The most important aspect of a Ph.D. program is the development of the requisite skills for conducting research. While an in-depth understanding of the accounting environment and its problems is necessary for identifying accounting questions and problems that are interesting from a research standpoint, the underlying theories and research tools are frequently obtained from source disciplines such as economics, finance, psychology, and statistics. Thus, the Ph.D. program is designed to be a careful blend of accounting and source discipline courses.
Accounting research encompasses a broad range of topics, including laboratory experiments that attempt to provide an understanding of how decision makers use accounting information, empirical tests of market reactions to publicly available accounting information, analytical models illustrating how owners and managers resolve conflicts, empirical research related to taxation policy, artificial intelligence and expert systems in the auditing area, and the development of experimental markets.
The faculty at the University of Illinois has a diverse set of research interests, and is at the forefront of accounting, auditing, information systems, and taxation research. Students are encouraged to work closely with the faculty in developing their research skills, in conducting joint research and developing their dissertation ideas.