Accounting for and Accounts of death: Past, present and future possibilities

Publication Name

Accounting History


Despite being an inevitable consequence of living, accounting for and accounts of death are under-researched in the accounting history literature. In this article, we review this literature and find that only a few studies engage beyond a mere reference to death; and even fewer that attempt to account for or provide accounts of death. Those studies that attempt to provide an account fall into two broad categories. First, those that treat death as a transactional phenomenon; and second, those that call for some form of accountability for death, a phenomenon we term necroaccountability. Further, we highlight a third space where accounting and death coalesce in the business of death. Through this process, we identify opportunities to increase our knowledge of accounting and death by understanding the ways in which it has been conceptualised and mobilised in the past.

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