Maureen McNichols

Maureen McNichols
Professor, Accounting
Contact Info
MaureenMcNichols
Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Academic Area: 
Accounting

Research Statement

Maureen McNichols’ research examines financial reporting and its role in providing information to investors. Her recent work focuses on the role of earnings announcements in informing investors, on earnings management, and on the role of auditors in financial reporting quality. The research on earnings announcements documents a striking increase in stock price revision in response to earnings announcements and explores reasons for this relation. The research on earnings management examines companies’ incentives and methods for managing earnings, detection of managed earnings, and the consequences of earnings management for investors’ decisions. The research on auditors examines their role in detecting and reporting misreporting, and the factors that contribute to audit quality, including regulation, auditor incentives and ability.

Bio

Maureen McNichols is the Marriner S. Eccles Professor of Public and Private Management and Professor of Accounting at the Graduate School of Business (GSB), Stanford University. Her leading research on earnings management and its implications for investors, and on analysts’ incentives, forecasts, and investment recommendations - has received considerable attention from academics, investors, and regulators. Her papers appear in the leading journals in accounting and finance and have garnered several Best Paper awards. She served as an editor of Review of Accounting Studies, and has served on the editorial boards of Journal of Accounting Research, The Accounting Review and Contemporary Accounting Research.

Professor McNichols has offered courses in financial reporting in a number of Stanford’s programs, including the undergraduate program, the Stanford Law School, the Stanford MBA Program, and Stanford GSB’s PhD Program in accounting. Some of her recent electives include “Evaluating Financial Statement Information,” “Analysis for Event-Driven Investing” and “Foundations for Social Impact.” In addition, she has taught in a number of programs for executives, including Finance and Accounting for the Non-Financial Executive and IGNITE.

Professor McNichols served as chair of Stanford GSB’s accounting group three times, most recently 2016-2017, as chair of the FAB Executive Committee (2007-2008), and a member of the Stanford University Faculty Senate (2004-2007), the Senate Committee on Committees (2005-2007), the Committee on Undergraduate Admission and Financial Aid (2005-2007), the Stanford University Board of Trustees Finance Committee (2004-2008), and the Provost’s Budget Group (2006-2015) . She was a visiting professor at the University of Chicago and the London School of Business, and a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institute from 2004-2005.

Professor McNichols has been a member of the Public Companies Accounting Oversight Board Standing Advisory Group since 2014. From 2003-2006, she served as a director and member of the audit and compensation committees of Net IQ Corporation. She is certified as a CPA by the State of Illinois, and is a member of the American Accounting Association. McNichols received her BA and MA in accounting from the University of Illinois and her PhD in accounting from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD in Accounting, Graduate School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles, 1984
  • MA in Accounting, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1976
  • BA, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1975

Academic Appointments

  • At Stanford University since 1984

Awards and Honors

  • Stand Up for Kids Guardian of Youth Award, 2016
  • Susan Ford Dorsey Faculty Fellow for 2015-2016
  • Philip F. Maritz Faculty Fellow, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 2014-2015
  • Marriner S. Eccles Chair, 2001
  • Best Paper Award, Review of Accounting Studies, 2000
  • Best Paper Award, Review of Accounting Studies, 1998
  • Best Paper Award, Financial Reporting Section, American Accounting Association, 1995
  • CPA Certificate, State of Illinois, 1975

