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Thread: PhD Accounting with a 690 GMAT

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    PhD Accounting with a 690 GMAT

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    Hi, I work as an auditor at a mid-sized public accounting firm in the midwest. Below are my stats from undergrad and GMAT land. I scored a 690, but by split is relatively unfavorable given the weak quant score. Does my profile have a competitive chance to gain admissions to a decent but non elite accounting PhD program such as Purdue, Iowa, Tennessee, Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Florida or Minnesota? My undergrad profile is probably a little underwhelming but I was from a small town and went to a large state school with the singular goal of get a degree, get a job, stay out of the rents' basement. I'd like to be an accounting professor because the role allows for so much more creativity in teaching others and learning about interesting accounting/financial reporting topics.

    Undergrad GPA: 3.5-3.6
    GMAT: 690 - 44 Q, 40 V
    CPA Exams: Passed, licensed
    Work Experience: Auditor 2 years

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    Re: PhD Accounting with a 690 GMAT

    So 690 doesn’t rule you out but it will likely be below average compared to the competition.

    The biggest thing you’ll really need to think about is why you want to do a PhD...if the answer is not “do research” you should reconsider. Not to be a jerk, but...

    If teaching is your passion, consider trying to teach as a lecturer or adjunct for a semester at a school near you; you can usually do this without a PhD at smaller school.

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    Re: PhD Accounting with a 690 GMAT

    We had a few people in my program that taught for a year or more before joining the PhD. It gives a look at academia and what aspects might be of the most interest to you.

    690 won't rule you out of most of those schools, but your quant score might. I would seriously consider refreshing some math and retaking. You likely need to take some calculus and linear algebra before going to any schools on the higher end of your list anyway

    I agree with IDSC. You sound like you don't quite get what a PhD is and you didn't mention any area of accounting research.

    Read through everything on here as a good start: PhD Prep Track

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    Re: PhD Accounting with a 690 GMAT

    Quote Originally Posted by YaSvoboden View Post
    We had a few people in my program that taught for a year or more before joining the PhD. It gives a look at academia and what aspects might be of the most interest to you.

    690 won't rule you out of most of those schools, but your quant score might. I would seriously consider refreshing some math and retaking. You likely need to take some calculus and linear algebra before going to any schools on the higher end of your list anyway

    I agree with IDSC. You sound like you don't quite get what a PhD is and you didn't mention any area of accounting research.

    Read through everything on here as a good start: PhD Prep Track
    Hi, thank you for the info! My research interest points towards looking at management and auditor relationships in regards to financial reporting and disclosures. This interest stems from my time in the field where I have noticed that some clients are more open to discussing accounting issues than others, resulting in what I considered to be better financial information. Sometimes financial disclosures have 'substance over form' issues that require productive client-auditor relationships.

    For instance we had a client that had to disclose future minimum lease payments and because we had a good relationship with the client we were able to convince them that the substance of certain rental arrangements necessitated their disclosure in the future payments schedule. Though the rental agreements were not required by themselves, other contracts were set out years into the future that required the company to utilize certain rental sites; thus our audit team and the client determined that the substance should triumph the form and that these site would be included in the future lease payments.

    Without this information, a 3rd party user would not be able to accurately project future cash flows related to their future rent payments. I imagine that other auditors battle over these kinds of substance vs form issues all the time and that this would be a good beginning research topic.

    As for the math, I have taken Calc 1 and a couple of stat classes. Not a real focus of mine during undergrad, so the battle then is to demonstrate that this area can be improved!

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    Re: PhD Accounting with a 690 GMAT

    If you are interested in studying the dynamic between the client's management and the auditor, you may want to consider behavioral audit research. I say this because while in theory, the type of question you are interested in can be studied by an archival audit researcher, you have to think about how you would get data on the relationship. That is, how—as an outsider—would you observe whether management is more/less open to discussing accounting issues, etc.? Also, you cannot observe proposed audit adjustments, etc, so trying to get examine how managers and auditor reach an agreed upon final adjustment is difficult archivally.

    As far as your initial question, I believe you can find your way into a solid accounting PhD program with a 690. However, your list has a lot of variation in terms of quality. Schools like Kansas and Tennessee would probably acknowledge that they are decent, but non-elite. On the other hand, Iowa and Minnesota would not be particularly keen being labeled as such.

    In terms of audit, if you are thinking archival, then Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, and Tennesee would certainly be places to consider. In terms of behavioral, look at Alabama, UMass, South Carolina.

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    Re: PhD Accounting with a 690 GMAT

    I was also thinking that your interests sound like behavioral audit research as well. There is a little bit of data on audit adjustments in the paper below, but tax's point stands that it is hard to observe anything that you are interested in without setting up an experiment. I would add Georgia and Illinois to the list above and you can use the BYU rankings to find other places.

    The Last Chance to Improve Financial Reporting Reliability: Evidence from Recorded and Waived Audit Adjustments by Preeti Choudhary, Kenneth J. Merkley, Katherine Schipper :: SSRN

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    Re: PhD Accounting with a 690 GMAT

    Quote Originally Posted by YaSvoboden View Post
    I was also thinking that your interests sound like behavioral audit research as well. There is a little bit of data on audit adjustments in the paper below, but tax's point stands that it is hard to observe anything that you are interested in without setting up an experiment. I would add Georgia and Illinois to the list above and you can use the BYU rankings to find other places.

    The Last Chance to Improve Financial Reporting Reliability: Evidence from Recorded and Waived Audit Adjustments by Preeti Choudhary, Kenneth J. Merkley, Katherine Schipper :: SSRN
    Preeti was a PCAOB fellow, so she had access to data that most researchers cannot get their hands on.

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