Management And Accounting Web

Notes to those considering an Accounting Ph.D.

Provided by James R. Martin, Ph.D., CMA
Professor Emeritus, University of South Florida

Advice for Ph.D. Students and New Faculty | How to Management Yourself Main | MAAW's Blog

Citation: Martin, J. R. Not dated. Notes to those considering an Accounting Ph.D. Management And Accounting Web.

MAAW's Blog Note 3/2/2011: Consider seeking an Accounting Ph.D.

Every accounting student in Beta Alpha Psi should consider seeking a Ph.D. in Accounting. Currently starting salaries for those with a new accounting Ph.D. are between $150,000 - $200,000 for nine months, probably more at the top schools. In addition, many schools offer summer research money for the first couple of years for new faculty. Ph.D. programs are not easy and you might not like the research emphasis, but an academic career offers many intrinsic rewards that you will not find in public or corporate accounting. The following links are to two articles related to this issue. The last link is to a list of Ph.D. programs with some contact information. A Google search on accounting Ph.D. programs will generate a lot of other links and a lot of specific school promotions. Since there is such a shortage of accounting Ph.D.s there is lots of money around for those who quality. Talk to your faculty about it and give it some serious thought.

Journal of Accountancy article - Pursuing a Ph.D. in Accounting: Walking in with Your Eyes Open.

Directory of Accounting PhD Programs -

MAAW's Blog Note 3/3/2011: Accounting Doctoral Scholars Program (ADS) Launches Third Year

The Accounting Doctoral Scholars (ADS) Program is pleased to announce that it is accepting applications online from June 1 to October 1, 2010 for funding for individuals beginning their doctoral studies in the fall of 2011. Seventy of the largest accounting firms and 45 State CPA Societies have committed $17 million to help reverse a shortage of Ph.D. accounting faculty in auditing and tax at U.S. colleges and universities. The CPA profession has created the ADS Program to help reverse a shortage of PhD accounting faculty in U.S. colleges and universities. The development of the program is spearheaded by the largest accounting firms and is administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Foundation. As of March 1, 2010, 70 accounting firms, 45 state CPA societies, and two other sponsors have committed approximately $17 million for the ADS Program. The firms recruit employees for the program and encourage them to become accounting professors in audit and tax disciplines. The ADS Program was launched in July 2008. The program provides funding for four years for up to 30 new candidates each year for four years for a total of 120 newly educated PhDs in audit and tax. In the first two years of the program, 30 candidates, with an average GMAT of 718, were selected for funding for enrollment in the fall of 2009 and 2010. Twenty seven ADS Program Scholars were placed for enrollment for the fall of 2009 and 29 for fall 2010 at participating universities. Applications for the third year of the program for enrollment in the fall of 2011 are being accepted online from June 1 through October 1, 2010. Applicants must have a minimum of three years of experience in audit or tax in public accounting with a portion of the experience being in the last three years. Potential candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents committed to a career as an accounting faculty member at a U.S. university accredited in business by AACSB International. From the applicant pool, candidates will be selected to be invited to a day-long Orientation Conference to learn more about the Accounting Doctoral Scholars Program, receive guidance on preparing for and applying to a university PhD program, and gain insight into the life and career of an accounting faculty member. They will also have the opportunity to visit with accounting doctoral program representatives of the participating universities at a programs fair. Once enrolled in a doctoral program at a participating university, each Accounting Doctoral Scholar will receive an annual stipend of $30,000 for a maximum of four years.

For further information about the Accounting Doctoral Scholars Program, contact or call 919-402-4524. The dedicated website is The program address is: Accounting Doctoral Scholars Program, American Institute of CPAs Foundation, 220 Leigh Farm Road, Durham, North Carolina 27707.

MAAW's Blog Note 3/3/2011: The next ADS application, for enrollment in Fall 2012

The next Accounting Doctoral Scholars application, for enrollment in Fall 2012, will be available online July 1, 2011. The ADS program is specifically for those interested in auditing and tax and requires public accounting experience. To prepare, see the requirements and check back for updates in May 2011.

