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The Accounting subject group

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About the subject group

The Accounting group focuses on the creation, dissemination, attestation, interpretation, use, and governance of financial information. The group focuses on how business managers utilise information to make strategic decisions and how public companies report financial information to key stakeholders.

Key research and teaching areas include:

  • financial reporting standard setting
  • international financial reporting
  • strategic management decisions
  • performance management
  • target setting
  • management control
  • corporate governance
  • executive compensation and incentives
  • insider trading
  • audit and earnings quality
  • sell side analysts
  • early stage entity accounting
  • accounting for financial institutions
  • fair value accounting

Faculty

  • Boisseau-Sierra, Marion
    Assistant Professor in Accounting
  • Chu, Jenny
    Associate Professor in Accounting, Academic Director of the Wo+Men’s Leadership Centre (WLC), Deputy Director of the Centre for Financial Reporting & Accountability (CFRA)
  • Jagolinzer, Alan
    Professor of Financial Accounting, Head of the Accounting subject group, Co-Director of the Centre for Financial Reporting & Accountability (CFRA)
  • Rogo, Rafael
    Professor of Accounting, Co-Director of the Centre for Financial Reporting & Accountability (CFRA)
  • Willis, Michael
    Senior Faculty in Management Practice, Director of the Master of Accounting Programme

Research & teaching staff

PhD students

Honorary appointments

Publishing output

Accounting faculty have served on the Editorial Boards of The Accounting ReviewContemporary Accounting Research, the Journal of International Accounting ResearchAccounting HorizonsJournal of Management Accounting Research, and Journal of Contemporary Accounting and Economics.

They have served as peer reviewers for studies submitted to the Review of Financial Studies, the Journal of Financial Economics, the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, the Journal of Accounting ResearchThe Accounting Review, the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Accounting and EconomicsThe Financial ReviewManagement Science, the Review of Accounting StudiesManagerial FinanceContemporary Accounting Research, the Journal of Accounting, Auditing, and Finance, the European Accounting ReviewFoundations and Trends in AccountingAccounting, Organizations and Society, the Journal of Business Ethics, the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, the Journal of Accounting and Public PolicyAccounting and Business Research, and annual and sub-association meetings for the American Accounting Association.

2021

Chu, J., Florou, A. and Pope, P. (2021) “Auditor university education: does it matter?” European Accounting Review (DOI: 10.1080/09638180.2020.1866633) (published online Jan 2021)

Chu, J., Gupta, A. and Livne, G. (2021) “Pay regulation – is more better?” Accounting and Business Research (DOI: 10.1080/00014788.2020.1815515) (published online Sep 2020)

2020

Hrazdil, K., Novak, J., Rogo, R., Wiedman, C. and Zhang, R. (2020) “Measuring executive personality using machine-learning algorithms: a new approach and audit fee-based validation tests.” Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, 47(3-4): 519-544 (DOI: 10.1111/jbfa.12406)

Jagolinzer, A.D., Larcker, D.F., Ormazabal, G. and Taylor, D.J. (2020) “Political connections and the informativeness of insider trades.” Journal of Finance, 75(4): 1833-1876 (DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.2836053)

Lundholm, R. and Rogo, R. (2020) “Do excessively volatile forecasts impact investors?” Review of Accounting Studies, 25(2): 636-671 (DOI: 10.1007/s11142-019-09522-y)

2019

Chu, J. (2019) “Accruals, growth, and future firm performance.” Abacus, 55(4): 783-809 (DOI: 10.1111/abac.12177) (also available online via the SSRN)

Chu, J., Dechow, P.M., Hui, K.W. and Wang, A.Y. (2019) “Maintaining a reputation for consistently beating earnings expectations and the slippery slope to earnings manipulation.” Contemporary Accounting Research, 36(4): 1966-1998 (DOI: 10.1111/1911-3846.12492) (also available online via the SSRN)

Lundholm, R., Rahman, N. and Rogo, R. (2018) “The foreign investor bias and its linguistic origins.” Management Science, 64(9): 4433-4450 (DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.2017.2812)

