At the 2007 American Accounting Association’s Annual Meeting, a renowned archeologist, Denise Schmandt-Besserat, said that global business would have never flourished but for double-entry accounting and the needed credible recordkeeping that goes with it. Her research is argued to show that civilization began with double-entry accounting, and writing began with the needed recordkeeping to capture debts and promises. The idea is that without an ability to keep track of promises of future performance, inter-temporal exchanges could never happen, without which commerce would have been stifled.
While I am paraphrasing, accounting scholarship has played a key role in understanding the way the business world operates. My colleagues at the Jones School have played and continue to play an important role in developing our common understanding of capital markets, business contracting and agency relationships and how accounting helps shape them.
I am very proud to say that I am part of a group of trailblazing senior scholars who have made major contributions to accounting research and pedagogy, balanced by vibrant, next-generation-scholars who will reach even greater heights. My colleagues include:
- A member of The Accounting Hall of Fame;
- A current editor of two of the top-3 accounting research journals;
- A colleague recognized as one of the most influential scholars in contemporary accounting research; and
- Recipient of academe’s research impact award for management accounting practice.
My colleagues’ teaching accomplishments are extraordinary. Their passion for educating the future leaders of a premier business school and a world-class research university is frequently recognized by teaching awards at the Jones School’s annual investiture. Who would have guessed that debits and credits can be that inspiring! As you become part of the Jones School and Rice University, I urge you to visit with my colleagues and learn more about their research agenda and teaching interests. It would be worth your time.
Accounting Area Coordinator
Herbert S. Autrey Professor of Accounting
Academic Dean for Special Initiatives