Two new faculty members are joining the School of Accountancy and MIS as assistant professors this summer: Matthew T. Stern and Christine Gimbar. In this issue, we talk with Stern about his new role at DePaul. In our newsletter, we’ll introduce Gimbar.
Matt Stern received his bachelor’s (2008) and master’s (2009) in accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is currently pursuing his doctoral degree. While studying downstate, Matt was a research assistant, teaching assistant and instructor for “Assurance and Attestation” and “Accounting Institutions and Regulation” classes.
What attracted you to DePaul’s faculty?
I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, so I have always been familiar with DePaul’s outstanding reputation. After visiting the campus and meeting DePaul’s accounting faculty, I knew that it was a great place for me to go after finishing my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
What are your professional areas of interest?
My research interests are broad. I have published work that examines how jurors view litigation that accuses auditors of inappropriately applying accounting standards. At the time that my co-authors and I conducted the research, most people in the accounting profession expected the Financial Accounting Standards Board to make U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles more principles-based, which meant that preparers of financial statements would have to rely more heavily on their professional judgment. We examined whether jurors would second-guess auditors’ judgments about the correct accounting method, and ways to reduce that second guessing.
I also have some projects examining earnings guidance strategies that companies can use to reduce myopia on the part of investors. Several companies, including GE, stopped giving quarterly earnings guidance in part because they believed investors were focusing too much on the short-term meeting or beating of earnings expectations. Lately my research has focused on financial reporting and disclosure issues unique to crowdfunding, which is a new kind of investment opportunity that will soon be available to retail investors. There is a real risk that crowdfunding will turn into the “wild west” of capital markets with little oversight and uniformity in financial reporting, so there are some very interesting research opportunities in the area.
How would you like to make an impact on our students’ lives?
I hope to enrich students’ learning experience by incorporating the latest accounting and finance research into my courses. I think learning about the frontier of our understanding is both directly and indirectly important to student’s careers, as the rigorous thinking involved in the research process should help students think critically and become good problem-solvers in the future. I’ve received world-class training on conducting research while at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and think that it will make my courses especially valuable to DePaul’s students.
What are your hobbies?
In my spare time, I enjoy playing the guitar, listening to music and traveling with my wife. I also enjoy learning about cutting-edge research in other academic disciplines, such as physics and biology.