.A. & Roberts, C.B. (1994). The International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC): a role playing case to determine the possible future agenda for the IASC. In International Accounting: A Case Approach. Schweikart, J., Gray, S.J. & Roberts, C.B. McGraw Hill: London. 138-145.
  • Edited book

  • Adams, C.A. & Roberts, C.B. (1996). Financial Reporting By Multinationals. Library o International Accounting Series (Series Editor CW Nobes). Edward Elgar Publishing: Cheltenham.
  • Journal Article

  • Adams, C.A. & Abhayawansa, S. (2021). Connecting the COVID-19 pandemic, environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing and calls for ‘harmonisation’ of sustainability reporting. Critical Perspectives on Accounting
  • Adams, Carol A. (2020). Sustainability reporting and value creation. Social and Environmental Accountability Journal 40(3): 191-197.
  • Adams,C. (2019). The Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Volume 10: the next 10 years.. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal 10(2): 230-234.
  • Tyson, T. & Adams, C. (2019). Increasing the scope of assurance research: new lines of inquiry and novel theoretical perspectives.. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal 11(2): 291-316.
  • Ferdous, M. I., Adams, C. & Boyce, G. (2019). Institutional drivers of environmental management accounting adoption in public sector water organisations. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal 32(4): 984-1012.
  • Adams, C.A. & Larrinaga, C. (2019). Progress: Engaging with organisations in pursuit of improved sustainability accounting and performance. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal 32(8): 2367-2394.
  • Adams, C.A. (2018). Debate: Integrated reporting and accounting for sustainable development across generations by universities.. Public Money and Management 38(5): 332-334.
  • Adams, C. (2017). Editorial: Losses, tributes and carrying on.. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal 8(5): 514.
  • Narayanan, V. & Adams, C.A. (2017). Transformative change towards sustainability: the interaction between organisational discourses and organisational practices.. Accounting and Business Research 47(3): 344-368.
  • Adams, C. (2017). Conceptualising the contemporary corporate value creation processes.. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 30(4): 906-931.
  • McPhail, K.J. & Adams, C.A. (2016). Corporate respect for Human Rights: meaning, scope, and the shifting order of discourse.. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal 29(4): 650-678.
  • Adams, C.A., Potter, B., Singh, P.J. & York, J. (2016). Exploring the implications of integrated reporting for social investment (disclosures).. The British Accounting Review 48(3): 283-296.
  • Young, S., Nagpal, S. & Adams, C. (2016). Sustainable Procurement in Australian and UK Universities.. Public Management Review 18(7): 993-1016.
  • Adams, C.A. (2015). 2015 Five years on: research that makes a difference to the relationship between organisations,society and the environment. Sustainability Accounting 6(1).
  • Adams, C.A. (2015). The International Integrated Reporting Council: a call to action. Critical Perspectives on Accounting 27(3): 23-28.
  • Coulson, A., Adams, C., Nugent, M. & Haynes, K. (2015). Exploring metaphors of capitals and the framing of multiple capitals: challenges and opportunities for IR. . Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal 6(3): 290-314.
  • Adams, C.A., Muir, S. & Hoque, Z. (2014). Measurement of sustainability performance in the public sector. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal 5(1): 46-67.
  • Adams, C.A. (2014). Changing the way business is done: A critical review of two South African integrated reports. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal
  • Williams, S. & Adams, C.A. (2013). Moral accounting? Employee disclosures from a stakeholder accountability perspective. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 26(3): 449-495.
  • Yang Spencer, S., Adams, C.A. & Yapa, P. (2013). The mediating effects of the use of an environmental information system on top management's commitment and environmental performance. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal 4(1).
  • Adams, C.A. (2013). Sustainability reporting and performance management in Universities: challenges and benefits. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal 4(3): 384-391.
  • Adams, C.A. (2013). The role of leadership and governance in transformational change towards sustainability. Global Responsibility September 2013(9).
  • Hoque, Z. & Adams, C.A. (2011). The rise and use of balanced scorecard measures in Australian government departments. Financial Accountability and Management 27(3): 308-334.
  • Adams, C.A. , Heijltjes, M.H. Jack, G., Marjoribanks, T. & Powell, M. (2011). The development of leaders able to respond to climate change and sustainability challenges: the role of business schools. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal 2(1): 165-171.
  • Adams, C.A. & Petrella, L (2010). Collaboration, connections and change. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal 1(2): 292-296.
  • Adams, C.A. (2010). Sustainability research in need of a multi-disciplinary approach and a practice and policy focus? Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal 1(1).
  • Adams, C.A. (2009). Why corporate disclosure on diversity issues matters. Finance 50-52.
  • Adams, C.A. & Whelan, G. (2009). Conceptualising future change in corporate sustainability reporting. Accounting Auditing and Accountability Journal 22(1): 118-143.
  • Adams, C.A. & Frost, G. (2008). Integrating sustainability reporting into management practices. Accounting Forum 32(4): 288-302.
  • Adams, C.A. (2008). A Commentary on: corporate social responsibility reporting and reputation risk management. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 21(3): 365-370.
  • Zutshi, A., Sohal, A. & Adams, C.A. (2008). Environmental management system adoption by government departments/agencies. International Journal of Public Sector Management 21(5): 525-539.
  • Adams, C. & Gonzalez, C. (2007). Engaging with organisations in pursuit of improved sustainability accountability and performance. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 20(3): 333-355.
  • Adams, C.A. & Frost, G. (2007). Managing social and environemntal performance: do companies have adequate information? Australian Accounting Review 17(3): 2-11.
  • Adams, C.A. & McNicholas, P. (2007). Making a difference: sustainability reporting, accountability and organisational change. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 20(3): 382-402.
  • Adams, C.A. & Frost, G.R. (2006). Accessibility and functionality of the corporate web site: implications for sustainability reporting. Business Strategy and the Environment 15(4): 275-287.
  • Adams, C.A. & Frost, G. (2006). The internet and change in corporate stakeholder engagament and communication strategies on social and environmental performance. Journal of Accounting and Organisational Change 2(3): 281-303.
  • Adams, C.A. & Evans, R. (2004). Accountability, completeness, credibility and the audit expectations gap. Journal of Corporate Citizenship 14: 97-115.
  • Adams, C.A. & McPhail, K. (2004). Reporting and the politics of difference: (non)disclosure on ethnic minorities. Abacus 40(3): 405-435.
  • Adams, C.A. (2004). The ethical, social and environmental reporting - performance portrayal gap. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 17(5): 731-757.
  • Adams, C.A. (2002). Internal organisational factors influencing corporate social and ethical reporting: beyond current theorising. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 15(2): 223-250.
  • Adams, C.A. & Harte, G.F. (2000). Making discrimination visible: the potential for social accounting. Accounting Forum 24(1): 56-79.
  • Adams, C.A. & Kuasirikun, N. (2000). A comparative analysis of corporate reporting on ethical issues by UK and German chemical and pharmaceutical companies. European Accounting Review 9(1): 53-80.
  • Adams, C.A., Weetman, P., Jones, E. & Gray, S.J. (1999). Reducing the burden of US GAAP reconciliations by foreign companies listed in the US: the key question of materiality. European Accounting Review 8(1): 1-22.
  • Adams, C.A. (1998). Review of Twenty five years of social and environmental accounting research: Is there a silver jubilee to celebrate? Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 10(481-531).
  • Weetman, P., Jones, E., Adams, C.A. & Gray, S.J. (1998). Profit measurement in UK accounting standards: a case of increasing disharmony in relation to US GAAP and IASs. Accounting and Business Research 28(3): 189-208.
  • Adams, C.A. (1998). Review of International. International Journal of Accounting 33(666-668).
  • Adams, C.A. & Harte, G.F. (1998). The Changing portrayal of the employment of women in British banks' and retail companies' corporate annual reports. Accounting, Organizations and Society 23(8): 781-812.
  • Adams, C.A., Hill, W.Y. & Roberts, C.B. (1998). Corporate social reporting practices in Western Europe: legitimating corporate behaviour? British Accounting Review 30(1): 1-21.
  • Adams, C.A. & McMillan, K. (1997). Internationalising financial reporting in a newly emerging market economy: the Polish example. Advances in International Accounting 10: 201-221.
  • Adams, C.A. & Roberts, C.B. (1995). Corporate ethics: an issue worthy of report? Accounting Forum 19(2/3): 128-142.
  • Adams, C.A., Coutts, A. & Harte, G.F. (1995). Corporate equal opportunities (non) disclosure. British Accounting Review 27(2): 87-108.
  • Roberts, C.B., Adams, C.A., Woo, R.W.K. & Wu, X. (1995). Chinese accounting reform: the internationalisation of financial reporting. Advances in International Accounting 8: 201-221.
  • Adams, C.A. & Roberts, C.B. (1994). International accounting education in the UK. Accounting Education 3(2): 167-181.
  • Adams, C.A., Weetman, P. & Gray, S.J. (1993). Reconciling national with international accounting standards: lessons from a study of Finnish corporate reports. European Accounting Review 2(3): 471-494.
  • Abayo, A.G., Adams, C.A. & Roberts, C.B. (1993). Measuring the quality of corporate disclosure in less developed countires with particular reference to Tanzania. Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation 2(2): 145-158.
  • Adams, C.A. (1992). Too wide a GAAP. Certified Accountant (July): 39-41.
  • Abhayawansa, S., Adams, C. A. & Neesham, C (Accepted). Accountability and Governance in Pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals: Conceptualising how governments create value . Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
  • Newspaper/Magazine Article

