October 4, 2022

Accounting research program

Here’s How This Year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Would Shake Out If It Were Based on Accounting Research Production

It’s that time of year again where thousands of Americans spend countless hours of company time researching basketball teams and agonizing over which #12 seed will pull a minor upset only to have someone from marketing, who doesn’t know a damn thing about basketball, to win the pool. It also marks the time of year when the accounting faculty at BYU puts outs their own simulated version of the tournament, played out based on the productivity of accounting researchers over the last six years.


As you can see, a lot of similar schools are making a run again this year including Texas (last year’s simulated champion) and Michigan State. If you’re interested in what this year’s non-bracketed accounting rankings are, you can check them out on the campanion research page.

Games start on Thursday tomorrow (obviously I’m not in a pool) so if you’re having trouble filling out your bracket, this seems like a good place to start. You could do a helluva lot worse when it comes to strategy.

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