Josephine is a chartered accountant. She was a senior manager with Ernst & Young, working principally in audit, until 1987, when she became a lecturer in Accounting at the University of Sheffield, leaving in 2008 to take a chair in Accounting and Finance at the University of York. She returned to Sheffield in 2014.
Her work addresses a number of related issues:
Financial Reporting, Governance and Audit
I have written extensively on the closely related development of these three issues, in work on the 19th-century development of the accounting profession and of accounting regulation, and on the governance of UK companies from the early 20th century onwards.
I am now (with Linda Perriton, York) exploring the use of savings banks (SBs) in the UK c1830 onwards. The SBs were designed explicitly to promote working-class thrift for the long-term: results to date suggest more varied behaviour and, again, significant departures from patriarchal dominance of family finances. See https://voice.adobe.com/a/1edGB for an outline. The 19th century use of SBs by the elite can, I suggest, be linked with 21st century neo-liberal attempts to promote financial 'responsibilisation' via savings. In addition to archival work, I am exploring the relationship between current and historic arguments for the need for individual thrift rather than state support. This is linked with my work on:
Charity and financialisation
The 19th century was a period in which traditional models of charity were challenged. Under the new 'business-like' model, applicants for help were closely monitored to ensure that they were likely to be efficient in their use of it. I plan for work on this (with Janette Rutterford, OU) to form the basis of a more extensive study of the current role of financialisation of the charitable/third sector.
This has been a subject of continuing interest for me, involving but not limited to, work on the history of social reporting. Narrative reporting has been a significant feature of financial statements for much of the 20th century, deployed as needed by companies in the face of different crises, and that modern reporting needs to be viewed in this context. Recent work with Abdelrehim (York) and Toms (Leeds) has addressed these issues.