Naughton, J.P., Rogo, R., Sunder, J. and Zhang, R. (2018) “SEC monitoring of foreign firms’ disclosures in the presence of foreign regulators.” Review of Accounting Studies, 23(4): 1355-1388 (DOI: 10.1007/s11142-018-9467-x)

2018

Chu, J., Faasse, J. and Rau, P.R. (2018) “Do compensation consultants enable higher CEO pay? A disclosure rule change as a separating device.” Management Science, 64(10):4915-4935 (DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.2017.2845) (available online via the SSRN)

Hanley, K.W., Jagolinzer, A.D. and Nikolovac, S. (2018) “Strategic estimation of asset fair values.” Journal of Accounting and Economics, 66(1): 25-45 (DOI: 10.1016/j.jacceco.2018.01.004)

2017

Abernethy, M.A., Bouwens, J. and Kroos, P. (2017) “Organization identity and earnings manipulation.” Accounting, Organizations and Society, 58: 1-14 (DOI: 10.1016/j.aos.2017.04.002)

Chu, J., Faasse, J. and Rau, P.R. (2017) “Do compensation consultants enable higher CEO pay? A disclosure rule change as a separating device.” Management Science (DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.2017.2845) (published online Oct 2017; forthcoming in print) (available online via the SSRN)

Lo, K., Ramos, F. and Rogo, R. (2017) “Earnings management and annual report readability.” Journal of Accounting and Economics, 63(1): 1-25 (DOI: 10.1016/j.jacceco.2016.09.002)

2016

Bouwens, J. and Kroos, P. (2016) “The interplay between forward-looking measures and target setting.” Management Science, 63(9): 2868-2884 (DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.2016.2481)

Bouwens, J. and Steens, B. (2016) “Full-cost transfer pricing and cost management.” Journal of Management Accounting Research, 28(3): 63-81 (DOI: 10.2308/jmar-51390)

Lundholm, R.J. and Rogo, R. (2016) “Do analyst forecasts vary too much?” Journal of Financial Reporting, 1(1): 101-123 (DOI: 10.2308/jfir-51332)

2015

Henderson, M.T., Jagolinzer, A.D. and Muller III, K.A. (2015) “Offensive disclosure: how voluntary disclosure can increase returns from insider trading.” Georgetown Law Journal, 103(5): 1275-1306

Armstrong, C.S., Blouin, J.L., Jagolinzer, A.D. and Larcker, D.F. (2015) “Corporate governance, incentives, and tax avoidance.” Journal of Accounting and Economics, 60(1): 1-17 (DOI: 10.1016/j.jacceco.2015.02.003)

2014

Lundholm, R.J., Rogo, R. and Zhang, J.L. (2014) “Restoring the Tower of Babel: how foreign firms communicate with U.S. investors.” The Accounting Review, 89(4): 1453-1485 (DOI: 10.2308/accr-50725)

2013

Abernethy, M.A., Bouwens, J. and van Lent, L. (2013) “The role of performance measures in the intertemporal decisions of business unit managers.” Contemporary Accounting Research, 30(3): 925-961 (DOI: 10.1111/j.1911-3846.2012.01178.x)

Brochet, F., Jagolinzer, A.D. and Riedl, E.J. (2013) “Mandatory IFRS adoption and financial statement comparability.” Contemporary Accounting Research, 30(4): 1373–1400 (DOI: 10.1111/1911-3846.12002)

2011

Bouwens, J. and Kroos, P. (2011) “Target ratcheting and effort reduction.” Journal of Accounting and Economics, 51(1-2): 171–185 (DOI: 10.1016/j.jacceco.2010.07.002)

Jagolinzer, A.D., Larcker, D.F. and Taylor, D.J. (2011) “Corporate governance and the information content of insider trades.” Journal of Accounting Research, 49(5): 1249-1274 (DOI: 10.1111/J.1475-679X.2011.00424.x)

2010

Abernethy, M.A., Bouwens, J. and van Lent, L. (2010) “Leadership and control system design.” Management Accounting Research, 21(1): 2-16 (DOI: 10.1016/j.mar.2009.10.002)