Requirements: To be eligible to be considered as an Accounting Doctoral Scholar, candidates must meet the following criteria:
Have recent and meaningful work experience of at least three years in public accounting in auditing or tax;

Provide a written statement of a commitment to a career transition to teaching and research in auditing or tax at an AACSB International business accredited university in the United States upon completion of a doctoral program in accounting with an emphasis in auditing or tax;

Fulfill application requirements, e.g., have an academic record demonstrating potential for success in advanced graduate work; have a Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) score no more than five years old that is competitive for admission to major doctoral programs in accounting, e.g., 650 or higher; and supply appropriate letters of recommendation;

Be a U. S. citizen or permanent resident; and

Commit, if selected as an ADS Program Scholar, to applying for admission to one or more doctoral programs in accounting at an ADS Program participating university to pursue auditing or tax as a teaching and research focus.

For more information on the ADS program see

MAAW's Blog Note 4/8/2011:

To compete for a tenured faculty line at a major research university you have to do research. You have to like to teach and you have to like to write and you have to be pretty good at both of them. My recommendation is to start by reading some papers like the following to learn more about what an academic career is like.

Beyer, B., D. Herrmann, G. K. Meek and E. T. Rapley. 2010. What it means to be an accounting professor: A concise career guide for doctoral students in accounting. Issues In Accounting Education (May): 227-244.

Hermanson, D. R. 2008. What I have learned so far: Observations on managing an academic accounting career. Issues In Accounting Education (February): 53-66.

If an academic career sounds interesting, visit some Ph.D. programs and talk to the faculty and the Ph.D. students. Ask a lot of questions, e.g., Will you have to teach during the program? What sort of financial support do they have available? What is expected of Ph.D. students? In Ph.D. seminars there is little or no lecture and lots of student participation is required.

Then I recommend getting a masters degree (although you don't need one to get into a Ph.D. program) followed by a full or part time teaching position at some school (a community college for example) to see if you like to teach. If you like to teach an academic career might be just what your are looking for. If you don't want to do research there are lots of four year colleges where the teaching load is 12 hours per semester and the research requirement is low to zero. Those schools don't pay as well as the major research universities, but there are more teaching positions available at that level.

I developed a summary of the Beyer, Meek and Rapley paper mentioned above. There is a very interesting table in the paper that indicates the teaching and research expectations of faculty at different types of schools. See

MAAW's Blog Note 4/10/2011: Some additional thoughts on seeking an Accounting Ph.D.

Some of my previous comments about teaching opportunities and tenure might have been somewhat misleading. Many of the top accounting programs do have a publish or perish revolving door, but most accounting faculty do not publish in the top "A" level journals, or even the "B" level journals. As noted in the Beyer, Herrmann, Meek and Rapley article, there are only about 90 schools in the top 3 tiers. However, Hasselback list accounting faculty from over 1,000 four year schools, and there are hundreds of two year community and junior colleges where accounting is taught. My point is that there are ample teaching opportunities for anyone with at least a masters degree in accounting, but more lucrative opportunities for those with a Ph.D. and the research skills needed to publish in the "A" and "B" level journals. I might also add that those publications provide a considerable amount of intrinsic reward to the authors. Money provides a current but fleeting benefit. On the other hand, accomplishments at that level provide intrinsic benefits for as long as you live, and beyond.


For more on the publish or perish tenure issue see Bob Jensen's "Gaming for Tenure as an Accounting Professor".

Also see Bob's section on "Why Accountancy Doctoral Programs are drying up and why accountancy is no longer required for admission or graduation in an accountancy doctoral program".

Related articles and summaries:

AACSB International. 2003. Sustaining Scholarship in Business Schools. AACSB.

AACSB International. 2013. 2012-2013 Salary Survey Reports: Executive Summary. AACSB. (Note).

Albrecht, W. S. and R. J. Sack. 2000. Accounting Education: Charting the Course through a Perilous Future. Accounting education Series (16): American Accounting Association.

Behn, B. K., G. A. Carnes, G. W. Krull Jr., K. D. Stocks and P. M. J. Reckers. 2008. Accounting Doctoral Education - 2007 A Report of the Joint AAA/APLG/FSA Doctoral Education Committee. Issues In Accounting Education (August): 357-367.

Bergner, J. 2009. Pursuing a Ph.D. in accounting: Walking in with your eyes open: Here's how the doctoral track looks through the eyes of one student. Journal of Accountancy web-exclusive article. (Mentioned in the March issue as an AICPA resource on page 40). (JOA Link).

