Like many of the 30 subjects ranked in the 2013 QS World University Rankings by Subject, the top 10 universities for accounting and finance is dominated by the US and UK, but also features two Australian entries. Find out more about the strengths and specializations of each of these world-leading universities for accounting and finance…
1. Harvard University
Harvard University is well respected across many different subject areas – in fact it’s ranked number one in 10 out of the 30 subjects covered in the 2013 QS World University Rankings by Subject. But the prestigious Harvard Business School is undoubtedly among the university’s most famous schools. Research at the school’s accounting and management research unit currently focuses on the use of performance measurement systems to help businesses communicate with external investors, improve resource allocation and strategy, and build accountability.
2. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Specializing in social sciences, LSE ranks highly across these subjects – for example, it’s also currently ranked second for politics and international studies. LSE’s Department of Accounting offers BSc, MSc, diploma and PhD programs, and has identified three key strands of research: regulation, financial reporting and auditing; the economics of accounting; and the organizational and strategic aspects of accounting.
3. University of Oxford
The University of Oxford doesn’t have an undergraduate course specifically in accounting and/or finance, though these subjects are available within the economics and management degree. It offers several different masters programs in finance, either singly or in combination with a second subject, and its Saïd Business School is home to internationally renowned research groups focusing on both accounting and finance.
4. University of Cambridge
Likewise, the University of Cambridge doesn’t teach any undergraduate courses specifically in accounting and finance, though these subjects may be covered in other programs, but does offer several MPhil programs in finance. The university’s finance and accounting research group, based at the Judge Business School, focuses on: business finance, financial policy, empirical corporate finance, investment management, financial reporting and stock markets.
5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
MIT, currently number one in the overall QS World University Rankings, also has its own world-renowned business school – the MIT Sloan School of Management. Again, the university’s accounting and finance programs are concentrated at graduate level, with research groups dedicated to both fields. Relevant research centers include the laboratory for Financial Engineering, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, and MIT Center for Digital Business.
6. Stanford University
Stanford’s business school is quite simply called the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Accounting research at the school currently focuses on issues relating to financial reporting and management control, including accounting-based valuation strategies and the design of performance measurement and incentive systems. Meanwhile major topics for finance research at Stanford include asset pricing and corporate finance, including analysis of investment decisions.
7. University of Melbourne
The University of Melbourne offers accounting and finance programs from undergraduate level (as part of a Bachelor of Commerce) up to PhD, mainly through the Melbourne Business School. The Department of Accounting focuses on financial accounting, managerial accounting and auditing and assurance services. Major topics at the Department of Finance include capital markets and financial institutions, investments and financial planning, corporate finance and real estate finance.
8. University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley)
Berkeley’s Haas School of Business teaches courses in accounting and finance at undergraduate level, as well as offering PhD and MBA programs. Research in these fields is based at the Center for Financial Reporting & Management, with specializations including financial reporting, financial statement analysis, managerial accounting and managerial performance evaluation.
9. University of Sydney
At the University of Sydney Business School, which again teaches courses from undergraduate up to PhD level, current research in accounting covers areas such as: international accounting, public sector accounting, corporate responses to accounting regulation, accounting for intellectual capital, and accountability. Meanwhile the finance department’s major areas of focus are security market microstructure and corporate finance.
10. University of Chicago
Finally, the University of Chicago’s accounting and finance faculty are based at its Booth School of Business, which offers PhD and MBA programs. Relevant research interests include external financial reporting and disclosure issues, securities regulation, international financial reporting and the role of accounting in contracting.
About the QS World University Rankings by Subject
Published annually since 2011, the QS World University Rankings by Subject highlights the world’s top 200 universities across 30 different subjects. The ranking is compiled based on QS’s global surveys of academics and graduate employers, combined with data about research citations per faculty member.