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New Study Ranks Bentley University Accountancy Professors Jean Bedard and James Hunton Top Researchers Among Peers

June 3, 2010

Bentley University accountancy professors Jean Bedard and James Hunton are top ranked researchers among their academic peers, according to the just released study, Individual Accounting Faculty Research Rankings By Topical Area and Methodology. The study by researchers from Brigham Young and Utah State Universities was created to rank research productivity in the most recent six, 12, and 20-year windows, expanding on previous rankings in two important ways: by providing separate rankings for each accounting topical area and methodology; and developing a measure to examine the contribution of individual faculty to their respective institutions.

In the Overall Academia Ranking of Researchers, James Hunton, Darald and Juliet Libby Professor of Accounting at Bentley, ranks No. 1 in both the 20-year and 12-year time periods, and No. 4 in the most recent six-year period. He also ranks No. 1 in all three time spans in the topical area of Accounting Information Systems (AIS) and Experimental research.

Overall, Jean Bedard, Timothy B. Harbert Professor of Accountancy at Bentley, ranks No. 4 in the six-year span, No. 8 in the 12-year and No. 9 in the 20-year. Within auditing, her primary research specialty, Bedard ranks No. 4 in the six-year span, and No. 3 in the 12- and 20-year spans. Also, in the AIS category, she ranks No. 5 in the six-year, No. 11 in the 12-year, and No. 16 in the 20-year span. 

The study's goal is to enhance the quality of individual rankings by taking into consideration research focus, type of contribution, and time.

"This ranking notes the current affiliation of the faculty and measures research production recently, as well as over the longer term," Bedard notes. "Thus, it highlights faculties of universities that are trending upward in terms of commitment to research."

Hunton agrees. "A ranking of this nature holds the potential to move Bentley University ever higher in the echelon of elite universities engaged in meaningful and relevant accounting research."

According to the study's authors, the research is of interest to potential doctoral students and current faculty, as well as accounting department, business school, and university administrators as they make decisions based on individual faculty member's research productivity. Rankings are based on publication counts from 1990 to 2009 in the following eleven journals: The Accounting Review (TAR); Journal of Accounting Research (JAR); Journal of Accounting & Economics (JAE); Contemporary Accounting Research (CAR); Review of Accounting Studies (RAST); Accounting, Organizations, and Society (AOS); Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory (Auditing); Journal of the American Taxation Association (JATA); Journal of Management Accounting Research (JMAR); Journal of Information Systems (JIS); and Behavioral Research in Accounting (BRIA).

The research of Jean Bedard focuses primarily on audit quality, particularly in regard to the individual auditor and how decision aids and systems assist the auditor's effectiveness. Other studies focus on a more macro level, examining how audit firms judge the risk of companies in making decisions to engage in or discontinue serving as the company's auditor. She has also studied how investors and lenders make decisions using financial information.

James Hunton's recent research focuses on improving corporate and social responsibility, particularly situations where auditors, managers and directors are biased toward self-interest that could potentially harm investors and society in general, with a goal to help develop and policies and procedures to minimize deleterious effects. His research encompasses the domains of accounting, information systems and psychology, with an underlying theme of behavioral experimentation.

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit

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