Armstrong, C.S., Barth, M.E., Jagolinzer, A.D. and Riedl, E.J. (2010) “Market reaction to the adoption of IFRS in Europe.” The Accounting Review, 85(1): 31-61 (DOI: 10.2308/accr.2010.85.1.31)

Armstrong, C.S., Jagolinzer, A.D. and Larcker, D.F. (2010) “Chief executive officer equity incentives and accounting irregularities.” Journal of Accounting Research, 48(2): 225-271 (DOI: 10.1111/J.1475-679X.2009.00361.x)

2009

Jagolinzer, A.D. (2009) “SEC rule 10b5-1 and insiders’ strategic trade.” Management Science, 55(2): 224-239 (DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.1080.0928)

2007

Bouwens, J. and van Lent, L. (2007) “Assessing the performance of business unit managers.” Journal of Accounting Research, 45(4): 667-697 (DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-679X.2007.00251.x)

Jagolinzer, A.D., Matsunaga, S.R. and Yeung, P.E. (2007) “An analysis of insiders’ use of prepaid variable forward transactions.” Journal of Accounting Research, 45(5): 1055-1079 (DOI: 10.1111/J.1475-679X.2007.00260.x)

Industry engagement

Members of the Accounting group have worked with several businesses and agencies active in the accounting regulation and practice space, such as Ernst & Young, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), the Financial Reporting Council, and the Accounting Standards Board (ASB). Examples of their most recent engagements include:

  • Professor Alan Jagolinzer, Professor Rafael Rogo and Dr Jenny Chu have contributed, through the Master of Accounting and Centre for Financial Reporting & Accountability, to the organisation of yearly conferences engaging multiple practitioners. The conferences were centred around key topics of relevance in accounting, for which standards and agreement still do not exist. Topics of recent conferences include “Global Climate-related Financial Reporting”, which contributed to the IASB’s current momentum towards developing a new sustainability accounting standards board, and “Accounting for Cyber Risk”.
  • Researchers from the Group have collaborated with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and the British Antarctic Survey on environmental accounting.
  • As academic director of the Wo+Men’s Leadership Centre, Dr Jenny Chu won a research contract to conduct diversity and inclusion research in the investment management industry, sponsored by Invesco.
  • Dr Marion Boisseau-Sierra is in conversation with the UK Statistics Authority to discuss building a data quality index.

History

Accounting studies at the University of Cambridge trace date back to the 1930s. Sir Richard Stone, first Professor in Accounting, is the accounting field’s only researcher to have been awarded a Nobel Prize. The Accounting subject group at Cambridge Judge Business School remains dedicated to contributing to the improvement of financial accounting information for the public good.

­Accounting in Cambridge has always been seen as a social good, as we believe that constructing sound accounting standards and advocating for proper financial rules and compliance is a public policy initiative, not simply a matter of business and finance. This vision of accounting is deeply rooted in the Accounting group’s history.

Sir Richard Stone.
Sir Richard Stone, first Professor in Accounting (© Faculty of Economics)

Accounting studies in Cambridge trace back to the 1930s and the compilation of economic data for a nation rebuilding itself in the wake of the Great Depression. During the Second World War, Sir Richard Stone, with James Meade (a Cambridge colleague and future Nobel Laureate) developed an economic accounting system for the UK to account for the cost of the conflict. After the war, the new international economic order set up at Bretton Woods with the help of John Maynard Keynes (Richard Stone’s former Professor in Cambridge) required comparable national accounts. Working on this project, Sir Richard Stone conceived balanced accounts and developed them into an economic accounting system to track economic activities. He then championed their adoption worldwide as his work served for the reference for the establishment of the UN System of National Accounts. He is sometimes known as the “father of national income accounting”, and this contribution led to him winning the 1984 Nobel Prize in Economics.

