Accounting

Our doctoral program in the accounting field 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

Kevin Smith
Review of Financial Studies. October
2019, Vol. 32, Issue 10, Pages 4042-4078
Charles M. C. Lee, Yuanyu Qu, Tao Shen
Journal of Corporate Finance. October
2019, Vol. 58, Pages 92-111
Wayne Guay, John D. Kepler, David Tsui
Journal of Financial Economics. August
2019, Vol. 133, Issue 2, Pages 441-471

Recent Insights by Stanford Business

October 28, 2019
Slashing business taxes brings some local investment but fewer overall U.S. jobs, new research finds.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan speaks at a news conference announcing the passage of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on November 16, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Aaron P. Bernstein
October 18, 2019
What does it mean for a company to pay its fair share?
Lisa De Simone. Credit: Nancy Rothstein
September 24, 2019
America’s top CEOs say their companies will focus on all stakeholders, but a corporate governance expert remains skeptical.
Apple employees carry rainbow flags as they march in the San Francisco Gay Pride Festival. Thousands of Apple employees donned specially designed T-shirts at the festival. Credit: Reuters/Noah Berger