  • Adams, C A. (2021). A prototype climate disclosure standard with a flawed conceptual framework. Responsible Investor
  • Adams, C A. (2020). Accountants can help meet the Sustainable Development Goals. CIMA Insights
  • Adams, C A. (2020). Europe needs mandatory non-financial reporting to underpin COVID recovery. EURACTIV
  • Adams Carol, (2020). Investors are asking the wrong questions on sustainability. Financial Times
  • Adams, C A. & Cho, C H. (2020). Sustainable development is too important for political posturing. Responsible Investor
  • Adams, C A. (2020). Neurodiversity at work benefits everyone – why companies are hiring autistic people. The Conversation
  • Adams, C (2018). How does responsible investing fit with the SDGs? ESG Magazine
  • Adams, C (2018). Non execs need the right skills for effective integrated reporting. Board Agenda
  • Adams, C (2016). How Integrated Reporting can help boards understand ESG risk: lessons from South Africa and Australia. Responsible-Investor.com
  • Adams, C (2015). The evolution of corporate reporting. Communication Director
  • Adams, C. (2015). VW Scandal: ethics versus profit. Economia
  • Adams, C.A. & Weldin, K. (2014). What is sustainability reporting? And what has it got to do with the CFO? CFO India (November-December 2014): 68-69.
  • Adams, C.A. (2011). Sustainability comes first. Mining Chronicle (August.).
  • Adams, C.A. (2011). Sustainability reporting key to long-term viability. Keeping Good Companies 63(9): 569-570.
  • Adams, C.A., Burritt, R. & Frost, G. (2008). Environmental management. Financial Management (September.): 43-44.
  • Adams, C.A. & Frost, G. (2006). CSR Reporting. Financial Management (June.): 34-36.
  • Adams, C.A. (2005). The ethical, social and environmental reporting portrayal gap. The Corporate Citizen 5(1): 13-16
  • Adams, C.A. (2004). Triple bottom line reporting. The Big Picture: How the Environmental Influences Corporate Profit 47.
  • Zutshi, A. & Adams, C.A. (2004). Voluntary guidelines: are they enough to sustain the environment? Alternative Law Journal 29(1): 23-26.
  • Adams, C.A. (2001). Green fingers. Financial Management (April): 42.
  • Adams, C.A. (2001). Better environmental reporting is the key. European Chemical News, Responsible Care Supplement (April): 24-25.
  • Adams, C.A. (2000). [Opinion article on accountability] Help firms to open up. Times Higher Education 3rd(November): 18.
  • Adams, C.A. (2000). Ethical Reporting: past and future. Management Accounting 78(2): 48-50.
  • Adams, C.A. & Laing, Y. (2000). How to research a company. Social and Environmental Accounting 20(2): 6-11.
  • Adams, C.A. (2000). Responsible Care in changing times. AccountAbility Quarterly 14: 24.
  • Adams, C. (2000). The ISEA professional qualification. AccountAbility Quarterly: innovation, learning and performance 12: 2-3.
  • Adams, C.A. (2000). The extent of stakeholder engagement and AA1000. AccountAbility Quarterly 12: 24-25.
  • Adams, C.A. (1999). Reporting on equal opportunities: could do better. Accounting and Business (members supplement) September: 14-15.
  • Adams, C.A. (1999). Greater accountability: a role for AA1000. AccountAbility Quarterly: innovation, learning and performance 11: 5-6.
  • Adams, C.A., Hill, W.Y. & Roberts, C.B. (1995). Social and environmental reporting in Europe. Social and Environmental Accounting 15(1): 2-3.
  • Adams, C.A., Ironside, C. & Milner, M.M. (1994). Improving teaching and learning at the University of Glasgow through the use of computers. Account 6(3): 32-34.
  • Report