Publications

Journal Articles

William H. Beaver, Maureen McNichols, Zach Z. Wang. Review of Accounting Studies. March 2018, Vol. 23, Issue 1, Pages 95-135.
William H. Beaver, Maureen McNichols, Richard Price. Journal of Accounting Literature. December 2016, Vol. 37, Pages 1-18.
Bruce D. Grundy, Maureen McNichols. The Review of Financial Studies. May 5, 2015, Vol. 2, Issue 4, Pages 495-526.
Maureen McNichols, Stephen R. Stubben. Review of Accounting Studies. March 2015, Vol. 20, Issue 1, Pages 110-140.
Madhav V. Rajan, Maureen McNichols, Stefan J. Reichelstein. Review of Accounting Studies. December 2014, Vol. 19, Issue 4, Pages 1393-1435.
William H. Beaver, Maria Correia,, Maureen McNichols. Review of Accounting Studies. December 2012, Vol. 17, Issue 4, Pages 969-1010.
William H. Beaver, Maria Correia, Maureen McNichols. Foundations and Trends in Accounting . January 2011, Vol. 5, Issue 2, Pages 99-173.
Maureen McNichols, Gilad Livne. Journal of Business Finance & Accounting. January 2009, Vol. 36, Issue 1-2, Pages 1-30.
Maureen McNichols, Stephen R. Stubben. The Accounting Review. November 2008, Vol. 83, Issue 6, Pages 1571-1603.
William H. Beaver, Maureen McNichols, Karen K. Nelson. Review of Accounting Studies. 2007, Vol. 12, Issue 4, Pages 525-556.
William H. Beaver, Maureen McNichols, Richard Price. Journal of Accounting and Economics. 2007, Vol. 43, Issue 2–3, Pages 341-368.
Brad M. Barber, Reuven Lehavy, Maureen McNichols, Brett Trueman. Journal of Accounting and Economics. April 2006, Vol. 41, Issue 1–2, Pages 87–117.
Patricia C. O'Brien..., Maureen McNichols, Lin Hsiou-Wei. Journal of Accounting Research. September 2005, Vol. 43, Issue 4, Pages 623-650.
William H. Beaver, Maureen McNichols, Jung-Wu Rhie. Review of Accounting Studies. March 2005, Vol. 10, Issue 1, Pages 93-122.
William H. Beaver, Maureen McNichols, Karen K. Nelson. Journal of Accounting and Economics. August 2003, Vol. 35, Issue 3, Pages 347–376.
Brad Barber, Reuven Lehavy, Maureen McNichols, Brett Trueman. Financial Analyst Journal . March 2003, Vol. 59, Issue 2, Pages 88-96.
Ron Kasznik, Maureen McNichols. Journal of Accounting Research. June 2002, Vol. 40, Issue 3, Pages 727–759.
Mary E. Barth, Ron Kasznik, Maureen McNichols. Journal of Accounting Research. June 2001, Vol. 39, Issue 1, Pages 1–34.
William H. Beaver, Maureen McNichols. Review of Accounting Studies. June 2001, Vol. 6, Issue 2-3, Pages 197-220.
Brad Barber, Reuven Lehavy, Maureen McNichols, Brett Trueman. Journal of FInance. April 2001, Vol. 56, Issue 2, Pages 531-563.
Maureen McNichols. Journal of Accounting and Public Policy. 2000, Vol. 19, Issue 4-5, Pages 313-345.
Maureen McNichols. Journal of Accounting and Economics. July 1998, Vol. 10, Issue 3, Pages 239-273.
William H. Beaver, Maureen McNichols. Review of Accounting Studies. March 1998, Vol. 3, Issue 1-2, Pages 73-95.
Maureen McNichols, Hsiou-wei Lina. Journal of Accounting and Economics. February 26, 1998, Vol. 25, Issue 1, Pages 101-127.
Mary E. Barth, Maureen McNichols, G. Peter Wilson. Review of Accounting Studies. March 1997, Vol. 2, Issue 1, Pages 35-64.
Maureen McNichols, Patricia C. O'Brien.... Journal of Accounting Research, Studies on Experts and the Application of Expertise in Accounting, Auditing and Tax. 1997, Vol. 35 , Pages 167-199.
Richard Frankel, Maureen McNichols, G. Peter Wilson. The Accounting Review. January 1995, Vol. 70, Issue 1, Pages 135-150.
Maureen McNichols, Brett Trueman. Journal of Accounting and Economics. January 1994, Vol. 17, Issue 1-2, Pages 69-94.
Mary E. Barth, Maureen McNichols. Journal of Accounting Research. 1994, Vol. 32, Studies on Accounting, Financial Disclosures, and the Law, Pages 177-209.
Maureen McNichols, Mary E. Barth. Journal of Accounting Research, Supplement . 1994.
Maureen McNichols, Ajay Dravid. Th Journal of Finance. July 1990, Vol. 45, Issue 3, Pages 857-879.
Maureen McNichols. The Accounting Review. January 1989, Vol. 64, Issue 1, Pages 1-27.
Maureen McNichols, G. Peter Wilson. Journal of Accounting Research, Studies on Management's Ability and Incentives to Affect the Timing and Magnitude of Accounting Accruals. 1988, Vol. 26, Pages 1-31.
Maureen McNichols, James G. Manegold. Journal of Accounting and Economics. 1983, Vol. 5, Pages 49-74.

