Dr Sara Closs-Davies

Lecturer in Accounting

Contact info

E-mail address: s.closs-davies@bangor.ac.uk

Address: Room 104.2, Bangor Business School, Hen Goleg, College Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2DG

Office telephone number: 01248 388163

Contact Info

E-mail address: s.closs-davies@bangor.ac.uk

Address: Room 104.2, Bangor Business School, Hen Goleg, College Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2DG

Office telephone number: 01248 388163

Overview

I am a Fellow member of the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants (ACCA) and member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT). I am the Director of Postgraduate Research at Bangor Business School and a Lecturer in Accounting and Taxation for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. I am an active researcher in areas surrounding accounting, taxation and public policy and their implications on individuals, society and social inequality. I am also the Tax Coordinator for UK and international tax papers for the ACCA.

I teach through the medium of Welsh and English. Providing and facilitating space to deliver and maintain high quality teaching and learning is very important to me. Making use of information technology and developing innovative methods for teaching and learning is an important part to my approach. 

Prior to my academic career, I worked in the accountancy and taxation industry for around fifteen years (since 1997). I managed tax enquiry cases (personal and business) and coordinated and managed a busy tax department at an accountancy firm, where I was also the Training Officer and ACCA Mentor for trainee staff. I also owned and managed my own accountancy firm offering accountancy services, taxation advice and planning to businesses, individuals and other accountancy firms. 

I embarked on a career in academia in 2008, partly because I enjoyed teaching and sharing knowledge and skills that I had gained from industry, and also because I wanted to make a change to the way tax and welfare policy is administered with the aim of improving experiences of professionals, taxpayers, welfare recipients and bureaucrats, leading to improved effectiveness. It is due to this passion that I immersed myself into accounting and tax research, and embarked on an MRes and a PhD in accounting. My research is multidisciplinary and transcends across several disciplines to include: accounting, public administration, taxation and sociology. My research focuses on the role of accounting in public policy and administration. In particular, I examine tax and welfare administration  and their implications and impact on individuals, society and social inequality. My research also explores the role of accounting technologies and techniques within such programmes and how they enact power and control. I adopt a critical interpretive approach, through ethnography, and the application of grounded theory. 

In addition to my research, I hold several important roles at Bangor University:

  • Director of Postgraduate Research.
  • Teaching Fellow at Bangor University.
  • PGCertHE Examiner.
  • Fellow Higher Education Academy Reviewer.
  • Undergraduate and postgraduate Lecturer in Accounting and Taxation.
  • PhD supervisor and examiner.
  • Personal Tutor.

I also hold key roles outside of Bangor University:

  • Chair of the British Accounting and Finance Association (BAFA) Interdisciplinary Perspectives Special Interest Group (IPSIG).
  • Journal reviewer for Critical Perspectives on Accounting (CPA) Journal, Social Policy & Administration Journal and Accounting and Finance Journal.
  • Executive board member of the Tax Research Network (TRN). 
  • Academic advisor and committee member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) Low Income Tax Reform Group (LITRG). 
  • Trustee and executive board member of Citizens Advice Ynys Môn.
  • External Examiner for the University of Limerick, Ireland, for their undergraduate and postgraduate tax and tax law modules.
  • External Associate Member for the Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management (CHASM) at Birmingham University.
  • Co-Editor of the Tax Research Network (TRN) Blog. 

My awards include:

  • £18,000 from Economic Intelligence Wales Limited;
  • £24,999 awarded by the Welsh Government;
  • £198,377 Grant award from the Nuffield Foundation and The British Academy;
  • £62,436 grant from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Doctoral Training Programme (DTP);
  • £12,000 financial and non-financial support from Citizens Advice Ynys Môn as part of a successful ESRC DTP application;
  • £18,200 grant from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Impact Acceleration Account (IAA);
  • £10,000 grant from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Wales Research Grant;
  • £1,500 research bursary from Departments of Accounting and Finance (CDAF);
  • £2,000 College Seed Funding, Bangor University;
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) (UK);
  • Bangor University Teaching Fellowship (UK);
  • Nominated twice for Teacher of the Year category, by the Students’ Union and the Student Led Teaching Awards Panel (UK);
  • 5-year Lectureship in Accounting (Welsh Medium) funded by the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol (UK); and
  • 5-year Welsh Medium Postgraduate Scholarship in Accounting from Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol (UK).

Research

I embarked on a career in academia in 2008. My research is multidisciplinary and transcends across several disciplines to include: accounting, public administration, taxation and sociology. My research focuses on the role of accounting in public administration. In particular, I examine tax and welfare administration and their implications and impact on individuals, society and social inequality. My research also explores the role of accounting technologies and techniques and how they enact power and control. My research is interdisciplinary and encompasses the development of conceptual and theoretical frameworks, adopting a critical interpretive approach, through ethnography, and applying grounded theory. I draw from my background in research, accounting and taxation (MRes and PhD in accounting; ACCA and CIOT professional) and real-life experiences stemming from my work in practice since 1997.

