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Accounting Doctoral Seminar SPRING 2006 Instructor: Bill Cready Objectives: This seminar has three major objectives

. In order of importance these are: (1) furthering your ability to critically analyze completed research efforts; (2) providing insight into how a given stream of research (e.g., earnings return association studies) develops over time; and (3) furthering your knowledge of academic accounting research in the area of financial accounting/reporting. Means: My approach to achieving these three objectives involves limiting both the number of topics considered in the course (3 or 4) as well as the number of papers assigned within a given topic area (2, possibly 3, per week). At our meetings I will choose (non-systematically) one of you to lead us through your critical analysis of a given paper assigned for that day. You should anticipate our spending up to two hours on a single paper. Note, no one will know in advance of the class meeting whether they will be called upon to present. Half of the class will be taking this seminar for a second time. The senior student’s primary responsibility each week is to prepare the first time students for the seminar. The structur for this preparation is as follows: (1) Each week I will pair each of the “senior” students with one of the first time students; (2) Each of these pairs should make arrangements to meet together in order to prepare for the following weeks class; (3) In class I will typically call on first time students to make presentations; (4) the degree of preparedness or lack thereof demonstrated in the presentation will be attributed to both the first time student making the preparation and his senior student preparer. Pairings will be changed weekly. For the first week’s class they are as follows: 1. Jess Cornaggia ( with Albert Tsang (; 2. Ali Coskun ( with Ling Liu (; 3. Jin Zhang ( with Zehra KOC (; 4. Yue Zhang ( with Sebahattin Demirkan (

Theme areas: I have tentatively selected qualified audit opinions, analyst forecast informativeness, post earnings announcement drift, and trading volume as topic area. The areas will be undertaken sequentially. The day after each class meeting assigned papers for the next class will be distributed, most commonly by email, to each of you. Paper Analysis: Your analysis of each assigned paper should be as complete and thorough as possible. Such an analysis will often require examining references cited by the paper and verifying the appropriateness of the statistical methods. You should structure your analysis of each paper into four sequential categories: (1) identify and evaluate the importance of the paper's general topic

area (these will not necessarily correspond to the stated topic area we are working in); (2) identify and evaluate the importance of the specific topic(s) addressed relative to the paper's general topic area; (3) the paper's "methodology;" (4) an overall evaluation of the paper. You’re your overall evaluation you should provide your opinion as to the paper’s greatest strength and its greatest weakness. You are to provide a score between 1 (very weak) and 5 (very strong) in each category. Your analysis should be structured sequentially by category. I would estimate that in preparing for our weekly class meetings you will need to spend at least 5 hours per paper in preparation time. As noted earlier, paper presentation/discussion sessions may last as long as two hours. A cursory analysis of a paper will likely prove to be an inadequate basis for your making a substantive contribution to its in-class discussion. It will certainly be insufficient should you be called upon to lead the class discussion.

Written/Other Assignments: In addition to weekly class preparation there are two written assignments. Assignment 1 is attached. It is due on January 23. Assignment 2 is a 5 to 10 page written research proposal which will constitute your (take home) final examination. This proposal should identify a research question, briefly discuss why the question is interesting, and lay out in detail the proposed sample design and methods for examining the question. The question itself must somehow pertain to one of the class topic areas identified above.

First Meeting Topic: Two papers are assigned for this session Dodd et al. (JAE, 1984, pp. 3-38) and Abdelkhalik et al. (JAR, Autumn 1986, pp. 372-382). You should analyze both papers as described in the "paper analysis" section. I strongly suggest that you come to class with a written outline of your presentation for each paper. In general students who, at least in their initial efforts, base their presentations on written notes in the margin of the paper have performed quite poorly. At this time I do not plan on collecting any written work you may prepare with respect to assigned papers. Course Grade: Your grade for the course will consist of your grades for class participation and assignments 1 and 2 weighted as follows: Class Participation Assignment 1 Assignment 2 60% 10% 30%

I will provide feedback on your class participation periodically over the course of the semester. Course Time and Place: The class will meet in the 4th floor SOM conference room at 12:30 on Mondays. We may finish by 3:30.