Inner Circle - April 2012

Accounting for Success

I am delighted to report that on April 9 the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) fully reaccredited the Lundquist College of Business through 2017. This is significant because we are one of only 177 business schools that are accredited in both business and accounting. Obtaining both accreditations is quite an achievement because it involves two sets of standards, two parallel assurance of learning processes, two separate visitation teams, and more. With approximately 12,600 business schools in the world, our dual accreditation places us in the top 1.4 percent worldwide (only 28 percent of AACSB schools are accredited in both disciplines).

This elite status is due in no small part to our exceptional Department of Accounting.

Tax Research and More

During the past six months alone, three of our accounting professors had their research accepted for publication in The Accounting Review, one of the field's premier academic journals. The first two of those publications are especially apropos given today's April 16 tax return deadline.

Associate Professor Linda Krull's paper titled "Is U.S. Multinational Dividend Repatriation Policy Influenced by Reporting Incentives?" (coauthored with faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and Dartmouth College), finds that the accounting for U.S. taxes on foreign subsidiary earnings encourages U.S. multinational corporations to reinvest foreign subsidiary earnings outside the United States. Krull's research is newsworthy given recent attempts by a coalition of multinational corporations to bring about another tax holiday on repatriations of foreign earnings. The coalition argues that a tax holiday would encourage U.S. investment and spur domestic growth.

Professor and head of the department, David Guenther--highly regarded as a top scholar in tax-accounting--has a paper titled "Unintended Consequences of LIFO Repeal: The Case of the Oil Industry" (coauthored with faculty at Dartmouth College). Guenther's research demonstrates that the proposed repeal of the LIFO (last-In, first-out) inventory method for cost accounting could increase the after-tax profits of firms in the oil industry because of higher tax costs associated with the FIFO (first-in, first-out) inventory method. Guenther posits that this could induce oil companies to reduce output quantities, resulting in higher prices.

Highlighting the ways in which accounting links to management, Professor Steven Matsunaga's paper titled "Management Forecast Accuracy and CEO Turnover" (coauthored with faculty at Hong Kong University and the University of Illinois at Chicago) provides evidence that in poorly performing firms, boards of directors use management forecast accuracy as a signal of the CEOs' managerial ability.

All three of these publications have implications and reach well beyond Oregon and the Northwest and demonstrate the exceptional knowledge capital of our accounting department.

Activities and Service

Other activities in our accounting department are further extending the college's reputation. Our Master of Accounting program continues to be the only one of its kind in Oregon and one of the best on the West Coast. And our MAcc students are highly regarded and sought after by employers, with 100 percent of them having jobs within four months of graduation.

The MAcc program provides advanced technical and conceptual accounting with a view toward developing business professionals. Students are encouraged to take electives beyond accounting that will allow them to understand the economic and business motivations for the transactions they will be accounting for and auditing. Our students also develop a healthy skepticism that will enable them to critically analyze situations.

With more than 300 accounting majors, our undergraduate accounting program also provides exceptional knowledge and skills, along with opportunities to lead, learn, and serve through Beta Alpha Psi (BAP), the national accounting services organization. Significant numbers of both undergraduate and MAcc students participate in BAP, which holds weekly meetings averaging 80 students. The group also sponsors networking events twice a year, with 25-30 employers present at those events. And most Saturdays from February through April 15, these students prepare tax returns for the UO and Eugene community through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. This year, fifty-one certified student volunteers expect to complete around 250 returns.

Accounting for Sustainability

As sustainable business practices become increasingly important, the accounting department is also turning its attention toward the growing movement of "accounting for sustainability." Guenther spent this past fall at Oxford University studying methods to integrate corporate social responsibility into standard financial accounting reports of public companies. And the MAcc program now offers a winter seminar focusing on corporate sustainability programs and reporting, culminating in meetings with key professionals in charge of sustainability programs and reporting at Nike (in 2010 and 2011) and Columbia Sportswear (in 2012).

Expanding Global Horizons

To further support and leverage the growing reputation of the accounting programs we are considering a proposal to add a global study tour for MAcc and accounting honors students, which would additionally include a sustainability accounting component. The tour would be part of a Developing a Global Mindset seminar designed to prepare students to evaluate strengths and weaknesses and explore issues and opportunities in engaging globally. If adequate funding can be secured, this study tour will leverage our growing partnership with Nyenrode University in the Netherlands to educate students on major accounting, reporting, and auditing issues faced by European companies, as well as cultural similarities and differences in accounting practices.

A Growing Circle for Influence

With all of these developments, it has been a busy year for our accounting program. Add to this our actively engaged group of alumni and donors in our Accounting Circle and other professional organizations, and you will realize the college owes many accolades and much gratitude to our Department of Accounting and its supporters for helping the Lundquist College of Business achieve new levels of success and recognition.

Thank you to all those who have given to the Accounting Circle and the college. Your support has been essential to running our first-class accounting department. Investing in accounting education prepares our students and businesses for the future.

If you haven't already contributed, I invite you to consider making a gift to the accounting department today.



  Cornelis A. "Kees" de Kluyver
Dean and James and Shirley Rippey Distinguished Professor