The Accounting area offers broad exposure to accounting theory and research as well as a wide range of undergraduate and MBA courses to prepare students for making better managerial and financial decisions. Accounting course offerings can also be structured to prepare students interested in careers in professional accounting. Our PhD degree is distinguished by the individual attention and high level training devoted to each student by our faculty. Accounting faculty members are highly committed to the pursuit of excellence in their teaching and research activities, and to maintaining strong interactions among faculty and students.
Above: End of year Accounting group luncheon.
MBA Core Classes
Financial Accounting for Management
Managerial Accounting for Management
FSA- Earnings Quality and Asset Analysis
FSA- Liability and Equity Analysis
Financial Statement Analysis
Advanced Managerial Accounting
Taxes & Business Strategy
Course descriptions for the PhD program may be found on the PhD website, and the Undergraduate business classes may be found through UCI’s course catalogue.
PhD, New York University
Key Areas - Executive compensation (structure and incentives); corporate innovation; contract design and incentives; insider trading; voluntary disclosure; pricing of accounting information
PhD, University of Texas-Austin
Key Areas - Managers’ incentive contracts, performance evaluations and compensation systems, management accounting practices, corporate governance (e.g., ownership structure, board independence), auditor choice and audit fees, and use information technology to improve firm performance.
PhD, University of Minnesota
Key Areas – Fair value accounting; role of higher-order beliefs in financial markets; trust and reputation building in financial reporting and disclosure
PhD, University of Minnesota
Key Areas - Financial reporting; role of accounting in security valuation; market efficiency; financial analysts’ forecasts
PhD, Washington University
Key Areas - Relation between accounting information and capital market variables, including pricing of accruals in international capital markets; earnings management; Sarbanes-Oxley Act and earnings management; usefulness of book-tax differences in detecting earnings management; accounting method choice
PhD, Stanford University
Key Areas - Financial accounting; behavioral finance; investor behavior; financial intermediaries
Siew Hong Teoh
PhD, University of Chicago
Key Areas – Earnings management; socially responsible investing
PhD, Stanford University
Key Areas - Effect of taxes on business decisions and asset prices; capital markets-based accounting research; earnings management; employee stock options; research design; statistical significance testing issues
For the latest public research in Accounting, click here.
For available faculty positions, click here.
Visiting & Affiliated Faculty and Researchers
Accounting and Related Careers
A Sampling of Jobs for which Accounting Provides a Strong Basis
- External Auditor (Public Accounting)
- Tax Accountant
- Budget Analyst
- Internal Auditor
- Chief Financial Officer
- Commercial Banker
- Investment Banker
- Information System Designer
Being the language of business, the study of accounting provides a solid basis for a very wide range of jobs – i.e., work that directly involves doing accounting and work that exploits the knowledge of the accounting language in almost any endeavor – be it profit seeking or not.
Accountants help to ensure that organizations are run more efficiently, that public records are kept more accurately, and that taxes are paid properly and on time. They gather and analyze data that allow a company to make sound decisions and maintain compliance with legal requirements, and participate in firms’ strategic decision-making processes. Accountants perform these crucial functions by offering an increasingly wide array of business and accounting services – including preparing, analyzing, and verifying financial documents in order to provide information to their clients.
Accounting is important in to all businesses, but in certain industries that are regulated, heavily transaction-based, or both, this activity is crucially important and may be required by law. This is true for any publicly traded company as well. Internal accounting departments keep track of everything a company does, from purchasing and selling goods and services, to paying employees, to managing pensions and benefits, to maintaining compliance with the law. In other words, accounting involves much more than "bookkeeping" and is essential to the profitability and viability of any business.
While accountants need to be good at math and have strong analytical thinking skills, attention to detail is also important. And as accountants are increasingly being promoted to the executive levels, they are finding it increasingly necessary to develop strong written and verbal communication skills. Knowledge of computers and information systems is also important, not only to understand their utility but also to assess their value to a company.
Typical Professional Accounting Positions
Typically, there are four major career paths for individuals interested in pursuing a career in professional accounting. These are Public Accounting, Management Accounting, Government Accounting and Internal Audit. These four paths are described in more detail below.
