The Simon School Ph.D. Program in Accounting provides students with the opportunity to make substantive contributions to the literature by taking advantage of the Simon School’s strong economics and quantitative training. At the University of Rochester, Accounting is not viewed as a separate academic discipline, but rather is perceived as an integral part of applied economics. By studying accounting and accounting phenomena, the researcher can provide evidence that potentially affects such diverse areas as the theory of the firm (e.g., questions of centralization/decentralization, alternative organizations forms like corporations versus partnerships, and motivation and control issues), the theory of regulation, and capital market efficiency. Evidence of accounting phenomena can, therefore, have implications that extend beyond accounting and into management and social science in general.
The First Year: Foundation
The first year is designed to give students solid training in microeconomics and econometrics and to introduce them to the basic issues in accounting and finance. The Accounting and Finance Seminars introduce students to the current research topics. The first year culminates with the Core Exam given in June. A research oriented First-Year Paper is due by November of the second year.
First Year Paper:
The first-year paper is designed to expose students to and to get students thinking about accounting research early in their Ph.D. program. First year papers can be a significant extension of the research question underlying the replication and update required by ACC 501 or an attempt to identify and investigate and original research question. The first year paper is due by November 15th of the second year and must be presented in a workshop forum such as ACC 501 or AEC 510.
The Second Year: Depth
In the second year, students are expected to take Ph.D.-level courses in Accounting, Competitive and Organizational Strategy, and Finance. In addition, participation in Accounting, Finance, and Applied Economics Seminars is required. This training prepares them for the Qualifying Exam in June.
The Second-Year Paper signals a move from course work to active research. The second-year paper should make an original contribution to accounting literature and sometimes forms the basis for students theses. The second year paper is due by November of the third year and must be presented in a workshop forum such as ACC 501 and AEC 510.
The Third Year: Breadth
Admission to Candidacy
Upon completing the above requirements, students become Ph.D. Candidates by receiving a recommendation from the Accounting Area Coordinator.
The Fourth Year: Dissertation
Research and writing of a dissertation begins in earnest after completion of the Second-Year Paper. Recent doctoral thesis titles are listed below.
* The Impact of Derivatives on Firm Risk: An Empirical Examination of New Derivative Users
* The Manipulation Content of Accruals and Discretionary Accrual Proxies
* Management-Borne Costs of Fraudulent and Misleading Reporting
* Management-Earnings Forecasts and Insider Trading Activity
* Auditor Resignations: Clientele Effects and Legal Liability
* Financial Analyst Stock Recommendations and Earnings Forecast Revisions
* Impact of Earnings Management Flexibility
* Inside the Accrual Anomaly
* Management Earnings Through the Manipulation of Real Activities that Affect Cash Flow from Operations.
The Accounting Major
The accounting major requires continuous enrollment in ACC 501 and satisfactory performance in ACC 510, ACC 511, ACC 512 and ACC 513. The accounting major also requires satisfactory completion of a first and second year paper and satisfactory performance on the Accounting Qualifying Exam which is given each Summer.
As stated in the ACC 501 course description (see below), first year students must replicate and update an existing paper and present the results in the Winter or Spring Quarter in ACC 501 or AEC 501. The paper to be replicated and updated, as well as the completed project, must be approved by two accounting faculty members.
First year paper: The first-year paper is designed to expose students to and to get students thinking about accounting research early in their PhD program. First-year papers can be a significant extension of the research question underlying the replication and update required by ACC 501 or an attempt to identify and investigate an original research question. The first-year paper is due by November of the second year and must be presented in a workshop forum such as ACC 501 or AEC 501.
Second year paper: The second-year paper signals a move from coursework to original research. Second-year papers should focus on making an original contribution to the accounting literature. Second-year papers sometimes form the basis of a student’s thesis. The second-paper is due by November of the third year and must be presented in a workshop forum such as ACC 501 or AEC 501.
The Accounting Minor
The accounting minor is fulfilled by satisfactory performance in both ACC 510 and ACC 511, and either ACC 512 or ACC 513. Minors should complete their three course sequence in a single year by taking ACC 510 (Fall), ACC 511 (Winter) and either ACC 512 or ACC 513 (Spring). The accounting minor also requires satisfactory performance on the Accounting Qualifying Exam which is given each Summer.