Quinn receives American Accounting Association best paper award

Phil Quinn

Phillip Quinn, an assistant professor of accounting at the University of Washington Foster School of Business, has received a share of the 2018 Accounting Horizons Best Paper Award from the American Accounting Association.

The premier organization of academic accountants  has recognized Quinn and co-authors Michael Drake and Jacob Thornock, a former colleague at the Foster School’s Department of Accounting, for their paper: “Who Uses Financial Statements? A Demographic Analysis of Financial Statement Downloads from EDGAR,” published in the September 2017 issue of Accounting Horizons.

The paper opens a window on the users of corporate financial statements that are publicly available on the government’s online EDGAR database, and presumably used as research for investing.

In the study, Quinn and his co-authors parse the United States by ZIP code and analyze four demographic factors: income, household characteristics, education and local conditions—each explaining significant variation in the rate of financial statement use.

Overall, they determine that education is a much better predictor of financial statement use than is income or household characteristics.

They also find that EDGAR financial statement usage is higher in areas with major cities, more accounting and finance jobs, higher capital gains and dividend income, greater access to broadband internet, a top 100 business school, or higher rates of college-educated residents. Usage is lower in ZIP codes with more fixed income, business income, retirees, unemployed workers, homeowners, or households with children.

Quinn has been on faculty at the Foster School since 2014. After earning an undergraduate accounting degree from Drake University, he spent three years in assurance and advisory roles at Ernst & Young before earning his PhD in accounting at the University of Iowa. At Foster, he teaches managerial accounting to undergraduate students and helps coordinate the UW’s annual Volunteer Income Tax Assistant Program. His research examines aspects of financial accounting.

Best Paper Award recipients Jake Thornock, Phil Quinn, Michael Drake with presenter Terry Shevlin.

The Accounting Horizons Best Paper Award is determined in a two-stage process. In the first stage, the editors of Accounting Horizons selected Quinn’s paper as one of the top five published in the 2017 calendar year in Accounting Horizons. In the second stage, all members of the American Accounting Association are invited to cast an online vote for one of the five finalist papers. The Accounting Horizons Best Paper Award is presented to the paper that receives the most votes.

Awarding Quinn and his colleagues the award at the AAA’s annual meeting was Terry Shevlin, professor of accounting, Paul Merage Chair in Business Growth, and associate dean of research and doctoral programs at the UC Irvine Paul Merage School of Business—after a distinguished 26-year tenure at the Foster School where he served as the Paul Pigott/PACCAR Professor of Business Administration, chair of the Department of Accounting, and faculty director of the PhD Program.

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