Department of Accountancy & Taxation

Conducting research that is relevant to theory, practice and education

Our Faculty and doctoral students discover and publish new knowledge that relates to the role of accounting on businesses, capital markets, and the society.

In line with the varying needs of our students, one of the most diverse in the nation, and our regional businesses, one of the fastest growing in the nation, our research topics vary widely to include financial accounting, managerial accounting, auditing, tax, and accounting theory.

Our research significantly impacts academic business literature. According to BYU 2017 Accounting Rankings, our faculty's research ranks 4th in Texas and 25th in the world during the last six years, tying with University of Florida and University of Melbourne.

Please explore our featured research in leading academic journals:

Click here to see the new Department of Accountancy & Taxation research database:


Featured Research

Joshua Cutler

Faculty: Joshua Cutler, Assistant Professor

Publication: Review of Accounting Studies (forthcoming)

Title: Disclosure and the Outcome of Securities Litigation

Insights: Congress passed a law in 1995 designed to protect public company disclosures from litigation, but Cutler and his co-authors find it can sometimes have the opposite effect. In a large sample of class action lawsuits, they find that companies who disclose more are actually more likely to lose in court.

Novia Chen

Faculty: Novia Chen, Assistant Professor

Publication: Contemporary Accounting Research 35 (2018)

Title: Do Analysts Matter for Corporate Tax Planning? Evidence from a Natural Experiment

Insights: Brokerage house mergers and closures lead to exogenous reductions in analyst coverage. Professor Chen’s research finds that firms experiencing analyst coverage reductions increase tax avoidance, relative to control firms. This effect is more pronounced if the “lost” analyst has better forecasting accuracy and spends more effort in forecasting taxes. This study suggests that financial analysts in their role as financial intermediaries have a substantial effect on firms’ tax planning activities.

Steve Crawford

Faculty: Steve Crawford, Assistant Professor

Publication: Management Science 64 (2018)

Title: What Motivates Buy-Side Analysts to Share Recommendations Online?

Insights: The paper looks at a private social network that facilitates interaction and information sharing among buy-side professionals. The research shows that buy-side analysts share valuable private information in an online social network and that this can be an effective reputation-building and job-seeking tool.

Chad Larson

Faculty: Chad Larson, Assistant Professor

Publication: Review of Accounting Studies (2018)

Title: Defining, Measuring and Modeling Accruals: A Guide for Researchers.

Insights: Research on accounting accruals is pervasive. Yet the measurement and modeling of accruals has developed in an ad hoc manner. Professor Larson’s research creates a systematic and comprehensive accrual measurement framework and several accrual modeling innovations.

Volkan Muslu

Faculty: Volkan Muslu, Associate Professor

Publication: Journal of Corporate Finance 50 (2018)

Title: Benefits of Public Reporting: Evidence from IPOs Backed by Listed Private Equity Firms

Insights: Private equity firms that are listed in stock exchanges commit to extensive public disclosures, whereas unlisted private equity firms communicate privately with partner investors. Professor Muslu’s research shows that portfolio companies that are backed by listed private equity firms report lower abnormal accruals, recognize losses faster, and experience higher post-IPO stock returns. These findings suggest that the public reporting model of listed private equity firms brings greater capital market benefits than the private reporting model of unlisted private equity firms.

Gerald Lobo

Faculty: Gerald Lobo, Professor and Arthur Andersen Chair in Accounting

Publication: The Accounting Review (2017)

Title: The Effect of Analyst Forecasts During Earnings Announcements on Investor Responses to Reported Earnings

Insights: With the increased frequency of forecasts during earnings announcements, making (smart) investments seems to be more risk-based than ever before. Lobo’s research examines the implications of analyst forecasts issued during earnings announcements, finding a limited effect on investor response, but a positive trend when forecasts are reinforced with analyst research.

Michael Neel

Faculty: Michael Neel, Assistant Professor

Publication: Contemporary Accounting Research 34 (2017)

Title: Accounting Comparability and Economic Outcomes of Mandatory IFRS Adoption

Insights: The mandatory adoption of IFRS in Europe harmonized cross-country accounting standards and facilitated accounting comparability. Professor Neel’s research finds that firms with a larger improvement in comparability experienced favorable outcomes such as higher valuation and stronger liquidity and information environment. These outcomes did not apply to all firms that adopted IFRS.

