Universities with an Outstanding Accounting Faculty

Accounting is the accumulation, measurement, and reporting of financial information for economic entities, including businesses, governments, and individuals. The discipline of accountancy is known as the “language of business” and conveys information about financial activity, debt, taxes, and management.

Although most employers require accountants and auditors to have a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification can help boost career opportunities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for accountants and auditors is expected to grow by 10 percent between 2016 and 2026.

An online master’s degree in accounting can be completed in just a couple years. Graduates of these programs are prepared for CPA examinations and careers as financial experts in both the public and private sectors.

Five universities in particular boast an exceptional faculty in this discipline: the Auburn University Harbert College of Business, University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, the University of Southern California Levanthal School of Accounting, the Isenberg School of Management at University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Penn State University’s World Campus.

These professors below have proven themselves as role models in the academic and professional worlds of accountancy through their years of experience working, teaching, and contributing to their communities.

Auburn University – Raymond J. Harbert College of Business

Auburn University was established in 1856 and by 1872, it became the South’s first land-grant college. While it had been founded as a male college, it began admitting women in 1892 and is the oldest four-year coeducational school in Alabama, as well as the second-oldest in the Southeast. These days, it spreads roughly 1,840 acres to serve its almost 25,000 students.

Auburn University’s School of Accountancy is part of the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business. As one of the elite business schools in the country, it houses the research centers in supply chain and radio frequency identification (RFID) which guide the Fortune 100.

The accounting program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and is one of only four universities in Alabama to earn this recognition. Notably, it’s offered both on campus and online. Students in the master of accountancy program are required to pass the CPA examination before graduation.

Greg Jenkins, CPA

Greg Jenkins is a professor at Auburn University’s School of Accounting, where he focuses his research on independence and use of specialists for auditors, professional codes of conduct, and governance practices of investment companies. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Appalachian State University and his doctorate at Virginia Tech.

Professor Jenkins has taught subjects on accounting information systems, auditing, ethics, and management. His research has appeared in several journals, including Accounting Horizons, Behavioral Research in Accounting, Contemporary Accounting Research, the Journal of Information Systems, and The Accounting Review.

Professor Jenkins has earned multiple recognitions for his work, including the Deloitte Wildman Award and the Notable Contributions to the Auditing Literature Award. Both North Carolina State University and Virginia Tech have honored him with awards for his teaching achievements. He is a member of the American Accounting Association (AAA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). He previously was part of the AICPA’s Practice Monitoring of the Future Task Force and served as chair of the Annual Virginia Accounting & Auditing Conference.

Jennifer Mueller-Phillips, PhD

Dr. Jennifer Mueller-Phillips is the director of Auburn University’s school of accountancy, associate dean for academic affairs, and KPMG professor, where she teaches classes on auditing and assurance services. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Jacksonville State University, and both her master’s in accounting and doctorate at Virginia Tech.

Dr. Mueller-Phillips’s publications have appeared in numerous journals, including Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory, the Journal of Accounting Education, and the CPA Journal. She earned the McCartney Award for her outstanding teaching at Auburn University, as well as other recognitions from her previous work at Virginia Tech.

Dr. Mueller-Phillips serves as chair of the supervisory committee for the Auburn University Federal Credit Union, treasurer for a local non-profit organization, and is a member of the American Accounting Association, the American Institution of Certified Public Accountants, and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

University of North Carolina – Kenan-Flagler Business School

The University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School offers a world-class education in accounting and ranks among the world’s best business schools. The institution is regarded as a leader in tax issues, international accounting, information in capital markets, debt contracting, and banking. UNC’s programs are exceptional for their emphasis on real-world applications of their academic work, organizing a number of hands-on projects and capstones to give students the best preparation possible for their professional lives.

The business school was established in 1919 and adopted the name “Kenan-Flagler” in 1991 to honor three eminent American benefactors: Mary Lily Kenan Flagler , her husband Henry Morrison Flagler, and Frank Hawkins Kenan.

Wayne R. Landsman, PhD

Dr. Wayne Landsman is the KPMG distinguished professor of accounting at the University of North Carolina, where he teaches classes on financial accounting and reporting. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, and his master’s degrees and doctorate from Stanford University.

Dr. Landsman’s research focuses on capital price formation, particularly how it’s shaped by accounting information. He also researches pensions, employee stock options, asset securitization, and fair value accounting. Over 60 of his articles have been published in academic and professional accounting journals.

