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Faculty Directory

Sarah McVay
Office: 553
Phone: 206-616-2196
Fax: 206-685-1561

Curriculum vitae:

Foster School of Business
University of Washington
Box: 353226
Seattle, WA 98195-3200

Sarah McVay

Professor of Accounting
William A. Fowler Endowed Professor


PhD University of Michigan (2004)
BA University of Oregon (1997)

Academic Expertise

financial accounting

Current Research

Earnings quality, management disclosures, managerial ability, and the interactions between market participants

Positions Held

At the University of Washington since 2012
Faculty at University of Utah, 2007-2012
Faculty at New York University, 2004-2007
Senior Auditor at Arthur Andersen, Portland Oregon, 1998-2000
Staff Accountant at Moss Adams & Co., Vancouver Washington, 1997-1998

Selected Publications

  1. Experience with Non-GAAP Earnings and Investors’ Pricing of Exclusions
    Journal Article:McVay, S., E. Rodriguez-Vasquez, and S. Toynbee, (forthcoming). The Accounting Review,
  2. Free Cash Flow Disclosure in Earnings Announcements
    Journal Article:Adame, K., J. Koski, K. Lem, and S. McVay, (forthcoming). Journal of Financial Reporting,
  3. Internal Control over Financial Reporting and Resource Extraction: Evidence from China
    Journal Article:Ge, W., Z. Li, Q. Liu and S. McVay., (2021). Contemporary Accounting Research, Vol. 38(2), pp. 1274–1309.
  4. Preparers and the Financial Reporting System
    Journal Article:McVay, S. and B. Szerwo., (2021). Accounting and Business Research, Vol. 51(5), pp. 484–507.
  5. Detecting Opportunistic Special Items
    Journal Article:Cain, C., K. Kolev and S. McVay., (2020). Management Science, Vol. 66(5), pp. 2099–2119.
  6. The Changing Implications of Research and Development Expenditures for Future Profitability
    Journal Article:Curtis, A., S. McVay and S. Toynbee., (2020). Review of Accounting Studies, Vol. 25(2), pp. 405-437.
  7. How Does Intentional Earnings Smoothing Vary with Managerial Ability?
    Journal Article:Demerjian, P., M. Lewis-Western and S. McVay., (2020). Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance, Vol. 35(2), pp. 406-437.
  8. Costs and Benefits of Internal Control Audits: Evidence from M&A Transactions
    Journal Article:Kravet, T., S. McVay and D. Weber., (2018). Review of Accounting Studies, Vol. 23, pp. 1389–1423.
  9. Costs and Benefits of Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404(b) Exemption: Evidence from Small Firms’ Internal Control Disclosures
    Journal Article:Ge, W., Koester, A. & McVay, S., (2017). Journal of Accounting and Economics, Vol. 63, pp. 368–384.
  10. Does Ineffective Internal Control over Financial Reporting affect a Firm’s Operations? Evidence from Firms’ Inventory Management
    Journal Article:Feng, M., Li, C., McVay, S., and Skaife, H., (2015). The Accounting Review, Vol. 90, pp. 529-557.
  11. An Analysis of the Implications of Discontinued Operations for Continuing Income
    Journal Article:Curtis, A., McVay, S. E., and Wolfe, M., (2014). Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Vol. 33(2), pp. 190-201.
  12. The Disclosure of Non-GAAP Earnings Information in the Presence of Transitory Gains
    Journal Article:Curtis, A., McVay, S. E., and Whipple, B., (2014). The Accounting Review, Vol. 89(3), pp. 933-958.
  13. Forecasting Sales: A Model and Some Evidence from the Retail Industry
    Journal Article:Curtis, A., Lundholm, R. J. and McVay, S. E, (2014). Contemporary Accounting Research, Vol. 31(2), pp. 581–608.
  14. Managerial Ability and Earnings Quality
    Journal Article:Demerjian, P., Lev, B., Lewis, M., and McVay, S., (2013). The Accounting Review, Vol. 88(2), pp. 463-498.
  15. Quantifying Managerial Ability: A New Measure and Validity Tests
    Journal Article:Demerjian, P., Lev, B., and McVay, S., (2012). Management Science, Vol. 58(7), pp. 1229-1248.
  16. Non-GAAP Earnings and Board Independence
    Journal Article:Frankel, R., McVay, S., and Soliman, M., (2011). Review of Accounting Studies, Vol. 16(4), pp. 719-744.
  17. Manager-Specific Effects on Earnings Guidance: An Analysis of Top Executive Turnovers
    Journal Article:Brochet, F., Faurel, L., and McVay, S., (2011). Journal of Accounting Research, Vol. 49(5), pp. 1123-1162.
  18. Analysts’ Incentives to Overweight Management Guidance When Revising Their Short-Term Earnings Forecasts
    Journal Article:Feng, M., and McVay, S., (2010). The Accounting Review, Vol. 85(5), pp. 1617-1646.
  19. Internal Control and Management Guidance
    Journal Article:Feng, M., Li, C., and McVay, S., (2009). Journal of Accounting and Economics, Vol. 48(2-3), pp. 190-209.
  20. SEC Scrutiny and the Evolution of Non-GAAP Earnings Numbers
    Journal Article:Kolev, K., Marquardt, C., and McVay, S., (2008). The Accounting Review, Vol. 83(1), pp. 157-184.
  21. Determinants of Weaknesses in Internal Control over Financial Reporting
    Journal Article:Doyle, J., Ge, W., and McVay, S., (2007). Journal of Accounting and Economics, Vol. 44(1-2), pp. 193-223.
  22. Accruals Quality and Internal Control over Financial Reporting
    Journal Article:Doyle, J., Ge, W., and McVay, S., (2007). The Accounting Review, Vol. 82(5), pp. 1141-1170.
  23. Earnings Management Using Classification Shifting: An Examination of Core Earnings and Special Items
    Journal Article:McVay, S., (2006). The Accounting Review, Vol. 81(3), pp. 501-531.
  24. Trading Incentives to Meet the Analyst Forecast
    Journal Article:McVay, S., Nagar, V., and Tang, W., (2006). Review of Accounting Studies, Vol. 11(4), pp. 575-598.
  25. The Disclosure of Material Weaknesses in Internal Control after the Sarbanes-Oxley Act
    Journal Article:Ge, W., and McVay, S., (2005). Accounting Horizons, Vol. 19(3), pp. 137-158.

