Transparency, Accountability, and the Role of Control Mechanisms during the COVID Crisis


Open to submissions from 1 May 2021


Guest Editors

Dr Javed Siddiqui, The University of Manchester, [email protected]
Professor Thankom G. Arun, University of Essex, [email protected]
Professor Hassan Yazdiffar, Bournemouth University, [email protected]

This special issue of Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies is in association with the Accounting and Accountability in Emerging Economies (AAEE) Virtual Conference 2021 and welcomes multidisciplinary contributions in accounting, finance, and development studies focusing on the impact of COVID in developing countries, and the role (or lack of it) of various accounting, auditing and control mechanisms during this global crisis.

The rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID) has resulted in an unprecedented global health crisis. Naturally, governments across the world have had to take ‘wartime’ measures in promoting health and safety of their citizens. As a response to the current health crisis, governments in different countries announced countrywide shutdowns, restricting movement of people, suspending public transportation, and closing most businesses. In most countries, the government also unveiled an unprecedented stimulus plan to cushion the economic blow from the crisis. As Transparency International (2020) highlights, extraordinary outbreaks like this one also expose potential risks and opportunities for corruption, which may eventually undermine the response to the pandemic.  Such corruption may take many forms, ranging from underreporting cases, to gross irregularities in disbursements of various financial stimuli packages offered by governments. Experiences during previous pandemic situations raise serious concerns regarding potential misuse of funds. As governments across the world get preoccupied with their primary duties of controlling the spread of the pandemic and ensuring health and safety of their citizens, dubious financial activities, money laundering, and other corrupt practices become easier to ignore (Forbes, 2000). For example, during the COVID pandemic, a 33% rise in fraud cases have already been reported (Experian, 2020). In developing economies, the absence of complete institutions, coupled with state-business nexus, extended family governance, and weak capital markets, can make the situation even worse. The potential significant rise in corruption would automatically trigger a discussion on the state of accounting and accountability. This provides the context for the special issue.

We welcome submissions to this special issue. Topics covered include (but are not limited to):

  • Revisiting the sustainability debate and the ability of developing countries to attain UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the context of the pandemic
  • Corruption, accountability and the political role of numbers during the COVID crisis in the context of developing countries
  • The role of the public accountancy profession during the COVID crisis. How was the COVID crisis reported in the extended formats of the audit reports? How did the crisis change auditors’ approach towards clients?
  • The role of various surveillance mechanisms, including corporate governance, management control systems (MCS) and auditing during the pandemic
  • Using MSC in times of crisis – what does research tell us? What were the effective forms of MCS during COVID-19 pandemic? How may accountability and MCS change to accommodate different forms of work arrangement, including working from home?
  • Balancing diagnostic and interactive control systems at the time of crisis
  • The role of public sector auditors’ public accountability mechanisms during the pandemic
  • Theoretical directions for accountability during crisis
  • How digital financial inclusion support pandemic management?
  • Accounting Education and Training during the crisis: challenges for developing nations.

Deadline and Submission Details

The ScholarOne submission portal will open on 15 July 2021.

The submission deadline for all papers is 15 October 2021.

The publication date of this special issue will be June 2022.

To submit your research, please visit the ScholarOne manuscript portal.

To view the author guidelines for this journal, please visit the journal’s page.

For consideration for publication in the JAEE special issue, a submission to the AAEE Virtual Conference is not a prerequisite. However, interested authors are highly encouraged to present their paper at the conference and receive feedback on their work.

For more information on the AAEE Virtual Conference 2021, please click here.


Contact the Guest Editors

Dr Javed Siddiqui
The University of Manchester
[email protected]

Professor Thankom G. Arun
University of Essex
[email protected]

Professor Hassan Yazdiffar
Bournemouth University
[email protected]



Forbes (2020). Money Launderers, Corruption See A Coronavirus Advantage, Transparency International Warns. Available at:

Transparency International (2020). Coronavirus: the perfect incubator for corruption in our health systems? Available at:

Experian (2020). Fraud rate rises 33% during the CoVID lockdown. Available at:

Further reading

Maaloul, A., Chakroun, R., and S. Yahyaoui (2018). The effect of political connections on companies’ performance and value: Evidence from Tunisian companies after the revolution. Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies, 8(2), pp.185-204.

Noah, A., Adhikari, P., Ogundele, B. and H. Yazdifar (2020). “Corporate environmental accountability in Nigeria: An example of regulatory failure and regulatory capture”, Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies, (forthcoming).

Siddiqui, J and Humphrey, C 2016, 'The business of cricket and the shifting significance of accounting', Accounting History, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 5-24. 

Siddiqui, J and Uddin, SN 2016, 'Human rights disasters, corporate accountability and the state: lessons learned from Rana plaza?', Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 679-704. 

The Lancet Public Health (2020). Will the COVID-19 pandemic threaten the SDGs? Editoral, Vol. 5, No.9. Available at:

Upadhaya, B; Wijethilake, C; Adhikari, P; Jayasinghe, K and Arun, T (2020) , “COVID-19 Policy Responses: Reflections on Governmental Financial Resilience in South Asia”, Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management (forthcoming)