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PwC fund

December 2010

Alumni support research in accounting

Associate Professor Mary Ellen Carter

PricewaterhouseCoopers currently employs more than 360 Boston College alumni. In 2011, it will welcome an additional 60 students and graduates as interns and employees.

PricewaterhouseCoopers partners and Boston College alumni support faculty scholarship in the Carroll School’s accounting department through the PricewaterhouseCoopers Endowed Fund for Accounting Excellence, which was established in 2004. The following faculty members benefited from the Fund in 2009–2010.

  • Associate Professor Mark T. Bradshaw, whose research focuses on how financial statement users, such as analysts and investors, process accounting information in making investment decisions. In one of his latest projects, he showed that earnings forecasts based on simple mathematical extrapolations of recent actual earnings are often more accurate than those issued by sophisticated financial analysts. These findings challenge the long-held belief that analysts’ forecasts are superior to data-driven time-series forecasts.
  • Associate Professor Mary Ellen Carter (pictured), who studies the effects of financial reporting and regulation on incentives and executive compensation. She recently examined and dispelled the commonly held belief that executive compensation consultants recommend more pay for CEOs than would otherwise be appropriate due to the possibility of losing them to other, more lucrative work.
  • Associate Professor Susan Z. Shu, whose research interests include security litigation under U.S. securities laws, corporate disclosure policy, initial public offerings, cost-of-capital measurement, and the economics of auditor-client alignments. In a recent study, she isolated instances of the so-called “insurance effect”—referring to the concept that the implicit value of an audit is that investors may sue auditors to recover losses related to misstated financial statements—and reinforced its validity.
  • Associate Professor and Department Chair Billy Soo, whose research focuses on audit markets and tenure, disclosure incentives, and financial regulations as well as responses to their imposition from the stock market and managers. This past year, he began a project to identify factors associated with passing the CPA exam that he hopes will help increase the success rate of Carroll School students and alumni who take it.