William H Beaver

Joan E. Horngren Professor of Accounting, Emeritus


Academic Areas: Accounting



William H. Beaver is widely recognized for his innovative research on how accounting information in corporate financial statements affects security prices. He was among the first to investigate financial ratios as predictors of business failure. His recent work has centered on public policy issues connected with government regulation of corporate financial disclosure.

Academic Degrees

CPA, 1969 (Illinois); MBA and PhD, Univ. of Chicago, 1965; BBA, Univ. of Notre Dame, 1962.

Professional Experience

At Stanford since 1969.

Asst. Prof., Univ. of Chicago, 1965-69.

Selected Publications

  • Biases and Lags in Book Value and Their Effects on the Ability of the Book-to-Market Ratio to Predict Book Return on Equity: Journal of Accounting Research, 2000
  • The Market Value Implications of Net Periodic Pension Cost Components: Journal of Accounting and Economics, 1992
  • Financial Reporting and the Structure of Bank Share Prices: Journal of Accounting Research, 1989
  • The Nature of Income Measurement: Accounting Review, 1979
  • Financial Ratios as Predictors of Failure: Journal of Accounting Research, 1966

Working Papers

  • 1540: Differential Pricing of the Discretionary and Nondiscretionary Components of Loan Fair Values
  • 1605: Do Firms Issuing Equity Manage their Earnings? Evidence from the Property-Casualty Insurance Industry
  • 1343: Value-Relevance of Banks' Fair Value Disclosures under SFAS 107
  • 1404R2: Relative Valuation Roles of Equity Book Value and Net Income as a Function of Financial Health
  • 1509: The Characteristics and Valuation of Loss Reserves of Property Casualty Insurers
  • 1659: Management of the Loss Reserve Accrual and the Distribution of Earnings in the Property-Casualty Insurance Industry
  • 449R: The Association Between Unsystematic Security Returns and the Magnitude of Earnings Forecast Errors

Awards and Honors

  • Teaching Excellence Award, 2004, Stanford Graduate School of Business, PhD Student Program
  • Teaching Excellence Award, 1999, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Sloan Student Program
  • AAA Outstanding Educator Award, 1990, American Accounting Association
  • Wildman Award for Outstanding Research, 1985, American Accounting Association
  • Distinguished Teaching Award, 1985, Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA Students


  • Editorial Board: Journal of Accounting Research, Journal of Accounting and Economics, Review of Accounting Studies (1969 - present)
  • Member: American Accounting Association (1969 - present)
  • Member: American Institute of CPAs (1969 - present)
  • Member: SEC Advisory Committee on Corporate Disclosure Policy (1969 - present)
  • President: American Accounting Association (1979 - 1981)
  • Member: Financial Accounting Foundation (1969 - present)

In The Media