Accounting studies in Cambridge were later extended beyond the study of nations to also include the study of corporations. Professors Geoff Whittington and Geoff Meeks – respectively second and third Professors of Accounting in Cambridge – developed the study of accounting at for-profit and publicly traded organisations, notably by building and using the Cambridge databank of companies’ financial accounts. They also actively engaged with standard setters and practitioners. Whittington, who had Stone as a PhD examiner, was a Member of the pioneering UK Accounting Standards Board from 1990 and then a founder Member of the International Accounting Standards Board in 2001. His contribution to the formulation of accounting standards led him to be honoured (CBE) by the Queen. As for Meeks, he extended Stone’s work, incorporating accounts and models for individual companies in Stone’s national income framework and projections and worked on measuring company performance, especially around M&A and ahead of bankruptcy.

Research currently done within the Accounting group and its associated Centre for Financial Reporting & Accountability (CFRA) examines accounting issues in a wide diversity of entities ranging from publicly traded companies to universities and governments. Recently published studies explore such topics as insider trading and political connections, accounting for European Union pension obligations, the effectiveness of university education for auditors, and how excessively volatile analyst forecasts influence investment performance. Connected to its roots, the Accounting group studies accounting as a public policy matter that is crucial for society as well as business.

For more information regarding the History of Accounting Research in Cambridge, please refer to the paper written in 2017 by Professor Geoff Meeks, “Theories Came and Went, Good Data Endured: Accounting at Cambridge”.

Press coverage

Recent media coverage of research by members of the Accounting group:

Financial Times: Adaptable managers help companies pull trough

A study on UK companies’ survival rate co-authored by Geoff Meeks and Geoffrey Whittington featured in the Financial Times. The study, inspired…

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Responsible Investor: Why accounting really matters for climate change, and what you need to know about it

David Pitt-Watson, Research Fellow at Cambridge Judge Business School, writes about a new accounting approach which is compatible with climate sustainability. “Investors…

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The Conversation: Annual reports should inform society – not only those with a financial interest

Alan Jagolinzer, Professor of Financial Accounting at Cambridge Judge Business School, writes on how accounting is a public policy initiative. “With many…

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Stanford Business: Stimulus money might stimulate insider trading

A study co-authored by Alan Jagolinzer, Professor of Financial Accounting at Cambridge Judge Business School, found that “politically connected shareholders cashed in…

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Bloomberg: Wirecard exposes Big Four accounting lapses endure post-Enron

Dr Michael Willis, Director of the Master of Accounting programme at Cambridge Judge Business School, comments on the issue of the Big…

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Future-Proof: Addressing recruitment and retention woes

Alan Jagolinzer, Professor of Financial Accounting at Cambridge Judge Business School, discusses mental health issues with traditional US career recruitment in accounting…

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The New York Times: Epstein estate’s first legal bill in fight against accusers: $90,000

Alan Jagolinzer, Professor of Financial Accounting at Cambridge Judge Business School, comments on financial issues involved in a legal battle surrounding the…

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Market Watch: Opinion: Cannabis stock investors should pay attention to this potential threat to share prices

A study looking at a cannabis accounting case by Alan Jagolinzer, Professor of Financial Accounting at Cambridge Judge Business School, is mentioned…

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Accounting Web: Small practices continue to feel the recruitment crunch at Accountex

Dr Mike Willis, Senior Faculty in Management Practice at Cambridge Judge, gave a talk at the Accountex conference on accounting education and…

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Market Watch: How marijuana companies can profit without selling pot

A case study co-authored by Alan Jagolinzer, Professor of Financial Accounting at Cambridge Judge, is featured in the article. The case study…

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Bloomberg: Buyers beware of marijuana stocks

A case study looking at accounting practices in the marijuana industry co-authored by Alan Jagolinzer, Professor of Financial Accounting at Cambridge Judge,…

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Accounting Insight News: Accountants: you don’t have the right skills

Dr Michael Willis, Director of the Master of Accounting programme at Cambridge Judge, writes about challenges that accountants face and what the…

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Business Weekly: Accountants alerted to financial impact of eco issues

Accounting for rising sea levels and other uncertain effects of climate change present significant new challenges to companies and accountants, says Dr…

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Poets and Quants: Business schools tap into cannabis sector