Beyer, B., D. Herrmann, G. K. Meek and E. T. Rapley. 2010. What it means to be an accounting professor: A concise career guide for doctoral students in accounting. Issues In Accounting Education (May): 227-244. (Summary).

Bishop, C. C., D. M. Boyle, R. R. Clune and D. R. Hermanson. 2012. A different model for doctoral education in accounting and auditing: Student and faculty reflections. Current Issues in Auditing 6(1): A1-A16. (Note).

Bonner, P. 2010. New pathways to accounting excellence. Journal of Accountancy (October): 56-60. (Interview with Pathways Commission Chair Bruce Behn related to charting a national higher education strategy for the next generation of accountants).

Bonner, P. 2012. Bolstering the future of accounting education. Journal of Accountancy (October): 38-39.

Boyle, D., D. Hermanson and M. Mensah. 2011. Addressing the accounting and auditing faculty shortage: Practitioners' perceptions of academia. Current Issues in Auditing 5(1): A70-A85.

Boyle, D. M., B. W. Carpenter, D. R. Hermanson and M. O. Mensah. 2013. The accounting doctorate shortage: Opportunities for practitioners. Strategic Finance (May): 30-36. (Note).

Campbell, T. L., J. R. Hasselback, R. H. Hermanson and D. H. Turner. 1990. Retirement demand and the market for accounting doctorates. Issues In Accounting Education (Fall): 209-221.

Gary, R. F., C. A. Denison and M. L. Bouillon. 2011. Can obtaining an accounting Ph.D. provide a positive financial return? Issues In Accounting Education (February): 23-38. (Summary).

Grasso, L. 2008. The accounting Ph.D. shortage: Crisis or opportunity? Cost Management (March/April): 15-25. (Note).

Hunt, S. C., T. V. Eaton and A. Reinstein. 2009. Accounting faculty job search in a seller's market. Issues In Accounting Education (May): 157-185.

Kachelmeier, S. J., S. Madeo, D. Plumlee, J. H. Pratt, G. Krull and G. Thornton. 2005. Report of the AAA/AAPLG Ad Hoc Committee to assess the Supply and Demand for Accounting Ph.D.s. A joint project of the American Accounting Association and the Accounting Programs Leadership Group. (Note).

Leslie, D. W. 2008. Accounting Faculty in U.S. Colleges and Universities: Status and Trends, 1993-2004. A Report of the American Accounting Association. American Accounting Association. (Note).

Martin, J. R. Not dated. Framework for Ph.D. study of management accounting. Management And Accounting Web.

Martin, J. R. Not dated. The accounting doctoral shortage and opportunities to teach accounting. Management And Accounting Web.

Martin, J. R. 2016. AACSB International 2013 and 2016. 2012-2013 and 2015-2016 Salary Survey Reports: Executive Summary. AACSB. Management And Accounting Web.

McNair, C. J. and B. Richards. 2008. Unintended consequences: Death of the teacher-scholar. Cost Management (January/February): 21-28. (Summary).

Meyer, M. J. and P. L. Titard. 2000. Those who can ... teach. Want to exchange your Palm Pilot for a blackboard, get a PhD and go back to college as a teacher? The time to do it is now. Journal of Accountancy. (July): 49-58. (Note).

Meyers, R. 2006. Teaching for the love of it. Journal of Accountancy (June): 30-38.

Plumlee, R. D., S. J. Kachelmeier, S. A. Madeo, J. H. Pratt and G. Krull. 2006. Assessing the shortage of accounting faculty. Issues In Accounting Education (May): 113-125.

Reigle, D. 2008. Trends in the Supply of Accounting Graduates and the Demand for Public Accounting Recruits. AICPA.

Ruff, M., J. C. Thibodeau and J. C. Bedard. 2009. A profession's response to a looming shortage: Closing the gap in the supply of accounting faculty. Journal of Accountancy (March): 36-41. (JOA Link).

The Pathways Commission. 2012. The Pathways Commission on Higher Education: Charting a National Strategy for the Next Generation of Accountants. American Accounting Association and American Institute of CPAs. (Note).

Trapnell, J. E., N. Mero, J. R. Williams and G. W. Krull, Jr. 2009. The accounting doctoral shortage: Time for a new model. Issues In Accounting Education (November): 427-432. (Note).