  • Adams, C. A., Druckman, P. B. & Picot, R. C. (2020). Sustainable Development Goal Disclosure (SDGD) Recommendations. ACCA, Chartered Accountants ANZ, ICAS, IFAC, IIRC and WBA.
  • Adams, C.A. (2020). Sustainable Development Goal Disclosure (SDGD) Recommendations: Feedback on the consultation responses. ACCA, IIRC and WBA.
  • Adams, C, Picot, R & Druckman, P (2019). Recommendations for SDG Disclosures. CAS.
  • Adams, C A. (2018). The Sustainable Development Goals, integrated thinking and the integrated report. IIRC and ICAS.
  • Adams, C.A. (2018). Let's talk value: How universities create value for students, staff and society. Advanced HE.
  • Adams, C A. (2017). The Sustainable Development Goals, integrated thinking and the integrated report. London, IIRC and ICAS.
  • Boyce, G. & Adams, C.A. (2011). Incorporating climate change impacts and adaptation into capital investment decision making. Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research Think Tank Report.
  • Hoque, Z. & Adams, C.A. (2008). Measuring and Reporting Performance of Government Departments in Australia. CPA Australia: Melbourne.
  • Grosser, K., Adams, C.A. & Moon, J. (2008). Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace: A study of corporate disclosure. Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA): London.
  • Adams, C.A., Burritt, R. & Frost, G. (2008). Integrating Environmental Management Systems, Environmental Performance and Stakeholder Engagement. Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA): London.
  • Adams, C.A. & Frost, G. (2006). Accounting for ethical, social, environmental and economic issues: towards an integrated approach. CIMA Research Executive Summaries Series.
  • Adams, C.A. (1999). The Nature and Processes of Corporate Reporting on Ethical Issues. Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA): London.
  • Adams, C.A. & Harte, G.F. (1999). Towards Corporate Accountability for Equal Opportunities Performance. Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA): London.

Contact Details

Professor of Accounting
+44 191 3345425