Public accountants carry out a broad range of accounting, auditing, tax, and consulting activities for their clients, who may be corporations, governments, not-for-profit organizations, or individuals. Some public accountants concentrate on tax matters, such as counseling companies of the tax advantages and disadvantages of certain business decisions and preparing individual income tax returns. Others are consultants who advise clients in areas such as compensation or employee health care benefits; the design of accounting and data processing systems; and the use of controls to safeguard assets. Some specialize in forensic accounting – investigating and interpreting bankruptcies and other complex financial transactions. Still others audit a client’s financial statements and report to investors and authorities as to whether they have been prepared and reported correctly. Public accountants, many of whom are CPAs, generally have their own businesses or work for public accounting or professional service firms.
Also known as industrial, corporate, or private accountants, management accountants record and analyze the financial information of the companies for which they work. Responsibilities also include budgeting, performance evaluation, cost management, and asset management. They are most often part of executive teams involved in strategic planning or new product development. Management accountants analyze and interpret the financial information executives need to make sensible business decisions. They are also involved in preparing financial reports for non-management groups, including stockholders, creditors, regulatory agencies, and tax authorities. Within accounting departments, they may work in areas including financial analysis, planning and budgeting, and cost accounting.
Often individuals with an accounting background work in the public sector. Government accountants maintain and inspect the records of government agencies and audit private businesses and individuals whose activities are subject to government regulations or taxation. Accountants employed by federal, state, and local governments certify that revenues are received and expenditures are made in accordance with laws and regulations. Those who are employed by the federal government may work as IRS agents or in financial management, financial institution examination, or budget analysis and administration.
Internal auditors confirm the accuracy of their organization’s records and check for mismanagement, waste, or fraud. Specifically, they examine and evaluate their firms’ financial and information systems, management procedures, and internal controls to ensure that records are accurate and controls are adequate to protect against fraud and waste. They also review company operations, calculating their efficiency, effectiveness, and compliance with corporate policies and procedures, laws, and government regulations. There are many types of highly specialized internal auditors, such as electronic data processing, environmental, engineering, legal, insurance premium, bank, and health care auditors. As computer systems make information easily accessed, internal auditors help managers to base their decisions on actual data, rather than personal observation. Internal auditors may also suggest controls for their organization’s computer system to ensure the reliability of the system and the integrity of the data.
203A Financial Accounting for Management
Introduces generally accepted accounting principles, concepts, and conventions, and develops analytical skills to interpret financial reports and measure business activities. The goal is to develop students’ ability to infer the business transactions underlying the reported numbers in the financial statements and be sophisticated readers of financial statements. The ability to read financial statements will help students make more informed decisions about firm value and managerial stewardship.
203B Managerial Accounting for Management
Topics include strategic cost management, tactical decisions (e.g., outsourcing, adding or deleting a product line, pricing), links strategies to performance measures, how the design of management accounting and control systems affect human behavior in organizations. Prerequisite: 203A.
231A FSA- Earnings Quality and Asset Analysis
First of a two-course sequence. Develops an initial set of skills essential to using financial statements for business analysis by examining financial information quality, profitability and risk analysis, earnings management, revenue recognition, asset recognition and valuation, and how financial reporting is related to the business environment and managerial incentives. This course may be taken before, after or concurrently with 231B. Prerequisite: 203A.
231B FSA- Liability and Equity Analysis
Second of a two-course sequence. Focuses on the financial statement analysis of liabilities and stockholders’ equity. The course covers topics such as forecasting financial statements, earnings-based valuation models, accounting analysis of mergers and acquisitions, leases, bankruptcy prediction, and derivatives. The course project involves analysis of a proposed acquisition. The emphasis is on using financial information to make business decisions, in particular, investment decisions. Useful to anyone with interests in financial analysis, investment and commercial banking, accounting, and consulting. This course may be taken before, after or concurrently with 231A. Prerequisite: 203A.
232 Federal Taxation
An introduction to the theory and practice of federal income taxation of individuals, with emphasis on statutory materials; special attention to deferred compensation plans, employment relations, personal and business deductions, production of income and current topics with tax planning techniques. Prerequisite: 203A.
