Dean and Lee Kong Chian Chair Professor Leads SMU’s SOA to Asia’s top spot in BYU Accounting Research Rankings (2019)

Dean and Lee Kong Chian Chair Professor Leads SMU’s SOA to Asia’s top spot in BYU Accounting Research Rankings (2019)

Wednesday May 27,2020

Under the leadership of Lee Kong Chian Chair Professor Cheng Qiang, who has been Dean of the School since July 2015, the SOA’s reputation for its high quality research has grown from strength to strength. He says, “In the last twenty years, we have come a long way for a new university to achieve such robust rankings. This signifies the high standards of accounting research and education here at SMU and this achievement could not have been without the dedicated and collective efforts of faculty members. Our faculty members are thoroughly committed to conducting research of the highest quality and constantly publish their work in top tier accounting journals.”

In the latest Brigham Young University (BYU) Accounting Research Rankings 2019 (released in February 2020), SMU’s SOA is now ranked first in Asia and third in the world for Archival Research (All Topics) and first in Asia and second in the world for Archival Research (Financial Accounting). It also ranks first in Asia for All Areas and All Disciplines, placing it in the league of the top American universities and ahead of London Business School. Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

An award-winning researcher and teacher, Professor Cheng has published over thirty articles in leading scholarly accounting and finance journals, including The Accounting Review, Journal of Accounting Research, Journal of Accounting and Economics, and Journal of Financial Economics. He conducts research on various financial reporting and disclosure issues, including how corporate governance and family ownership affect corporate decisions, how investors use accounting information for valuation purposes, how executives affect financial reporting and disclosure decisions for their self-interests, and how security analysts help disseminate information in the capital markets. Professor Cheng is recognised for his research in corporate governance and earnings management. He has also won praise and top awards at international accounting conferences.

Professor Cheng’s latest publications include:
GDP Growth Incentives and Earnings Management: Evidence from China
Presented at the 2019 Review of Accounting Studies (RAST) conference, this paper provides analysis into firms that engage in earnings management for the incentive of GDP growth and its impact on assets return in the future. The study also examines how the incentives at the government level affect management at the firm level, articulating how the macroeconomic situation can affect microeconomic numbers and the integrity of a firm's financial reporting.

Corporate In-house Tax Departments
In-house tax investment is a significant input to a firm’s tax decisions. Yet, due to the lack of data, there is little empirical evidence on how corporate tax departments are associated with tax planning and compliance outcomes. The study finds that firms with larger tax departments are associated with lower and less volatile cash effective tax rates. The paper also examines tax departments’ relative focus on planning or compliance and its resulting trade-off.