Menu

Accounting

The Accounting area offers broad exposure to accounting theory, practice, and research. Accounting can touch all parts of an organization and Accounting courses help prepare students to make better managerial and financial decisions. The Merage School offers Accounting courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The School’s Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration includes basic courses in financial and managerial accounting as well as Accounting electives, and students can obtain an Emphasis in Accounting. The School also offers an Accounting Minor degree to undergraduates from across campus. The Merage School’s MBA programs include the core course in Financial Accounting, which reflects the School’s digitally-driven focus, as well as elective courses. The School also offers the Master in Professional Accountancy (MPAc) degree that comprises a wide range of graduate Accounting courses. Students primarily interested in careers in professional Accounting will find the MPAc to be an attractive avenue of study, while MBAs interested in Accounting or Finance careers can enhance their knowledge and skill sets by structuring their studies to include Accounting electives offered in the MBA and/or MPAc programs. Our PhD program is distinguished by the individual attention and high level training devoted to each student by our faculty. Merage School Accounting instructors include full-time tenure-track faculty, continuing lecturers, and adjunct lecturers from practice. 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.

Faculty

Elizabeth Chuk Elizabeth Chuk
PhD, University of Washington

Devin Shanthikumar Devin Shanthikumar
PhD, Stanford University

Joanna Ho Joanna Ho
PhD, University of Texas-Austin

Terry Shevlin Terry Shevlin
PhD, Stanford University

Ben Lourie Ben Lourie
PhD, University of California, Los Angeles

Siew Hong Teoh Siew Hong Teoh
PhD, University of Chicago

Radhika Lunawat Radhika Lunawat
PhD, University of Minnesota

Patricia Wellmeyer Patricia Wellmeyer
PhD, Norwegian School of Economics

Mort Pincus Mort Pincus
PhD, Washington University

Lecturers and Researchers

Coursework

Undergraduate business classes may be found through the UCI course catalogue.

MBA Core Course Description

203A. Financial Reporting
Focuses on financial accounting and external reporting for managers and executives, examines issues related to measurement and communication of an entity’s economic activities, and introduces financial statement analysis. A core learning objective is to enable MBA students to become conversant in the language of business and to “read” (i.e., navigate, analyze, critique) a set of financial statements. The basic financial statement model—double-entry accounting—has proven to be incredibly robust, despite endless streams of new transactions as businesses, economies, and cultures have evolved. Still, the digital and IT revolutions that we are in the midst of have impacted and even transformed business models and activities, and in turn affected the production and dissemination, and relevance and reliability of financial accounting information. In 203A, you will learn both the timeless core of financial accounting, as well as some of the most current issues in financial reporting.

MBA Elective Descriptions

203B. Managerial Accounting for Management
Teaches core skills for making vital strategic and tactical decisions (e.g., outsourcing; adding/dropping product lines), to maximize profitability while managing risk. Also covers operational and managerial tools (e.g., budgeting, planning, cost-volume- profit analysis) to drive strategy implementation and incentivize employees.

231A. FSA-Earnings Quality and Asset Analysis
Develops 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.

231B. FSA-Liability and Equity Analysis
Focuses on the financial statement analysis of liabilities and stockholders' equity. Covers topics such as forecasting financial statements, earnings-based valuation models, accounting analysis of mergers and acquisitions, leases, bankruptcy prediction, and derivatives.

290. Special Topics in Accounting
Studies in selected areas of accounting. Topics addressed vary each quarter.

MPAc Course Descriptions

MPAC 230. Accounting Proseminar: Career and Professional Development
Provides students with information and practical skills for success in the program and for professional accounting and business career planning, and with discussions of current issues confronting the accounting profession. 

MPAC 231A. Financial Statement Analysis and Forecasting
Develops skills to analyze corporate financial reports. Topics include profitability, risk analysis, cash flow analysis, revenue and asset recognition, and valuation. The skills are useful for students to evaluate financial reporting quality, detect earnings management, and predict firms' financial performance.

MPAC 232. Taxes and Business Strategy
Develops a student's ability to identify, understand, and evaluate tax-planning opportunities. The focus is on tax planning concepts and the effects of taxes on business decisions rather than on detailed tax rules, compliance, or legal research.

MPAC 235. Advanced Managerial and Cost 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.

MPAC 238. Advanced Auditing and Assurance Services
Designed to provide advanced coverage of topics and emerging issues in auditing, assurance services, and fraud detection. Provides a deeper understanding of the fundamental concepts of auditing, assurance services, and developing hot-topics within the auditing profession. 

MPAC 239. Ethics in Accounting and Business
Designed to introduce students to the intellectual principles of ethical decision making by emphasizing the theories of ethics and their application in the business, and specifically, accounting professions. MPAC capstone course with a final comprehensive exam for the program.

MPAC 291. Professional Research and Communication
Combines research of the professional accounting literature on a range of technical topics with a written communication and oral presentations of the findings.

PhD Course Descriptions

291. PhD Sem-Acc
A special topics course.

291-AC1. 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-AC2. 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. 

291-AC3. 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 PhD 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-AC4. 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-AC5. 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-AC6. 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-AC7. Special Topics in Accounting (2 units)
This course will examine research in a range of accounting areas, including Financial Accounting, International Accounting, Book-Tax Differences, and Auditing. Assignments likely will include the following: (1) Actively participate in class discussions of research papers; (2) Present and/or discuss at least one of the papers; (3) Draft at least one referee report; (4) Develop a research proposal on an original research idea; (5) A final exam.

291- AC8. Contemporary Topics in Accounting (2 units)
This course focuses on research in accounting, primarily pertaining to financial intermediaries and capital markets. In each session we will discuss the assigned papers.