September 21, 2019

What if the Final Four Was Based on Accounting Research Production?

We realize this is a strange question but hear us out. Many of you have had brackets on the brain for the last couple of weeks and this was not lost on some faculty members at Brigham Young University. David Wood, Brady Williams, Scott Summers and Joshua Coyne created the bracket below to demonstrate what this year’s NCAA tournament would look like if the schools advanced based on the productivity of accounting researchers. It was based on their paper entitled, “Accounting Program Research Rankings by Topical Area and Methodology.”


We spoke with David Wood, Assistant Professor at BYU and he clarified for us that the bracket was based solely on the schools in the 2010 tournament. “For example, Stanford is rated first for number of articles published but they weren’t in this year’s tournament, so their productivity isn’t seen here,” David said.

As you can see above, BYU did okay for themselves, reaching the Final Four, along with real-life Final Four teams Michigan State and Duke. Ultimately, accounting powerhouse Texas-Austin came out on top, taking out the CPA mavens at Wake Forest in the first round. Professor Wood explained, “There is a disconnect between CPA exam success and research production,” thus a research program like McCombs that produces many papers every year will always come out on top.

Eleven journals were selected for the purposes of the paper:

• Accounting, Organizations, and Society
• Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory
• Behavioral Research in Accounting
• Contemporary Accounting Research
• Journal of Accounting & Economics
• Journal of Accounting Information Systems
• Journal of Accounting Research
• Journal of Management Accounting Research
• Journal of the American Taxation Association
• Review of Accounting Studies
• The Accounting Review

Now before you judge, this particular method of illustrating both basketball and accounting prowess may serve those of you well that are considering a PhD in future. Don’t laugh, we know you’re out there.

Accounting Program Research Rankings by Topical Area and Methodology [SSRN]
NCAA Tournament Simulated Using Accounting Research Rankings

We realize this is a strange question but hear us out. Many of you have had brackets on the brain for the last couple of weeks and this was not lost on some faculty members at Brigham Young University. David Wood, Brady Williams, Scott Summers and Joshua Coyne created the bracket below to demonstrate what this year’s NCAA tournament would look like if the schools advanced based on the productivity of accounting researchers. It was based on their paper entitled, “Accounting Program Research Rankings by Topical Area and Methodology.”


We spoke with David Wood, Assistant Professor at BYU and he clarified for us that the bracket was based solely on the schools in the 2010 tournament. “For example, Stanford is rated first for number of articles published but they weren’t in this year’s tournament, so their productivity isn’t seen here,” David said.

As you can see above, BYU did okay for themselves, reaching the Final Four, along with real-life Final Four teams Michigan State and Duke. Ultimately, accounting powerhouse Texas-Austin came out on top, taking out the CPA mavens at Wake Forest in the first round. Professor Wood explained, “There is a disconnect between CPA exam success and research production,” thus a research program like McCombs that produces many papers every year will always come out on top.

Eleven journals were selected for the purposes of the paper:

• Accounting, Organizations, and Society
• Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory
• Behavioral Research in Accounting
• Contemporary Accounting Research
• Journal of Accounting & Economics
• Journal of Accounting Information Systems
• Journal of Accounting Research
• Journal of Management Accounting Research
• Journal of the American Taxation Association
• Review of Accounting Studies
• The Accounting Review

Now before you judge, this particular method of illustrating both basketball and accounting prowess may serve those of you well that are considering a PhD in future. Don’t laugh, we know you’re out there.

Accounting Program Research Rankings by Topical Area and Methodology [SSRN]
NCAA Tournament Simulated Using Accounting Research Rankings

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