Accounting

Accounting professionals face challenges when they decide how conservative to be in reporting a public company’s financial results. New research by Assistant Professor Shawn X. Huang shows that the degree of conservatism in these accounting decisions likely depends on the stiffness of competition in an industry and on a company’s position within its industry.

With seven new faculty hires this year, the School of Accountancy has bolstered its status as one of the nation's top accounting programs. "We are hiring in a strategically focused way to build on our strengths and to add depth in areas where we see opportunity," said Philip M. J. Reckers, director of the school and an accounting professor

When a company is struggling financially, its auditors feel their own kind of pain. Should the auditors issue a going-concern report, triggering possible selling by the company’s investors or financial backlash from its creditors, or should the auditors hold back and hope no one sues over a failure to warn of the company’s problems? It turns out that auditors fare better when they make the tougher decision, unpopular as it may be.

Studies show that CEOs face a significant risk to their future earnings and employment prospects when taking a job at a company with existing, or potential financial problems. But new research by accounting Professor Steve Hillegeist and co-authors shows that such executives can expect to be compensated, often handsomely, for putting their human capital at risk.

The Buffett Rule is expected to remain an issue through the November election. Sparked by billionaire Warren Buffett’s contention that he paid a lower percentage of his income in taxes than his secretary, the Buffett Rule would raise marginal tax rates on the very wealthy. Some claim that the top 1 percent already shoulder 41 percent of the nation’s tax burden -- plenty high enough, they say. Is that number for real? “They’re cherry picking,” says accounting Professor Philip Reckers.