Accounting PhD Research


Accounting Research Areas, Disciplines and Methods

Accounting research may be classified on three dimensions: substantive area, source discipline and method. The key substantive areas are managerial accounting, financial accounting, auditing and tax. The common source disciplines are economics, finance, management and psychology. The typical research methods are analytical modeling, archival data analysis and experimental data analysis.

Our faculty and students have sustained a proven track record of publishing in the top accounting journals across all substantive areas utilizing archival and experiment data analysis.

Publication Rankings

Research by School of Accountancy faculty and doctoral students appears in a variety of top-ranked publications. Learn more:

For archival-tax research, the University of Arizona is ranked #19 in the nation in terms of faculty publications in the last six years according to BYU 2017 accounting research ranking.

For archival-financial research, University of Arizona is ranked #24 in the nation in terms of faculty publications in the last six years according to BYU 2017 accounting research ranking.

For archival-audit research, University of Arizona is ranked #32 in the nation in terms of faculty publications in the last six years according to BYU 2017 accounting research ranking.

Faculty's primary research interests by research method include:

Graduates of our doctoral program have placed at Tier-1 research universities and have maintained a strong record of publication success post-graduation.

According to the 2017 Accounting PhD program ranking published by Brigham Young University, the University of Arizona ranks #3 overall in the nation in terms of PhD graduates’ publication record in accounting journals within the six years post-graduation since 1990. The only schools ranked before us are University of Michigan, University of Texas at Austin and Stanford University. View rankings.

For archival-tax research, the University of Arizona is consistently the #1 PhD program in the nation. View rankings.

For archival-auditing research, the University of Arizona is ranked #2 PhD program in the nation based on six-year post-graduation publications in accounting journals since 1990. The only school ranked before us is the University of Missouri. View rankings.

For archival-financial research, the University of Arizona is ranked the #8 PhD program in the nation based on six year recent post-graduation publications in accounting journals since 1990. The schools ranked before us are Michigan, Stanford, Chicago, Rochester, Washington, Pennsylvania, Penn State, Iowa and North Carolina. View rankings.

Faculty and Student Collaborative Research

Our program has a tradition of faculty-student research collaboration.

Listed below are some of our very recent successes. The coauthors of each publication or working paper contain at least one current faculty member and/or at least one current PhD student or PhD graduates (names of the students are highlighted in bold).


Andrew Finley, and James Stekelberg. 2022. Measuring Tax Authority Monitoring. Journal of the American Taxation Association.

Katharine Drake, Nathan Goldman, and Francis Murphy. 2022. Foreign Employment, Income Shifting, and Tax Uncertainty. The Accounting Review.

Mei Cheng, Jacob Jaggi and Spencer Young 2021. “Customer Concentration of Target in Mergers and Acquisitions”. Journal of Business, Finance and Accounting.
Preeti Choudhary, Jake Sigler and Vik Ramadas, 2021. "The Implications of IT Environment on the Audit and Financial Reporting Quality", Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

Hribar, P., Rick Mergenthaler, Aaron Roeschley, Spencer Young, and C. X. Zhao. 2021. Do Managers Issue More Voluntary Disclosure When GAAP Limits Their Reporting Discretion in Financial Statements? Journal of Accounting Research.

Katharine Drake, Russ Hamilton, and Stephen Lusch. 2020. “Are declining effective tax rates indicative of tax avoidance? Insight from effective tax rate reconciliations. Journal or Accounting and Economics.

Stephen Lusch, and James Stekelberg. 2020. State Tax Havens Legislation and Corporate Income Tax Revenues. Public Finance Review.

Musaib AshrafPaul Michas, and Dan Russomanno. 2020 "The Impact of Audit Committee Information Technology Expertise on the Reliability and Timeliness of Financial Reporting.The Accounting Review.

James Brushwood, D. Johnston, L. Kutcher, and James Stekelberg. 2019. Did the FASB’s Simplification Initiative Increase Errors in Analysts’ Implied ETR Forecasts?. Journal of the American Taxation Association.

James Brushwood, D. M. Johnston, and Stephen Lusch. 2018. The effect of tax audit outcomes on the reporting and valuation of unrecognized tax benefits. Advances in Accounting.

Dan Dhaliwal, H. S. G. Lee, M. Pincus, and Logan Steele. 2017. Taxable Income and Firm Risk. Journal of the American Taxation Association.

Bae, G. S., S. U. Choi, Dan Dhaliwal, and Philip Lamoreaux. 2017. Auditors and Client Investment Efficiency. The Accounting Review.

Russ Hamilton, and James Stekelberg. 2017. The Effect of High-Quality Information Technology on Corporate Tax Avoidance and Tax Risk. Journal of Information Systems.

