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Professor Laurence Ferry

Professor in Accounting

PhD (Warwick), FCPFA, BA (Hons), PCAPL, SFHEA


Affiliations
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Professor in Accounting in the Business SchoolR202 

Biography

Dr Laurence Ferry is an award winning Professor in Accounting for Democracy at Durham University Business School (UK), established Author, Founding Director of the International Centre of Public Accountability (ICOPA) and Head of Department for Accounting. Laurence is a Senior Leader on the Dean’s Faculty Executive Team, Senator on the University Senate, and a Member of the Senior Common Room at, Castle, University College. He earned his PhD from the Warwick Business School, and is a qualified chartered accountant, prestigious elected Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and holds a first class accounting degree.

His research, impact, teaching and consulting covers accounting, auditing and accountability with a specific focus on the public sector where he is a very well recognized world-leading expert in public financial management. 

Internationally, he is a Senior Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Accounting at Rutgers University (USA), Co-Director of the Durham Rutgers Accounting Analytics Network (DRAAN), and a member of the CIPFA International Advisory Board undertaking thought leadership for how accounting, auditing and accountability can improve social, economic and environmental well-being for citizens of the world. This includes an ESRC funded comparative project on ‘Voice(s) of Accountability at Supreme Audit Institutions’ that involves CIPFA and International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) for INCOSAI Congress 2022, which internationally covers 7 geographic regions and around 200 countries.

Nationally, he has had the honour to be an Adviser at the Open Innovation Team of the Cabinet Office of the UK Government in 2021, and Adviser at the UK Parliament with a House of Commons Select Committee in 2020 following having been a prestigious Parliamentary Academic Fellow 2018/19 looking at public accountability. In 2019, he had the rare honour to single author a full Parliament Report on ‘Audit and Inspection in English Local Government’ (Please see: https://www.parliament.uk/globalassets/documents/commons-committees/communities-and-local-government/Correspondence/Ferry-local-authorities-audit-report.pdf ). He was then a member of the Steering Panel on the Review by Sir Tony Redmond into Audit and Financial Reporting in Local Government, which was one of the principal reviews of audit. The Redmond Report was published in 2020 (Please see: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/916217/Redmond_Review.pdf ). The Government in their response accepted around 60% of the recommendations, with the remainder subject to further review (Please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-authority-financial-reporting-and-external-audit-government-response-to-the-redmond-review/local-authority-financial-reporting-and-external-audit-government-response-to-the-independent-review ). All of this work by Professor Ferry follows on from his earlier comparative work on accountability and transparency of local public service bodies for the National Audit Office and Centre for Public Scrutiny.

Regarding research, the focus for Laurence is Public Accountability. He is founding director of ICOPA, the International Centre of Public Accountability that looks at how accounting, auditing and accountability affect big public policy issues such as austerity, Brexit, climate change and disease including COVID-19. For the new REF2028, he has already had over 15 papers accepted in 2021/22. For the REF2021 period, he published over 35 journal papers at the nexus of accounting and public administration with half a dozen papers winning awards, two books and various book chapters. He is on half a dozen editorial boards including as Associate Editor at both Accounting Forum and the Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting and Financial Management. His research has successfully translated into theatre shows in London and Newcastle for the Freedom City celebrations concerning Dr Martin Luther King, art exhibitions for the Great Exhibition of the North, animated online videos and features in the Financial Times (FT), New York Times, Public Finance, Municipal Journal and Local Government Chronicle among others.

For impact, Laurence was awarded the prestigious policy impact prize at Durham University and produced a world leading REF impact case study on changing audit and accountability arrangements in English local government: Enhancing resilience and value for money. He has personally gave oral and written evidence at Parliament including on Brexit and Local Government, presented his research at COP21 - the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference in Paris, written reports funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), European Union (EU) and the National Audit Office (NAO) and spoke on BBC and ITV news as an invited expert. 

