Simon Business School

Course Offerings

The Course Catalog (formerly known as the Information Guide) contains degree requirements and course descriptions.



(Offered each quarter, 1 credit. First-year PhD students are graded on a P/F basis. Second-year and later students receive a letter grade.) 

A forum for the presentation, discussion and critique of current accounting research papers where accounting faculty, PhD students and outside speakers present working papers on current research topics. Students are expected to actively participate in the discussion and critique of the papers presented. In weeks  when accounting workshops/seminars arescheduled, accounting PhD students will meet as a group with a member of the accounting faculty before the seminar to discuss the paper. Since such meetings are designed to facilitate students’ active participation in the seminars, students are required to circulate a brief set of comments to the other class participants in advance of the meeting. Grading will be based on the quality of students’ contributions to the pre-seminar meetings as well as their contributions and participation in the actual workshops.


(Offered Fall Quarter, 3 credits.)

The natural starting point for the study of capital markets research in accounting begins with the relationship between accounting earnings and security returns. This course covers the evolution of research on the earnings/return relation from the seminal papers up through current research. Topics covered include the fundamental features of the contemporaneous earnings/return relation, the nature of association-type and event study-type investigations of the contemporaneous earnings/return relation, theoretical and empirical evidence on the lead/lag relation between security returns and accounting earnings, the asymmetric timeliness of accounting earnings, theoretical and empirical research on the role of conservatism in accounting earnings, pro-forma earnings and international research on the characteristics and properties of the earnings/return relation. The course also covers capital market research on analysts’ earnings forecasts including the properties of such forecasts (e.g., optimism, pessimism, rationality) and the relation between analyst earnings forecasts and stock prices.


(Offered Winter Quarter, 3 credits.)

This course turns the focus from aggregate accounting earnings (which is studied in ACC 510), to the components of earnings; accruals and cash flow. Given the central role of accruals in the measurement of accounting earnings, the initial focus of the course is on the fundamental properties of accruals and the importance of accruals to accounting earnings central role as a summary measure of firm performance. The course also covers the relation between cash flow and accruals and the market pricing of accruals and the components of accruals. The study of accruals naturally leads to research on earnings management that focuses on how and why earnings are managed. Research on how earnings are managed focuses on managers’ opportunistic manipulation of accounting accruals and/or via altering real activities while research on the managerial incentives to manage reported earnings focuses on (among other topics) the literature on meeting or beating earnings expectations and earnings thresholds. The course also covers the topic of voluntary disclosure. In particular, the incentives managers have to voluntarily disclose earnings and/or cash flow forecasts and the properties and stock price effects of such forecasts. Other voluntary disclosure literature studied includes the effect of voluntary disclosure on the cost of capital and the effect of the legal environment on firms’ voluntary disclosure practices.

Prerequisite: ACC 510


(Offered Spring Quarter and alternates with ACC 513, 3 credits.)

This course covers advanced topics in accounting research including the role of accounting numbers in debt contracts and lending agreements, the role of accounting numbers in executive compensation contracts and corporate governance, the economic consequences of accounting regulation, the use of accounting-based measures of the cost of capital and empirical tax research in accounting.

Prerequisites: ACC 510 and ACC 511


(Offered Spring Quarter and alternates with ACC 512, 3 credits.)

This course covers topics including value relevance, accounting-based valuation models, earnings quality, the impact of earnings and accrual quality on firm valuation, the impact of real activity management on firm performance, market efficiency with respect to accounting numbers, the economic consequences of fraudulent financial reporting and the effects of accounting restatements.

Prerequisites: ACC 510 and ACC 511


The workshop provides a forum for the presentation of ongoing and completed research projects by PhD students in the economics core. Third- and fourth-year PhD students are expected to participate actively.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor


The course will cover how to design compelling research, the focus of which is causal inference. The course covers the design of true experiments and concepts of validity (internal validity, external validity, replicability). The approach should follow the Rubin potential outcomes framework.   The course then covers causal inference and related econometric methods in observational studies for cross-sectional, panel data, and time-series, and non-linear models including OLS, instrumental variables, Heckman selection models, regression discontinuity designs, matched sample designs, granger causality, event studies, diff-in-diff, fixed effects, clustering standard errors, dynamic panel methods (e.g., Blundell and Bond 1998), and some issues in logit/probit/multinomial logit. Although the course will discuss many econometric techniques, students are expected to have already learned the mechanics of these methods, so that the course can focus on causal inference and its limitations in these methodologies.

Go to the top of the page
Get more information about Simon
Apply to Simon