Rick Mergenthaler

Associate Professor of Accounting


Ph.D., University of Washington, 2008
Master of Accountancy, Brigham Young University (Audit Emphasis), 2002
BS (Audit Emphasis), Brigham Young University, 2002

Areas of Expertise

  • Rules-Based versus Principles-Based Standards
  • Qualitative Characteristics of Financial Information
  • Pro Forma Earnings Disclosures


ACCT 498H Honors Thesis
ACCT 500A Intermediate Financial Accounting
ACCT 696B Introduction to Accounting Research

Current Research

  • The Evolution of Accounting Disclosure
  • Understanding Changes in the Verification and Informativeness Role of Accounting Information over time
  • Constituent Disagreement and Accounting Standards
  • Understanding the roles of Earnings versus Cash Flows   
  • The impact of verification and informativeness on IPO Mispricing

Published and Accepted Papers

“The Effects of PCAOB Inspections on Auditor-Client Relationships” with Andrew Acito and Chris Hogan (forthcoming at The Accounting Review).

“Financial Statement Comparability and the Efficiency of Acquisition Decisions” with Ciao-Wei Chen, Dan Collins, and Todd Kravet (forthcoming at Contemporary Accounting Research). 

“Principles-Based Standards and Earnings Attributes” with Paul Hribar, David Folsom, and Kyle Peterson (forthcoming at Management Science). 

“Explaining Rules-Based Characteristics in U.S. GAAP: Theories and Evidence?” with Dain Donelson and John McInnis, Journal of Accounting Research, June 2016, pp. 827-861. 

“The Effect of Corporate Governance Reform on Financial Reporting Fraud” with Dain Donelson and John McInnis, 2016, Journal of Law, Finance, and Accounting, pp. 235-274. 

“Discontinuities and Earnings Management: Evidence from Restatements Related to Securities Litigation” with Dain Donelson and John McInnis. Contemporary Accounting Research, March 2013, pp. 242-268. 

“The Timeliness of Bad Earnings News and Litigation Risk” with Dain Donelson, John McInnis, and Yong Yu, The Accounting Review, November 2012, pp. 1967-1991.  

“Rules-Based Accounting Standards and Litigation” with Dain Donelson and John McInnis, The Accounting Review, July 2012, pp. 1247-1279.  

“Investor Sentiment and Pro Forma Earnings Disclosures” with Nerissa Brown, Ted Christensen, and Brooke Elliott, Journal of Accounting Research, March 2012, pp. 1-40. 

“Who Trades on Pro Forma Earnings Information?” with Neil Bhattacharya, Erv Black, and Ted Christensen, The Accounting Review, May 2007, pp. 581-619. 

“Empirical Evidence on Recent Trends in Pro Forma Reporting” with Neil Bhattacharya, Erv Black, and Ted Christensen, Accounting Horizons, March 2004, pp. 17-43.

Awards and Honors

  • Dean’s Teaching Award (2011)
  • Gilbert P. Maynard Excellence in Accounting Instruction Award (2010)
  • Old God Fellowship Recipient (2009)
  • Deloitte Foundation Doctoral Fellowship Recipient (2007)