234 Financial Statement Analysis
This course is designed to prepare students to interpret and analyze financial statements for investment and credit granting decisions. The course extends the core financial accounting and reporting skills by introducing detailed methods of fundamental financial analysis of business entities and valuation methods. The analyses will be carried out from the perspective of both internal and external financial statement users (CEOs, CFOs, shareholders, corporate financial analysts, security analysts, investors, lenders, etc.). The course is divided into four parts: accounting analysis, financial analysis, business strategy, and valuation. Prerequisite: 203A.
235 Advanced Managerial Accounting
Design of cost information and systems used to plan and control organizational activities; procedures used to account for unit, process, and program costs; cybernetic evaluation of costing procedures; cost estimation, analysis, and accounting via computers. Prerequisite: 203A.
236 Accounting Control and Corporate Governance
This course focuses on how corporate governance impacts and is impacted by corporate accountability. A wide range of topics is covered in this course, including the relationships between managers, boards of directors, auditors, and stakeholders. It also examines the interaction between external corporate governance mechanisms (like product-market competition, legislation, and regulation) and internal corporate governance mechanisms (like executive compensation & performance evaluation, and charter provisions & by-laws). Finally, it examines the interaction between internal and external corporate reporting, and how this interaction influences managerial and corporate behavior (e.g., the likelihood of corporate fraud).
290 Taxes & Business Strategy
The course will develop a student's ability to identify, understand, and evaluate tax-planning opportunities. The focus would be on tax planning concepts and the effects of taxes on business decisions, rather than on detailed tax rules, compliance, or legal research. PREREQUISITE: 203A and 203B
290 Valuation and Financial Model
The basic focus is on using accounting information to value equity securities and make investment decisions, which may include valuation of merger and acquisition targets. Overall, the course is intended to provide students with a strong theoretical and applied understanding of the key equity valuation and stock selection approaches and tools used by securities analysts, investment/portfolio managers, accountants, and consultants. Prerequisite: 231A.
291 Behavioral Accounting Research in Capital Markets
This seminar explores topics in accounting research that follows the new paradigm that does not assume perfect rationality of entities (individuals, institutions, or markets) and instead allows for psychological influences in the capital markets. Some examples of topics are: accounting-related market anomalies, limited attention effects on capital markets and strategic behaviors of entities, accounting regulation response when markets are not perfectly rational, etc.
291 Capital Markets Research in Accounting
The emphasis in this course is on empirical-archival research methods and issues, primarily pertaining to the role of financial accounting in capital markets. Empirical research and the theory foundations for the hypotheses will be covered. Topics will vary across years to enable wider coverage of the vast literature in capital markets research in accounting, and so this course may be repeated.
291 Contemporary Accounting Topics (or Frontiers of Accounting Research)
Students will be exposed to the most current research topics in this seminar. The course will provide a sampler menu of research topics for first year students and will help students at the proposal stage to develop their own research area. This course may be repeated.
291 Ph.D. Sem-Acc
A special topics course.
291 Research Methods in Accounting
In this course, students will learn ways to identify important and testable accounting research questions in this seminar. They will study various design tools and learn how to evaluate research, its validity, and research ethics. The core topics will review the classic papers in accounting research. First-year Ph.D. students will do either a replication of a published empirical paper, or a numerical example of a theoretical model. Senior students will propose and conduct new research. It is expected that the instructor will incorporate a discussion on teaching expectations in an academic accounting career, as well as the integration of research with teaching. This will expose first year students to the expectations of an academic career in accounting, and to transition senior students to be instructors because they are likely to be course instructors for the first time.
291 Tax Research in Accounting
The objective of this course is to develop your ability to critically evaluate and (possibly) conduct empirical research on the role of taxes on business activities, asset prices, and financial reporting. Important elements of this include developing: (1) An appreciation for the role of theory in applied work, (2) An understanding of research designs commonly used in accounting and finance research, (3) The necessary skills to design and conduct empirical research, and (4) Skills to identify a marketable project.
291 Theoretical and Empirical Research in Managerial Accounting
This seminar provides an introduction to theoretical and empirical research in management accounting, using an economics and organizational theory framework. Some examples of topics are: framework, theoretical and empirical research in performance measurement and incentives, strategy and management accounting, strategy theories on competition, governance and firm choices.