Rotman School of Management

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PhD Courses in Accounting

Our Strength: Our Program

Accounting research requires a mastery of economics, econometrics, finance and, to a lesser extent, other related fields in business administration. Take a moment to read a listing (with descriptions) of the courses offered through the PhD program in Accounting.

Not all courses are offered each year/ each semester. Check with the PhD Office at for courses schedule information.

For a listing of courses across all areas please see here.

RSM 3020 Introduction to Empirical Archival Research in Accounting

This first-year course provides an introductory survey of topics in empirical accounting research with an emphasis on financial accounting issues. Specific topics will vary by year but may include financial disclosure, earnings quality, corporate governance, financial analysts, taxation, and selected international issues. One of the requirements of the course is a research proposal which is meant to facilitate the students’ work on their required summer paper.

RSM 3021 Managerial Accounting Research Methods

This course focuses on research methods in managerial accounting research. Three primary research methods are emphasized: analytical modeling in imperfect information environments, parametric and non-parametric production-cost modeling, and empirical archival techniques. Topics covered include agency models of performance evaluation and control, decentralization and transfer pricing, productivity measurement, data envelopment analysis, financial and non-financial information in performance measurement, product and process quality measurement, accounting in advanced manufacturing technologies, budgeting and costing systems.

RSM 3022 Auditing: Theory and Empirical Research

This course focuses on theoretical, empirical and experimental research methodologies in auditing. Three primary research methods are emphasized including analytical modeling with imperfect information, empirical archival techniques and experimental methods. Topics include multi-person agency and game-theoretic models involving auditors, shareholders and managers, auditor reputation and the legal environment, auditor independence, audit quality and pricing, audit judgement processes, expert systems, analytical review, and audit sampling techniques.

2014-2015 Course Outline RSM3022

RSM 3023 Topics in Accounting Research

The course material deals with advanced methodological issues primarily in the area of financial accounting. Topics are idiosyncratic to the faculty member who teaches the course. The emphasis is on careful reading and understanding of scientific accounting journal articles. In recent years, topics covered include earnings announcements and market microstructure, value relevance and cross-sectional analyses, variance decomposition analysis, earnings forecasts and analyst behaviour, accounting information and market efficiency, earnings management, and risk and accounting information.

2014-2015 Course Outline RSM3023

RSM 3029 Selected Topics in Financial Accounting Research

This PhD seminar course will expose students to a variety of topics related to valuation in financial accounting research. Topics covered include fundamental analysis, anomalies, accounting based valuation, information risk, implied cost of capital and aggregate earnings. While most papers will be empirical, we will also study the theoretical underpinnings of the valuation models. At the end of the course, students are expected to come up with a proposal for research in the broad area of valuation, motivated by the papers discussed in class. This course is required for all accounting PhD students and (similar to other financial accounting courses) highly recommended for finance PhD students with an interest in corporate finance or valuation.

RSM 3090 Programming/Databases for Accounting Research

This course provides an introduction to programming and databases widely used in accounting and finance research.

RSM 3025 Accounting Workshop

This workshop is an essential element of the doctoral program in accounting. Its purpose is to expose students to diverse, state-of-the-art research in accounting through an ongoing series of weekly seminars and discussions led by 1) accounting faculty, 2) invited faculty of cognate disciplines, 3) invited researchers from other universities and 4) doctoral students.

Summer Projects

Students are required to conduct a research project in the summer following the first year of their program.  Research projects will be supervised by a faculty member who is approved by the accounting PhD coordinator. Student are expected to present a paper based on their summer research during a regular accounting workshop.

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