With marijuana being legalized in some US states, business schools are now looking into the market in order to stay ahead. Earlier…

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MJ Business Daily: Study looks to untangle ‘fundamentally confusing’ cannabis financial statements

Cambridge Judge Business School and cannabis investor White Sheep Corp announced their collaboration on the first “seed-to-sale” accounting case study on the…

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Quartz: Cambridge is teaching the world’s first business case study on weed

Cambridge Judge Business School and cannabis investor White Sheep Corp announced their collaboration on the first “seed-to-sale” accounting case study on the…

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Financial Times: How to spot companies at risk of earnings manipulation

Dr Jenny Chu, University Lecturer in Accounting at Cambridge Judge Business School, comments on her new study on corporate earnings manipulation. The…

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Cambridge Business Magazine: Theresa May won’t like this…

New UK disclosure rules did not curb CEO pay or improve pay-performance link, but instead led to “opportunistic reporting” for reputation management,…

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The Wall Street Journal: The morning risk report: CEO-employee pay ratio disclosure no panacea

In an article about US companies disclosing the ratio of a CEO’s compensation package to that of an average employee, Dr Jenny…

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Financial Times: UK disclosure rules tying CEO pay and performance not working

New UK disclosure rules did not curb CEO pay or improve pay-performance link, but instead led to “opportunistic reporting” for reputation management,…

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Cambridge Business Magazine: Gender diversity and executive roles

Term limits for directors and gender diversity rules in corporate governance codes help improve female representation in top executive roles, but quotas…

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LexisNexis: Strategies to get women into senior roles – does any of it work?

Term limits for directors and gender diversity rules in corporate governance codes help improve female representation in top executive roles, but quotas…

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The Wall Street Journal: Earnings season: Time to tweak Warren Buffett’s maxim

The research on earnings manipulation co-authored by Dr Jenny Chu, University Lecturer in Accounting at Cambridge Judge Business School, featured in the…

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Reuters Breakingviews: Boardroom gender quotas have hidden value

Term limits for directors and gender diversity rules in corporate governance codes help improve female representation in top executive roles, but quotas…

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City AM: International Women’s Day 2016: Sorry, but quotas aren’t the way to get more women into executive roles

Term limits for directors and gender diversity rules in corporate governance codes help improve female representation in top executive roles, but quotas…

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Cambridge Business Magazine: Earnings manipulation unmasked

If a company “beats” analyst expectations for a series of consecutive reporting periods, some sceptics might wonder if the numbers are simply…

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Reuters Breakingviews: Beat surrender

A study co-authored by Jenny Chu, University Lecturer in Accounting at Cambridge Judge Business School, shows how companies that manipulate their results…

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The Economist: How companies massage their profits to beat market forecasts

Executives have every incentive to match or beat forecasts as the market punishes those that fail to do so. That, in turn,…

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The Economist: Executive compensation: If you hire them, pay will come

The research on executive pay by Cambridge Judge’s Professor Raghu Rau, Dr Jenny Chu and PhD Jonathan Faasse is featured second time…

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The Times: Hiring pay ‘experts’ brings rich rewards for chief executives

Further coverage of research by Cambridge Judge's Professor Raghavendra Rau, Dr Jenny Chu and PhD candidate Jonathan Faasse. The research shows that…

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The Economist: If you hire them, pay will come

A new research shows that companies hire compensation consultants ‘as a justification device for higher executive pay.’ The research by Cambridge Judge…

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New York Times: Dealbook: More transparency, more pay for CEOs

A research study by Cambridge Judge Business School's Dr Jenny Chu, Jonathan Faasse and Professor Raghavendra Rau, shows "a direct link between…

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The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance & Financial Regulation: New evidence on compensation consultants and CEO pay

In 2013, CEOs in S&P 500 firms were paid, on average, over 200 times the average worker's salary in their firms. To…

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Financial Times: Women working in financial education

The biggest challenge as a woman in Finance is the small representation of women in general in the industry. I approached the…

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Contact us

Get in touch with the subject group via our Administrator, Emily Brown:

[email protected]