In this study, a procedure to account for transverse shear deformation in the absolute nodal coordinate formulation is presented. In the absolute nodal coordinate formulation, shear deformation is usually defined by employing the slope vectors in the element transverse direction. This leads to the description of deformation modes that are, in practical problems, associated with high frequencies. These high frequencies, in turn, complicate the time integration procedure burdening numerical performance. In this study, the description of transverse shear deformation is accounted for in a two-dimensional beam element based on the absolute nodal coordinate formulation without the use of transverse slope vectors. In the introduced shear deformable beam element, slope vectors are replaced by vectors that describe the orientation of the beam cross-section. This procedure represents a simple enhancement that does not decrease the accuracy or numerical performance of elements based on the absolute nodal coordinate formulation. Numerical results are presented in order to demonstrate the accuracy of the introduced element in static and dynamic cases. The numerical results obtained using the introduced element agree with the results obtained using previously proposed shear deformable beam elements.