Judd, J. S., K. J. Olsen, and James Stekelberg. 2017. How Do Auditors Respond to CEO Narcissism? Evidence from External Audit Fees. Accounting Horizons.

Katharine Drake, Stephen Lusch, and James Stekelberg. 2017. Does Tax Risk Affect Investor Valuation of Tax Avoidance? Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance.

Katharine Drake, Nathan Goldman, and Stephen Lusch. 2016. “Do Income Tax Related Deficiencies in Publicly Disclosed PCAOB Part II Reports Influence Audit Client Financial Reporting of Income Tax Accounts?The Accounting Review.

Matthew Erickson, Nathan Goldman, and James Stekelberg. 2016. The Cost of Compliance: FIN 48 and Audit Fees. Journal of the American Taxation Association.

Andrew Finley, and James Stekelberg. 2016. The Economic Consequences of Tax Service Provider Sanctions: Evidence from KPMG’s Deferred Prosecution Agreement. Journal of the American Taxation Association.

Phillip Lamoreaux, Paul Michas and Wendy Schultz. 2015. “Do Accounting and Audit Quality Affect World Bank Lending?” The Accounting Review.

Dan Dhaliwal, Scott Judd, Matthew Serffling, and Sarah Shaikh. 2015. “Customer Concentration Risk and the Cost of Equity Capital.” Journal of Accounting and Economics

Dan Dhaliwal and Phillip Lamoreaux, L. Litov, and J. Neyland. 2015. “Shared Auditors in Mergers and Acquisitions.” Forthcoming at Journal of Accounting and Economics

Andrew Finley, Stephen Lusch, and Kirsten Cook. 2015. The Effectiveness of the R&D Tax Credit: Evidence from the Alternative Simplified Credit. Journal of the American Taxation.

Dan Dhaliwal, Phillip Lamoreaux, C. S. Lennox, and Landon M. Mauler. 2014. "Management Influence on Auditor Selection and Subsequent Impairments of Auditor Independence during the Post-SOX Period." Contemporary Accounting Research.

Leslie Eldenburg, F. B. Gaertner, and T. H. Goodman. 2013. "The Influence of Ownership and Compensation Practices on Charitable Activities." Contemporary Accounting Research.


Jade Chen, Paul Michas, Dan Russomanno, and Wenzi Zhuang. “United States Air Pollution, Auditors, and Misstatements in Financial Reporting.” Under review at AUDITING: A Journal of Practice & Theory.

Jade Chen and Preeti Choudhary. “The Impact of National Office Involvement on Audit Quality,” presented at the 2021 Hawaii Accounting Research Conference, the 2021 Financial Accounting and Reporting Section Conference, and the 2021 Auditing Midyear 2021 Conference of the AAA.

Jeremy Douthit, Michael Majerczyk, and Lisa McLuckie Thain. “Updated Theory and New Evidence on the Effect of Information System Precision on Managerial Reporting.”

Lin Cheng, Jacob Jaggi, Paul Michas, and Jeffrey Schatzberg. "Auditor-related Provisions in Private Loan Agreements, Audit Fees, and Audit Quality"

Musaib Ashraf, Michael S. Drake, Rick Mergenthaler, and Jacob Thornock. "Does Monitoring by Retail Investors Improve Financial Reporting Quality?”

Musaib Ashraf, Preeti Choudhary, and Jacob Jaggi. "Do Greater Audit Committee Responsibilities Enhance Corporate Governance?"

Rick Mergenthaler, Paul Hribar, Aaron Roeschley, Spencer Young, and Chris X. Zhao. "Within-GAAP Discretion and Voluntary Disclosure"

Jeremy Douthit, Max Hewitt, and Ashley Sauciuc. "Multi-level Relative Performance Evaluations in Teams", presented at the 2018 Global Management Accounting Research Symposium.

Jeremy Douthit and Ashley Sauciuc. "Budget Difficulty and Performance in Unstable Production Environments", presented at the 2017 Management Accounting Midyear Meeting of the AAA.

Katharine Drake, Nathan Goldman, Stephen Lusch, and J. Schmidt. “Do companies manage earnings less after a critical audit matter disclosure? Evidence from Tax Accounts” 
Katharine Drake, Nathan Goldman, Stephen Lusch, and J. Schmidt. "Tax Havens and Reputational Costs: Evidence from EU Blacklisting”.
Katharine Drake, Shannon Chen, Frank Murphy, Junwei Xia. “Foreign Tax Planning and Tax Payment Volatility” 
Meiling ZhaoPaul Michas, and Dan Russomanno "The Opportunity for Partner Industry Knowledge Sharing within Audit Offices and Audit Quality." Presented at the 2022 Auditing Section Midyear Meeting and the 2021 Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) Conference. Under review at Contemporary Accounting Research.