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Accounting

The PhD Program in accounting offers broadly based, interdisciplinary training that develops the student’s skills in conducting both analytical and empirical research.

Emphasis is placed on developing a conceptual framework and set of skills for addressing questions broadly related to accounting information. While issues of financial reporting, managerial accounting, corporate governance and taxation are the ultimate concern, special emphasis is given to applying basic knowledge of economics, decision theory, and statistical inference to accounting issues.

Spectrum of Interests and Research Methods

Faculty research represents a broad spectrum of interests and research methods:

  • Empirical and analytical research on the relation between accounting information and capital market behavior examines the characteristics of accounting amounts, the effect of accounting disclosures on the capital market, the role of analysts as information intermediaries, and the effects of management discretion. Issues examined also include the impact of financial information on stock and option prices, earnings response coefficients, market microstructure, earnings management, and the effect of changes in accounting standards and disclosure requirements.
  • Problems of information asymmetries among management, investors, and others are currently under study. This research investigates, analytically and empirically, the structure of incentive systems and monitoring systems under conditions of information asymmetry. Research on moral hazard, adverse selection, risk sharing, and signaling is incorporated into this work.
  • Other ongoing projects include research on the economic effects of regulation of accounting information, and analysis of tax-induced incentive problems in organizations.
  • Additional topics of faculty interest include analytical and empirical research on productivity measurement, accounting for quality, activity-based costing for operations and marketing, and strategic costing and pricing.
Preparation and Qualifications

It is desirable for students to have a solid understanding of applied microeconomic theory, econometrics and mathematics (linear algebra, real analysis, optimization, probability theory) prior to the start of the program. Adequate computer programming skills (e.g. Matlab, SAS, STAT, Python) are necessary in coursework. A traditional accounting background such as CPA is not required.

Recent Journal Articles in Accounting

Lisa De Simone, Kenneth J. Klassen, Jeri K. Seidman
The Accounting Review, Forthcoming.
2017
Madhav V. Rajan, Stefan J. Reichelstein, Alexander Nezlobin
Review of Accounting Studies. June
2016, Vol. 21, Issue 2, Pages 438-472
Ian D. Gow, David F. Larcker, Peter C. Reiss
Journal of Accounting Reseach. April
19, 2016, Vol. 54, Issue 2, Pages 477-523

Recent Insights by Stanford Business

August 5, 2016
Corporations profit from tax-avoidance schemes even when they’re likely to trigger IRS audits.
Apple CEO Tim Cook (center) was grilled in 2013 by a Senate subcommittee investigating the company's offshore tax strategies. | Reuters/Jason Reed
June 7, 2016
Mutual funds regularly underperform in the markets. Here’s why.
A bird of prey| Reuters/Baz Ratner
May 24, 2016
An accounting expert examines the impact of new rules on income shifting.
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service building. | Reuters/Jonathan Ernst