In 2014, Dr. Landsman earned the Outstanding Educator Award from the American Accounting Association and the Financial Accounting and Reporting Section (FARS) Best Paper Award. He previously served as president of the AAA and FARS, and served as a member of the Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council.

Edward Maydew, PhD

Dr. Edward Maydew is the David E. Hoffman distinguished professor of accounting at the University of North Carolina and director of the UNC Tax Center. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Iowa State University and his doctorate at the University of Iowa. He has also taught at the University of Chicago and Cornell University.

Dr. Maydew’s research focus includes the roles of accounting and taxation in economic decisions. He co-authored the book Taxes and Business Strategy: A Planning Approach and served as editor of three prominent accounting journals.

Dr. Maydew has earned five Weatherspoon Awards for his accomplishments in research and teaching. Before his academic career, worked for a PriceWaterhouseCoopers predecessor in Chicago.

Jana Raedy, PhD

Dr. Jana Raedy is an associate professor of accounting at the University of North Carolina, where she also serves as associate dean for the master of accounting program and Ernst & Young scholar in accounting. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Kentucky, and her doctorate at Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Raedy focuses her research on international reporting and the interplay of book and tax reporting. She authored the textbook Intermediate Accounting and has published articles in the Journal of Accounting Research, the Journal of Accounting and Economics, Contemporary Accounting Research, and more.

Dr. Raedy teaches courses on financial reporting, financial research, and helps the Ernst & Young Academic Resource Center provide curriculum materials. Before her career at the University of North Carolina, Dr. Raedy worked as a CPA in Kentucky.

University of Southern California – Marshall School of Business

The University of Southern California (USC) Marshall School of Business was established in 1920 as the College of Commerce and Business Administration. The School of Accounting building was designed by John and Donald Parkinson of Parkinson Field Associates—the oldest architectural company in Los Angeles.

The Leventhal School of Accounting offers programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral level, including several disciplines for master’s programs, including a master of accounting, a master of accounting with an emphasis on data analytics, a master of business taxation, and a master of business taxation for working professionals.

Sarah Bonner, PhD

Dr. Sarah Bonner is the Ernst & Young professor of accounting at the University of Southern California. Her research interests include judgment and decision making, auditing, fraud, and risk rating accuracy. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Wake Forest University, her master’s degree at George Washington University, and her PhD at the University of Michigan.

In 2008, Dr. Bonner wrote an influential book entitled Judgment and Decision Making in Accounting, and has published well-cited articles in the Journal of Accounting Research, The Accounting Review, and Accounting, Organizations, and Society. She is on the editorial board of Contemporary Accounting Research.

Dr. Bonner has been recognized for her accomplishments by the American Accounting Association by earning the Outstanding Dissertation Award. She also was the recipient of the USC-Mellon Award for Excellence in Mentoring and the Evan C. Thompson Faculty Mentoring and Leadership Award.

Mark DeFond, PhD

Dr. Mark DeFond is the A. N. Mosich chair and professor of accounting at the University of Southern California. He earned his bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University and his PhD the University of Washington.

Dr. DeFond’s research focuses on auditing, international financial reporting, and earnings management. Not only have several of his articles been published in eminent journals such as the Journal of Accounting Research, Management Science, and the Journal of Accounting and Economics, but he also has served as editor and on the editorial board of leading academic journals.

Dr. DeFond earned the American Accounting Association’s Notable Contribution to the Auditing Literature Award, as well as four MBA Golden Apple Awards for teaching. Before his academic career, he worked as an auditor for Deloitte.

K.R. Subramanyam, PhD

Dr. K.R. Subramanyam is the KPMG Foundation professor of accounting and associate dean of the Marshall PhD program at the University of Southern California. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Madras University in India, his master’s degree at the Indian institute of Management, and his PhD at the University of Wisconsin.

Dr. Subramanyam authored a book on financial statement analysis and sits on several editorial boards of leading academic journals. He has published many articles on financial accounting and auditing in Management Science, The Accounting Review, the Journal of Accounting and Economics, and Contemporary Accounting Research, among others. His work also has been cited in congressional hearings and in international media.

Dr. Subramanyam has earned multiple awards for his research, mentorship, and leadership in the field of accounting. His efforts have been recognized by the American Accounting Association, the University of Southern California, and the Deloitte & Touche Foundation.

