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

Marc Badia, Mary E. Barth, Miguel Duro, Gaizka Ormazabal
Accounting Review. January
2020, Vol. 95, Issue 1, Pages 1-29
Travis L. Johnson, Jinhwan Kim, Eric C. So
The Review of Financial Studies (forthcoming).
2020
Lisa De Simone, Rebecca Lester, Kevin Markle
Journal of Accounting Research. November
2019

Recent Insights by Stanford Business

March 23, 2020
Two ways company insiders are taking advantage of privileged information and going undetected.
A statue of George Washington stands across from the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan, New York City. Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
January 6, 2020
There’s little evidence that common board best practices lead to better oversight.
Business people in a board room. Credit: iStock/Morsa Images
December 19, 2019
CEOs have traditionally shied away from politically charged issues, but that may be changing.
David Larker, The James Irvin Miller Professor of Accounting at Stanford GSB, smiling outdoors in front of a green background. Credit: Nancy Rothstein.