Research Interests

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Accounting professors do research on current accounting issues using advanced mathematical, statistical, and economic analysis.

Professors typically will choose a subject area and a methodology in which to focus their efforts. Subject areas include the topical areas considered under the umbrella term "accounting." These include information systems, auditing and assurance, corporate governance, financial, forensic, managerial, and tax.

A researcher will select a methodology to determine how the research is to be conducted. There are three main methodologies for research in accounting: archival, analytical, and experimental. Researchers who utilize archival methods base analysis and conclusions on objective data collected from repositories of third parties. Also included are studies in which the researchers collected the data and in which the data has objective amounts such as net income, sales, fees, etc. Researchers who utilize analytical methods base analysis and conclusions on formally modeling theories or substantiated ideas in mathematical terms. These analytical studies use math to predict, explain, or give substance to theory. Researchers who utilize experimental methods base analysis and conclusions on data the researcher gathered by administering treatments to subjects. Usually these studies employed random assignment; however, if the researcher selected different populations in an attempt to “manipulate” a variable, we also included these as experimental in nature (e.g., participants of different experience levels were selected for participation). Experimental research can include analyzing both economic and behavioral factors.

One thing to avoid when discussing methodologies is to refer to one of the methods as "empirical" to differentiate from other methods. This is most often done by archival researchers who refer to their research as empirical and not to include experimental research under the "empirical umbrella." Empirical research is research that is verifiable based on observation or experimentation; thus, archival and experimental research are both empirical in nature.

For a thorough description of each methodology as it applies to each subject area, the following matrix has been created:

AIS Auditing Financial Managerial Tax Other Topics
Analytical Analytical AIS Analytical Auditing Analytical Financial Analytical Managerial Analytical Tax Analytical Other Topics
Archival Archival AIS Archival Auditing Archival Financial Archival Managerial Archival Tax Archival Other Topics
Experimental Experimental AIS Experimental Auditing Experimental Financial Experimental Managerial Experimental Tax Experimental Other Topics
Other Other AIS Other Auditing Other Financial Other Managerial Other Tax Other Other Topics

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