UMass, Amherst – Isenberg School of Management

The University of Massachusetts, Amherst business school started with just 10 faculty members and awarded its first three MBA degrees in 1953. It adopted the name Isenberg School of Management in 1997 to honor Eugene and Ronnie Isenberg—two early supporters, philanthropists, and benefactors of the school.

The University of Massachusetts consistently ranks among the top universities in the country. The Isenberg School of Management offers a master of science in accounting, which prepares students for CPA certification and management positions in accounting, auditing, budgeting, controlling, and work in accounting information technology.

Christopher P. Agoglia, PhD

Dr. Christopher Agoglia is the Richard Simpson endowed professor of accounting at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he teaches management, financial, and cost accounting, as well as behavioral research in accounting. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Florida Atlantic University and his doctorate at the University of Massachusetts.

Dr. Agoglia’s research focuses on decision-making in accounting and behavioral decision theory in auditing contexts. His work has been published in the Journal of Accounting Education, Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory, and The Accounting Review, among other esteemed scholarly journals.

Dr. Agoglia has been honored and awarded by the American Accounting Association and was ranked as the world’s second leading researcher in experimental auditing in BYU’s accounting research rankings. He is currently the treasurer of the Abington Monthly Meeting Trustees.

Bradley Bennett, PhD

Dr. Bradley Bennett is the associate dean of administration and an associate professor of accounting at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He teaches courses on auditing, intermediate financial accounting, and behavioral research. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Millsaps College and his doctorate at the University of Alabama.

Dr. Bennett’s research focuses on accounting judgment and decision-making, relationships between auditors and clients, and audit negotiations. His work has been published in leading academic journals such as Contemporary Accounting Research and The Accounting Review.

Dr. Bennett has been recognized both academically and professionally by the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, the University of Alabama, the American Accounting Association, Deloitte, and KPMG.

Elaine Ying Wang, PhD

Dr. Elaine Wang is the PhD coordinator and associate professor of accounting at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she teaches intermediate accounting and behavioral research. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the Renmin University of China and her doctorate at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Dr. Wang’s research focuses on individual judgment and decision-making in accounting and auditing, as well as linguistic features and real effects of financial reporting. Her work has been published in the Journal of Accounting Research and The Accounting Review, among other prominent journals.

The University of Massachusetts Isenberg School of Management has recognized Dr. Wang’s accomplishments by honoring her with the Outstanding Researcher and Research Excellence Awards. Before her academic career, she worked as an auditor for PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Pennsylvania State University – Smeal College of Business

Penn State established its business school in 1953, which was renamed the Mary Jean and Frank P. Smeal College of Business in 1990 to honor two generous donors. Its faculty, research, and academic offerings consistently rank among the best in the nation.

In addition to its world-class campus-based offerings, the online Penn State World Campus has been providing virtual education to students across the globe since 1998. With over 150 programs, the World Campus is the second largest in the Penn State system with over 20,000 enrollees. The accounting program is accredited by AACSB and prepares students for jobs in corporate finance, financial analysis, and forensic accounting. Aspiring CPAs can earn an online master of professional accounting or graduate certificate in accounting at Penn State University.

Thomas T. Amlie, PhD

Dr. Thomas Amlie is an associate professor of accounting and program coordinator for the graduate certificate and bachelor in accounting programs at Penn State Harrisburg. He earned his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and PhD at the University of Maryland.

Dr. Amlie’s research focuses on informational disclosures, earnings management, and financial assumptions. His work has been published in the Managerial Accounting Journal, the Journal of Business and Economic Perspectives, and the Journal of Accounting Case Research.

Before joining Penn State, Dr. Amlie was an assistant professor at the State University of New York.

Lydia Didia, PhD

Dr. Lydia Didia is an assistant professor of accounting at Penn State Harrisburg. She earned her bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and PhD at Jackson State University.

Dr. Didia’s research interests include audit quality and risk, risk evaluation, outsourcing and offshoring business activities, internal control, and decision behaviors of stakeholders in the United States and developing countries. Her work has been published in the Journal of Accounting & Finance, the Journal of Behavioral Studies in Business, and the Journal of Applied Economics and Business Research.

Before her academic career, Dr. Didia was an auditor for the Mississippi Department of Revenue. She is a member of the American Accounting Association and the American Institute of CPAs.