Working Papers

Adame, K., J. Koski, K. Lem, and S. McVay. 2023. Why Are Investors Paying (More) Attention to Free Cash Flows?
Carnahan, S., S. McVay, and M.J. Rabier. 2023. Who Bears the Cost of Capital Market Pressure? Job-related Injuries, Wage Theft and Race.
Chen, S., S. Lai, C. Liu, and S. McVay. 2023. Overconfident Managers and Internal Controls.
Kravet, T., S. McVay, and J. Warren. 2023. The Impact of M&A Transactions on Acquiring Firm Management Guidance: An Analysis of Competing Disclosure Incentives.
McVay, S. and M.J. Rabier. 2023. How Resilient are Firms’ Financial Reporting Processes to the Sudden Loss of a CFO? Evidence from Sudden Deaths.

Honors and Awards

William A. Fowler Endowed Professorship, 2021–present
CBDC Diversity Research Grant, 2023–2025
Pacific Coast Banking School Dean’s Leadership Award, 2023
PhD Faculty Mentor Award, 2016, 2022
MBA Professor of the Quarter, 2016 (Spring Quarter), 2021 (Spring Quarter)
Deloitte and Touche Endowed Professorship, 2015–2021
Dean’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, 2019
TMMBA Faculty of the Quarter Award, 2013–2016, 2019 (Winter Quarter)
TMMBA Excellence in Teaching Award, 2016
William and Helen Fowler Endowment for Special Achievement in Accounting, 2014
Glen and Lucille Legoe Endowed Professorship, 2012–2015
Contemporary Accounting Research Outstanding Reviewer Award, 2011
Doctoral Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, 2011
David Eccles Emerging Scholar/Faculty Fellow, 2008–2011/2011–2012
Deloitte and Touche Fellowship, 2002
Beta Alpha Psi, President (Oregon Chapter), 1996–1997
Oregon State Society of CPAs Outstanding Student Award, 1997

Academic Service

Service to journals:
Editor, Contemporary Accounting Research 2014–2022
Editor, Journal of Financial Reporting 2018–2021
Editorial Board, Journal of Financial Reporting 2021–present
Editorial Board, Review of Accounting Studies 2017–present
Editorial Board, Accounting and Finance 2012–present
Editorial Advisory and Review Board, Accounting Horizons 2008–present
Editorial Advisory and Review Board, The Accounting Review 2008–present
Ad Hoc Editor, Contemporary Accounting Research 2013–2014, 2023
Editorial Board, Contemporary Accounting Research 2010–2014
Select service to the American Accounting Association:
AAA Vice President – Research and Publications, 2021–2024
AAA/Deloitte Foundation/J. Michael Cook Doctoral Consortium Invited Speaker, 2021
FARS President, 2019–2020
New Faculty Consortium Committee, 2016 (Chair), 2011–2013, 2015, 2017 (Member)
Organizer of the Western Region Doctoral Student Faculty Interchange, 2013–2015
FARS Financial Reporting Policy Committee, 2012–2013 (Chair), 2008–2012 (Member)