UCLA Anderson Professor of Accounting David Aboody has been a member of the faculty for more than 20 years, joining after completion of his Ph.D. at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley in 1995. His research seeks to address the concerns of investors, market regulators and standard-setters.
Aboody’s focus on empirical financial accounting can be organized into two separate areas: hedge fund strategies and the interaction between executive compensation and firm decisions or actions. He examines the effects of accounting discretion on the value of a firm and the behavior of its managers. In providing such discretion, a central tradeoff occurs between communication to capital markets and opportunism by managers.
Taking his years of research to the private sector, Aboody has consulted with hedge funds. “After a certain amount of time, many hedge fund strategies stop being effective,” Aboody says. “A study I conducted with Professor Brett Trueman was quite strong and our recommendations still produce money in hedge funds.” He also studies the impact of executive compensation — particularly executive stock options — on strategic decisions of managers that affect the value of their firm. These decisions include the timing of disclosure, the choice of accounting methods and corporate cash payout policies.
Aboody has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and serves on the editorial board of the Review of Accounting Studies, in addition to 15 other journals. He spent a total of six years as the area head of Anderson’s accounting academic unit and teaches core curriculum and equity valuation in the MFE, MBA, FEMBA and Ph.D. programs.