Category Archives: Gender

The account keeping work of women in England 1200-1500

Miley, F. M., & Read, A. F. (2006). The account keeping work of women in England 1200-1500. Paper presented at the 11th World Congress of Accounting Historians, Nantes, France.


The work of women in accounting in England from 1200 to 1500 has not been fully recognised.  There are many reasons for this  lack of recognition including unsupported assumptions about male contributions to accounting that have been made by some writers of accounting history and the cultural and social features that have defined women’s lives in the past.  By examining new sources, a new and more inclusive history can be written.  This paper uses sources on the education of girls, bequests, and accounting in convents to explore the role of women in account keeping.  This research shows that women may have been the main keepers of accounts and were certainly central to account keeping work in estates and large households.  The writings of Christine de Pisan in the fifteenth century provide evidence of the type of account keeping work done by women and its religious and practical significance.

Link to full paper


Nineteenth century domestic accounting in British India: The east/west divide

Miley, F. M., & Read, A. F. (2011). Nineteenth century domestic accounting in British India: The east/west divide. Paper presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, San Antonio.


This research is an historical analysis that compares the contribution of British women living in British India during the latter half of the 19th century with their counterparts living in Britain.  It examines three sources of accounting knowledge: formal schooling, household manuals and informal women’s networks accessed during social activities to illustrate that British woman in British India appear to have retained accounting knowledge and used practical domestic accounting skills long after their counterparts in Britain had relinquished both the knowledge and the skills.  The domestic accounting contribution of British women in India, not Britain, was the face of domestic accounting that was evident in India.  It would appear to have been strongly linked to perceived values of Empire.  This research has significance for understanding the complexities of the historical divide between East and West, which is important as a precursor to how future shared learning by East and West proceeds.

Link to Academy of Management 2011 Annual Meeting Website (AoM login code needed to view paper)

Link to Paper (unrestricted access)