In terms of teaching, Laurence is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice and Learning (PCAPL). Teaching interests focus on both management accounting and financial accounting. He has received various awards in recognition of academic and executive teaching, including the Deans Award for Teaching and nomination for the University Learning and Teaching Award. Internationally, he has held several visiting professorships in the USA, China, Europe, Middle East and South East Asia illustrating he is a truly global scholar.

Furthermore, professionally over the past two decades, Laurence has engaged with senior government, banking and multi-national company representatives of around thirty countries. This is from various roles that he has undertaken in a research, consulting and training capacity. In the UK, recently this has included engagement with the UK Government’s Cabinet Office Open Innovation Team, UK Parliament, NAO being the UK’s Supreme Audit Institution, Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS) and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). Internationally this experience ranges from the National Development and Reform Commission of the Peoples Republic of China and ICBC Bank (the world’s largest bank) from China, to the Economic Financial Crimes Commission and Supreme Court of Nigeria, to King Faisal Hospital of Saudi Arabia and to the Ministry of Finance of Bangladesh as just some examples. He has held senior roles in the UK civil service, local government and private consultancy including as Managing Director, Head of Finance and Resources and Special Adviser.

Mini Biography

Dr Laurence Ferry is an award winning Professor in Accounting for Democracy at Durham University Business School (UK), established Author, Founding Director of the International Centre of Public Accountability (ICOPA) and Head of Department for Accounting. Laurence is also a Senior Leader on the Dean’s Faculty Executive Team, Senator on the University Senate, Adviser at the UK Parliament having been a prestigious Parliamentary Academic Fellow, Senior Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Rutgers University (USA) and a member of Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) International Advisory Board. He earned his PhD from the Warwick Business School, is a qualified chartered accountant, and holds a first class accounting degree. His research, teaching and consulting covers accounting, auditing and accountability with a specific focus on the public sector where he is a very well recognized world-leading expert in public financial management.

Research interests

  • Management Accounting
  • Performance Measurement
  • Accountability and Transparency
  • Practice Theory
  • Field Study Methods (primarily within public sector contexts)

Publications

Authored book

Book review

Chapter in book

Edited book

  • Ferry, Laurence & Ruggiero, Pasquale (2022). Auditing Practices in Local Governments: An International Comparison. Emerald Studies in Public Service Accounting and Accountability. Emerald.

Journal Article

Newspaper/Magazine Article

  • Ferry, L. (2017). We need better ways of assessing value for money. Local Government Chronicle
  • Ferry, L. (2017). Brexit gives regions a real chance to bridge the prosperity gap. The Municipal Journal
  • Ferry, L. (2016). Devolution Response. Richardson, A. The North East needs Tory action, not soundbites, The Northern Echo
  • Ferry, L. (2016). Budget Response. Jowett, A. Budget 2016: The Reaction, Local Government Executive
  • Ferry, L. (2015). Spending Review and Autumn Statement Response. Tallentire, M. More police cash and tax credits u-turn welcomed, but has Chancellor ‘all but ignored’ Teesside? Durham Advertiser
  • Ferry, L. (2015). Spending Review 2015: Durham University Response. Government Opportunities
  • Ferry, L. (2010). Accounting, control and performance in local government: Ten key findings, CIPFA Performance Improvement Network. Pinpoint (Issue 12 (Summer).).

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

  • Ferry, L. (2018). Future of Local Government Funding and Council Tax Rises. BBC News, 16th January..
  • Eckersley, P. & Ferry, L. (2018). What challenges does Brexit pose for Local Government in England. Blog at Local Government Reserch Unit (LGRU) Leicester de Montfort, 14th February, http://lgru.our.dmu.ac.uk/blog/ .
  • Ferry, L. (2017). Local Public Accountability in a Post Brexit World, Animated on-line video. Video.
  • Ferry, L., Steccolini, I. & O'Thomas, M. (2017). The Austerity Playbook, Theatre Jazz Musical.
  • Ferry, L., Steccolini, I. & O'Thomas. M (2017). The Austerity Playbook, Interviews with researchers and actors.

Other (Print)

  • Wylie, I. & Ferry, L. (2018). Making drama out of a crisis. 52-53.

Report

Supervision students

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