Working Papers

Increased Information Content of Earnings Announcements in the 21st Century: An Empirical Investigation | PDF
Maureen McNichols, William H. Beaver, Zach Zhiguang Wang, November 92017
A Re-examination of the Informational Role of Earnings Announcements
Maureen McNichols, William H. Beaver, Zach Wang, April 2017
Group Affiliation and Default Prediction | PDF
William H. Beaver, Stefano Cascino, Maria Correia, Maureen McNichols, February 2017
Bankruptcy in Groups | PDF
William H. Beaver, Stefano Cascino, Maria Correia, Maureen McNichols, December 2016
The Diversification Discount: Fundamentals or Accounting Rules?
Maureen McNichols, Moritz Hiemann, Stefan J. Reichelstein, August 2013

Teaching

Degree Courses

2017-18

Empirical Research on Financial Reporting: This doctoral-level course covers research on the role of accounting information in capital markets. The focus is on introducing students to key themes in empirical accounting and capital markets...

2016-17

This Bass seminar is designed to develop students' ability to interpret and use financial accounting information in credit and equity valuation contexts. The course will focus on valuing the securities of companies undergoing significant changes...

Executive Education & Other Non-Degree Programs

Other Teaching

Stanford Case Studies

Beneficial State Bank (A): Organization and Measurement of Social Impact | SI134A
Maureen McNichols, Jaclyn Foroughi2016
miraclefeet.org: Fundraising and Financial Sustainability | SI135
Maureen McNichols, Jaclyn Foroughi2016
Reach Capital: Performance in Education Technology | SI136
Maureen McNichols, Jaclyn Foroughi2016
Commerzbank AG | A210
Maureen McNichols, Nate Blair2013
Tesla Motors Evaluating a Growth Company | A209
Maureen McNichols, Anne Casscells, Jaclyn Foroughi2013
Gemstar-TV Guide International | A208
Maureen McNichols, Nate Blair2010
AIG - Blame for the Bailout | A203
Nathan Blair, Maureen McNichols2009
Fannie Mae - A Shaky Foundation | A201
Nathan Blair, Maureen McNichols2009
Tipping Point Community | SI116
Maureen McNichols, William Meehan III, Jaclyn Foroughi2009
Tyco - M&A Machine | A202
Nathan Blair, Maureen McNichols2009
AMB Property Corporation, Financial Reporting in the REIT Industry | A194
Maureen McNichols, Brian Tayan2007
Earnings Conference Calls, Hewlett-Packard Company | A193
Maureen McNichols, Brian Tayan2007
Halliburton Company, Accounting for Cost Overruns and Recoveries | A187
Maureen McNichols, Brian Tayan2007
The Walt Disney Company: Investor Communications Strategy | A195
Maureen McNichols, Brian Tayan2007
Sunbeam Corporation, Board Member Assessing Earnings Quality (A) | A189A
Colm Callan, Maureen McNichols2004
Sunbeam Corporation, Board Member Assessing Earnings Quality (B) | A189B
Colm Callan, Maureen McNichols2004
Costco Wholesale Corporation Financial Statement Analysis (A) | A186A
Maureen McNichols, Brian Tayan2003
Costco Wholesale Corporation Financial Statement Analysis (B) | A186B
Maureen McNichols, Brian Tayan2003

Stanford University Affiliations

Greater Stanford University

  • Member, GSB Dean's Search Committee, 2015-2016
  • Member, Provost's Budget Group, 2006-2015
  • Member, Project on Women and Leadership, 2013-2014
  • Member, Finance Committee, Board of Trustees, 2004-2008

Service to the Profession

  • Member, Standing Advisory Group, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, 2014-2016, 2017-2019
  • Editor, Review of Accounting Studies, 1995-2008
  • Editorial Board,/Ad-Hoc Referee, The Accounting Review, Journal of Accounting Research, Journal of Accounting and Economics, Contemporary Accounting Research
  • Director and member of audit and compensation committees, NetIQ, 2003-2006

In the Media

New York Times, June 24, 2009
AP Online, November 5, 2004
How Analysts Operate
Newark Star-Ledger, June 2002
InvestmentNews, August 23, 2001

Insights by Stanford Business

December 6, 2016
Reading recommendations from the Stanford GSB community.
January 5, 2016
Research shows that financial disclosures benefit buyers at the target’s shareholders' expense.
October 6, 2015
It’s easier than ever to find up-to-the-minute data on companies. So why are investors in love with old-fashioned financial statements?
March 15, 2013
New research explores the value of financial and market data to ascertaining the likelihood of bankruptcy.
November 1, 2005
New research shows that financial ratios are still quite effective at predicting bankruptcy.
October 15, 2003
Increases in executive compensation, jumps in incentives to manage earnings, and shifts in auditing firm structure contributed to governance failures.

School News

July 18, 2018
Nicholas Donatiello, Jr., MBA ’86, who taught corporate governance at Stanford Graduate School of Business, died at his San Francisco home two days shy of his June 28 birthday.