John D. Kepler

John D. Kepler
Assistant Professor, Accounting
Contact Info
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Research Statement

Professor Kepler's research relates to documenting and understanding the interrelated nature that firms’ contracts—both explicit and implicit—play in driving firms' financial reporting and corporate governance practices.

Research Interests

  • Financial Reporting
  • Governance and Incentives
  • Law and Economics

Teaching Statement

Professor Kepler teaches the first year MBA Managerial Accounting course (Strategic Performance Management). The objective of this course is to learn how performance management practices can be strategically applied across the various functions of a business organization to improve organizational performance.


John Kepler joined the Stanford Graduate School of Business as an Assistant Professor of Accounting in July 2019. He studies the interrelated nature that firms’ explicit and implicit contracts play in shaping firms’ financial reporting and corporate governance practices. His recent work has examined the role of executive bonus plans in facilitating cooperation among management team members. Other work examines how corporate insiders exploit their private information advantage about corporate audit findings for personal gain.

Professor Kepler received his PhD in Accounting from the the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Accounting and Finance from the Foster School of Business of the University of Washington. Prior to his studies at Wharton, he worked in Financial Planning and Analysis for Nordstrom in Seattle, Washington.


Academic Degrees

  • PhD, Accounting, University of Pennsylvania, 2019
  • BA, Accounting and Finance, University of Washington, 2011

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Accounting, Stanford GSB, 2019 - present

Professional Experience

  • Financial Analyst, Nordstrom, 2013 - 2014
  • Project Engineer, Abbott Construction, 2011 - 2013


Journal Articles

Christopher Armstrong, Stephen Glaeser, John D. Kepler. Journal of Accounting and Economics. August 24, 2019.
Wayne Guay, John D. Kepler, David Tsui. Journal of Financial Economics. August 2019, Vol. 133, Issue 2, Pages 441-471.
Christopher Armstrong, Stephen Glaeser, John D. Kepler. Journal of Accounting and Economics. March 9, 2019.

Working Papers

Undisclosed SEC Investigations | PDF
Terrence Blackburne, John D. Kepler, Phillip J. Quinn, Daniel J. Taylor, April 2020
Audit Process, Private Information, and Insider Trading | PDF
Salman Arif, John D. Kepler, Joseph Schroeder, Daniel Taylor, March 2020
Inelastic Labor Market Supply and Directors’ Incentives | PDF
John D. Kepler, Christopher Armstrong, David Tsui, November 122018


Degree Courses


This course provides an introduction to the concepts and tools of managerial accounting. The first part of the course covers alternative costing methods and illustrates how the resulting cost information can be used to analyze the profitability...

Insights by Stanford Business

March 23, 2020
Two ways company insiders are taking advantage of privileged information and going undetected.