Selected Topics in Accounting Research
- 6 credits
- Prerequisite: Z798 Research Methods
The course objectives are to help generate research ideas and provide experience in conducting empirical research, to provide a rigorous analysis of the major areas of empirical research in accounting not covered in previous seminars, and to provide experience in the critical evaluation of empirical studies. The primary module of this course is positive accounting theory. This theory seeks to explain accounting practices and can be useful in assessing the consequences of accounting choices and accounting regulation. We will examine studies of managers' incentives to choose specific accounting techniques in regulatory and contractual settings, managers' incentives to exercise discretion over accounting accruals, the impact of corporate governance on managers' behavior, and managers' incentives to lobby for or against changes in accounting regulation. Smaller modules will deal with analytical research, tax research, compensation research, earnings quality, voluntary disclosure, auditing, restatements, institutional investors, mergers, and litigation.
The course is structured in a seminar format. In general, each class period will focus on a discussion of two or three papers. Each class meeting will include student-led discussions of the assigned papers and open discussions of related topics of interest. Grades are based on class participation, presentations, two assignments, and a research project.