Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to explore the potential of visual cultural studies (VCS) to inform and extend research on “accounting and the visual”. Design/methodology/approach – A VCS framework is utilized: to draw together and organize work on “accounting and the visual”; and to illustrate how concepts and empirical studies from VCS can develop and extend accounting research. Findings – The “visual culture turn” in the social sciences has generated considerable theorizing and empirical research pertinent to accounting research. In particular, it can deepen studies of accounting visuality – accounting's visibilities, invisibilities and ways of seeing – and stimulate new imag(in)ings. Practical implications – The paper introduces accounting researchers to questions, topics, concepts and debates in the VCS field and illustrates how accounting and VCS research can mutually inform each other and foster interpretive/critical accounting projects. Originality/value – VCS can frame studies of “accounting and the visual” (i.e. affirm it as a distinct field, with rich interdisciplinary connections) with implications for developing and extending accounting research.