Yuping Zhao

Faculty: Yuping Zhao, Assistant Professor

Publication: Contemporary Accounting Research 34 (2017)

Title: Auditor Choice and Its Implications for Group-Affiliated Firms

Insights: Group-affiliated firms with complex structure and intra-group transactions enable their controlling shareholders various means to expropriate minority shareholders. Professor Zhao’s research finds that group firms are more likely to hire high-quality auditors compared to stand-alone firms, which suggests that business groups want to ensure high financial reporting quality to alleviate inherent agency costs.

Amy Sun

Faculty: Amy Sun, Associate Professor

Publication: Contemporary Accounting Research 33 (2016)

Title: Abnormal Accruals and Managerial Intent: Evidence from the Timing of Merger Announcements and Completions.

Insights: Companies boost earnings to inflate their stock prices before mergers and acquisitions. Professor Sun’s research documents that acquiring firms with the most inflated earnings exploit investor inattention by announcing mergers on Friday while distancing some of their earnings management activities from the merger announcement date.

Saleha Khumawala

Faculty: Saleha Khumawala, Professor

Publication: The Accounting Review 90 (2015)

Title: Executive Compensation and Regulation-Imposed Governance: Evidence from the California Nonprofit Integrity Act of 2004

Insights: The California Nonprofit Integrity Act of 2004 is intended to make executive compensation of charitable corporations “just and reasonable”. However, Khumawala’s research documents that the level of CEO compensation increased during the post-regulation period but pay performance sensitivity did not.

Haijin Lin

Faculty: Haijin Lin, Associate Professor

Publication: Review of Accounting Studies 20 (2015)

Title: Welfare-enhancing Fraudulent Behavior

Insights: Professor Lin distinguishes between undetected fraud and likelihood of fraud. Undetected fraud always harms both an organization and its auditor. Yet, increased likelihood of fraud can induce the auditor to increase auditing effort. This in turn reduces the incidence of undetected fraud and thereby benefits both the organization and the selected auditor.

Janet Meade

Faculty: Janet Meade, Associate Professor

Publication: Journal of the American Taxation Association 37 (2015)

Title: Strategic Corporate Tax Lobbying

Insights: Professor Meade’s research sheds light on the lobbying activities of tax-sophisticated firms either to obtain tax benefits (strategic lobbying) or to avoid losing one (defensive lobbying).

Tong Lu

Faculty: Tong Lu, Associate Professor

Publication: Journal of Accounting Research 52 (2014)

Title: Do Joint Audits Improve or Impair Audit Quality?

Insights: Joint audits are meant to improve audit quality, as conventional wisdom suggests that two is better than one. However, Professor Lu argues that joint audits by one small audit firm and one large audit firm may impair audit quality due to free-riding problem.

Emre Kilic

Faculty: Emre Kilic, Associate Professor

Publication: The Accounting Review 88 (2013)

Title: The Impact of SFAS 133 on Income Smoothing by Banks through Loan Loss Provision

Insights: Under SFAS 133, financial institutions recognize any hedge ineffectiveness in income as it occurs. Kilic’s research finds that banks that are affected by SFAS 133 use their discretion in loan loss provisions (LLP) to smooth income. Such actions impair the ability of LLP to predict loan defaults.

Kaye Newberry

Faculty: Kaye Newberry, Professor and Chair of Accountancy & Taxation

Publication: Review of Accounting Studies 16 (2011)

Title: Bank Debt Covenants and Firms’ Responses to FAS 150 Liability Recognition: Evidence from Trust Preferred Stock

Insights: FAS 150 mandates firms to recognize certain hybrid securities that were previously qualified as mezzanine reporting on the balance sheet as debt liabilities. Dr. Newberry’s research finds that firms whose bank debt covenants were affected by FAS 150 were more likely to redeem their hybrid securities after the regulation. This finding suggests that changes in GAAP influences firms’ economic behavior.