Professors Win Award for Best Accounting Ranking Methodology

Two accounting professors from Brigham Young University were honored with the Best Paper Award from the Issues in Accounting Education journal for their work in spotlighting others' research.

BYU School of Accountancy professors Scott Summers and David Wood are recipients of the annual peer-voted award for creating a ranking methodology based on university research publications.

"This award is significant and reflects the outstanding work that our faculty members are doing," says Kevin Stocks, School of Accountancy director. "Such recognition is always a positive reflection on the BYU program."

Delving into 20 years of academic journals, the research took more than three years for the team to complete. The professors created a system that ranked universities based on the number of articles its professors published in top accounting journals.

The complete findings are available online at, a website created to organize and publish the rankings.

BYU School of Accountancy professor Scott Summers.
BYU School of Accountancy professor Scott Summers.
"Our rankings website really serves multiple audiences," Wood says. "It's a great site for potential PhD students to compare different programs, along with giving faculty national recognition and showcasing their research abilities."

The voters consisted of members in the American Accounting Association. They voted for the best paper published in the quarterly journal from the last year.

"This is a peer-voted award, suggesting that accounting professors believe the rankings we have created add significant value to the profession," says Wood.

Universities that excel in less prominent research areas, such as tax, managerial systems and audit, are now able to be recognized for their studies and advancements. Summers says this ranking system shines light on areas in accounting research that are sometimes overshadowed by traditionally more published areas of study like financial research.

"It's our goal to give a voice to topics of accounting research that are often shaded by more dominant areas of study," Summers says. "Hopefully by giving these areas a voice, we'll reinvigorate faculty to research and publish more."

Wood and Summers were joined by full contributing co-authors and BYU accounting alumni Josh Coyne and Brady Williams in writing the paper. Coyne and Williams are currently working on their doctoral degrees at University of North Carolina and University of Washington, respectively.         

The Marriott School is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. The school has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, public management, information systems and entrepreneurship. The school's mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,000 students are enrolled in the Marriott School's graduate and undergraduate programs.

Media Contact: Joseph Ogden (801) 422-8938
Writer: Miriam Shumway