Teaching and Supervision

I teach the following modules at the Business School: 

  • ADB-1110 Cyfrifeg Ariannol a Rheolaethol
  • ASB-2515 Financial Accounting 1
  • ADB-2515 Cyfrifeg Ariannol
  • ASB-3515 Financial Reporting 1
  • ADB-3212 Trethiant (Taxation)
  • ASB-3208 Financial Statement Analysis (up to 2020)
  • ASB-4442 International Taxation:Policy & Practice (postgraduate)
  • ASB-4930 Research Colloquium   

I also contribute towards teaching the following modules/topics:

  • ASB-1204 Tutorials in Accounting
  • ASB-4932 Foundations of Social Research (postgraduate/PhD level) 

Prior teaching includes:

  • ACCA (Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants) papers in: Taxation; Advanced Taxation and Corporate Reporting
  • ASB-4406 Financial Analysis (postgraduate)

In addition to teaching I also mark postgraduate dissertations in accounting, examine postgraduate and PhD theses, and am a PhD supervisor.   

Grant Awards and Projects

My awards include:

  • £18,000 awarded by Economic Intelligence Wales Limited to examine the impact of major economic events on creating and re-structuring vulnerable workers and businesses in Wales.
  • £24,999 awarded by the Welsh Government to conduct a comparative analysis of the tax systems faced by the visitor economies in selected countries (effective date: 10 June 2022 to 19 September 2022).  The Research Team consists of: Dr Rhys Ap Gwilym (Principal Investigator), Dr Edward Jones and Dr Helen Rogers, from Bangor University; and Dr Linda Osti, University of Bolzano.
  • £198,377 Grant award from the Nuffield Foundation and The British Academy, Social Welfare Law Advice and Communities research project, (effective date: 1/05/22 → 31/05/24). This project examines the role of communities and connections in social welfare legal advice via four case study areas in England and Wales. research team also includes: Dr Sarah Nason, Bangor University, (Principal Investigator); Lindsey Poole, Advice Services Alliance; Dr Lorien Jasny, University of Exeter; Ned Sharpe, Ministry of Justice; and Susanne Martikke, Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation (GMCVO).
  • £62,436 grant from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Doctoral Training programme (DTP). This research examines the implications of digitalised services versus physical outreach on welfare recipients’ financial well-being, and how they (re)shape recipients’ profiles and advisory needs. The research is conducted in collaboration with Citizens Advice Ynys Môn. 
  • £12,000 financial and non-financial support from Citizens Advice Ynys Môn as part of a successful ESRC DTP application.
  • £18,200 grant from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Impact Acceleration Account (IAA). This research looks at the landscape of new Welsh taxation and focuses on experiences of business owners and professional advisors on their understanding of, and changes in, Land Transaction Tax and their perception Welsh taxes and their impact on business. The research also reflects engagement with and awareness of the new Welsh Revenue Authority. 
  • £10,000 grant from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Wales Research Grant. This research looks at the landscape of new Welsh taxation and focuses on experiences of business owners and professional advisors on their understanding of, and changes in, Land Transaction Tax and their perception Welsh taxes and their impact on business. The research also reflects engagement with and awareness of the new Welsh Revenue Authority. 
  • £1,500 research bursary from Departments of Accounting and Finance (CDAF) to develop and publish academic papers surrounding a research project that examines the effects of Tax Credits on UK claimants and how they impact claimants' financial and non-financial hardship. 
  • £2,000 College Seed Funding, Bangor University. This award fundeda research project exploring the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Citizens Advice workers and practices. 
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) (UK)
  • Bangor University Teaching Fellowship (UK)
  • Nominated Teacher of the Year twice by the Students’ Union and the Student Led Teaching Awards Panel (UK)
  • 5-year Lectureship in Accounting (Welsh Medium) funded by the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol (UK)
  • 5-year Welsh Medium Postgraduate Scholarship in Accounting from Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol (UK).

Other

I also hold key roles outside of Bangor University, which include:

  • Chair of the British Accounting and Finance Association (BAFA) Interdisciplinary Perspectives Special Interest Group (IPSIG).
  • Academic Advisor for the Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA) (until 2021).
  • Tax Coordinator for the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants (ACCA).
  • Member of the Tax Research Network (TRN) executive committee.
  • Member of the Low Income Tax Reform Group (LITRG) committee. 
  • Trustee of Citizens Advice Ynys Môn.
  • Co-Editor of the Tax Research Network Blog.
  • External Examiner for the BA (Hons) Professional Studies in Taxation degree at Manchester Metropolitan University (until 2021).
  • External Examiner for University of Limerick, Ireland: undergraduate and postgraduate tax and tax law modules. 
  • External Examiner for The University of Manchester: undergraduate tax module. 
  • External Associate Member for the Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management (CHASM) at Birmingham University.
  • (Past) Auditor for the Conference of Professors of Accounting and Finance (CPAF).

Education / academic qualifications

  • 2019 - PhD , Neoliberalism and accounting in everyday relational practices: The effects of the UK tax credits system on the financial hardship of claimants , Bangor Business School (2012 - 2019)
  • 2012 - Masters by Research in Accounting , Bangor Business School (2011 - 2012)
  • 2008 - Member and qualified tax advisor for Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) (2008)
  • 2003 - Member and qualified accountant for The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) (2003)

Research outputs (11)

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Prof. activities and awards (55)

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Accolades (12)

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