Head shot of Melissa Lewis Western

Melissa Lewis Western

Professor, W. Steve Albrecht Professorship,
School of Accountancy
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Dr. Melissa F. Lewis-Western is the Rachel Martin Faculty Fellow in the Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University. She earned her master’s degree and Ph.D. from Indiana University (2007). She teaches financial accounting and her primary research interest is earnings quality, with a particular interest in earnings management. Her research studies how institutional factors (e.g., regulation) and incentives impact executives’ decisions, and the consequences of such decisions. Her research has been published in top journals including the Journal of Financial Economics, the Journal of Accounting Research, the Accounting Review, the Journal of Accounting and Economics, Review of Accounting Studies and Contemporary Accounting Research.
Dr. Lewis-Western also utilizes her expertise in the classroom. Her overarching goal is long-term student success. She prepares students for success by offering challenging courses that require critical-thinking skills, and aid students in developing learning strategies (rather than memorization strategies) that are useful throughout their careers. She also hopes to instill upon them the importance of integrity in business and in life. Finally, it is her great hope that through teaching she might encourage her students to be their very best and help them progress towards that goal.
On a personal note, Melissa loves to run and attended university on a full athletic scholarship. She ran track and her best event was the pole vault. She held the U.S.A and NCAA record for many years. She is married to the “best man” she knows and has two wonderful children. She views her role as mother as her most important and rewarding role. Melissa and her family live in Salt Lake City and can often be found hiking the Wasatch front enjoying the beauty that characterizes Utah or gardening!


  • Ph.D, Accounting, Indiana University, 2007
  • Masters of Business, Accounting, Indiana University, 2004
  • Bachelor of Science, Accounting, California State University, Fresno, 2001

Group Affiliations

  • American Accounting Association — The American Accounting Association is the largest community of accountants in academia. The diversity of membership creates a fertile environment for collaboration and innovation. Collectively, the organization shapes the future of accounting through teaching, research and a powerful network, ensuring our position as thought leaders in accounting. — 2004–0

Selected Publications

  • "Innovations in IPO Deal Structure: Do Up-C IPOs Harm Public Shareholders?", Management Science, Edition 5, Volume 69, Pages 3048-3079, 2023
  • "A Simple Approach to Better Distinguish Real Earnings Manipulation from Strategy Changes", Contemporary Accounting Research, Edition 1, Volume 40, Pages 406-450, Paul Hribar, 2023
  • "Accruals Earnings Manipulation Proxies: Prudent Business Decisions or Earnings Manipulation?", Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Edition 3-4, Volume 49, Pages 536-587, Wiley, 2022
  • "The innovation consequences of financial regulation for young life-cycle firms", Journal Of Accounting Research, Edition 1, Volume 60, Pages 45-95, Wiley, Phil Berger, 2022
  • "Do quarterly and annual financial statements reflect similar financial statement error in the post-SOX era?", Journal of Financial Reporting, Edition 1, Volume 6, Pages 1-31, American Accounting Association, Alan Jagolinzer, 2021
  • "How Does Intentional Earnings Smoothing Vary with Managerial Ability?", Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance, Sage, 2020
  • "Rank and file equity compensation and earnings management: Evidence from Stock Options", Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, Volume 46, Pages 1201–1236, Wiley, 2019
  • "Income smoothing and the usefulness of earnings for monitoring in debt contracts", Contemporary Accounting Research, Wiley, 2019
  • "The effects of viewing pornography on employees’ ethical decision making", Journal of Business Ethics, Volume 168, Pages 37-54, 2019
  • "When Does Pre-IPO Financial Reporting Trigger Post-IPO Legal Consequences?", Contemporary Accounting Research, Edition 1, Volume 33, Pages 378-411, 2016
  • "Historical cost measurement and the use of DuPont analysis by market participants", Review of Accounting Studies, Volume 20, Pages 1210-1245, 2015
  • "Managerial Ability and Earnings Quality", The Accounting Review, Edition 2, Volume 88, Pages 463–498, 2013
  • "Do Voluntary Disclosures that Disavow the Reliability of Mandated Fair Value Information Reflect Legitimate Concerns about Reliability?", Journal of Accounting and Economics, 2011
  • "The Role of Tax Regulation and Compensation Contracts in the Decision to Voluntarily Expense Employee Stock Options", Journal of Accounting and Economics, Pages 101-111, 2008
  • "Diversification to Mitigate Expropriation in the Tobacco Industry", Journal of Financial Economics, 2008


Academic - Post-Secondary

  • Associate Professor, Brigham Young University, 2016–0
  • Associate Professor, University of Utah, 2015–2016
  • Assistant Professor, University of Utah, 2007–2015


  • BYU Devotional, BYU, 2021
  • Excellence in Scholarship Award, BYU Faculty Women’s Association, 2021
  • Rachel Martin Faculty Fellowship, Marriott School of Business, 2019
  • Robert Smith Faculty Fellowship, Marriott School, 2016
  • Institute for Fraud Prevention Grant Recipient for Rank-and-File Equity Compensation and Earnings Management, Institute for Fraud Prevention, 2016
  • Daniels Fund Leadership and Ethics Award, Daniels Ethics Initiative Fund, 2013
  • David Eccles Emerging Scholar, David Eccles Emerging School of Business, 2009

BYU Citizenship

  • Faculty Advisory Council (FAC) — Committee/Council Member — August 2022–July 2025
  • Jr. Core Financial Coordinator — Committee/Council Chair — August 2016–2024
  • Ph.D. Prep Committee — Committee/Council Member — July 2016–2024
  • Graduate Admissions Committee — Committee/Council Member — 2016–2024
  • Co-Chair of the Supporting Families committee of BYU's FAC — Committee/Council Chair — August 2023–April 2024
  • Converts Club Faculty Advisor — Faculty Advisor — June 2023–0
  • Keynote speaker at the Human Resources (BYU) department retreat “Mission Possible.” — Guest Speaker — March 2023–May 2023
  • Keynote speaker on scholarship at BYU’s Spring Seminar for new faculty, “The Joy of Learning and Scholarship in light of Truth’s Eternal Nature” — Guest Speaker — March 2023–May 2023
  • Dean Search Committee for J. Reuben Clark Law School — Committee/Council Member — October 2022–March 2023
  • BYU Devotional — Guest Speaker — April 2021–July 2021
  • Financial Group Coordinator — Committee/Council Chair — July 2019–0
  • Keynote Speaker Fall WSOA — Guest Speaker — October 2018–October 2018
  • Faculty Recruiting Committee — Committee/Council Member — August 2018–October 2018
  • SOA Diversity and Inclusion Committee — Committee/Council Member — May 2018–0

Professional Citizenship

  • Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, Editorial Review Board Member, September 2022–2024
  • Contemporary Accounting Research, Editorial Review Board Member, May 2017–April 2024
  • Bretton Woods Accounting and Finance Conference, Committee/Council Chair, December 2023–January 2023
  • Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, October 2019–October 2019