Faculty Feature: Melissa Carlisle, PhD | Weatherhead

Faculty Feature: Melissa Carlisle, PhD

Posted 1.7.2016

1. After working in public accounting, what influenced your decision to earn your PhD and move into the field of higher education?

I enjoyed my time in public accounting and I've always felt accounting is such a rewarding career path. I wanted to pursue a PhD to share my love for accounting with students and to build and expand our understanding of how and why auditors make the judgments and decisions they make.

2. What has been your greatest challenge and reward so far with teaching? 

Accounting and auditing are very technical in nature and may appear very rules-based and black and white. But accountants also have to apply a lot of professional judgment as well. Finding the right mix for teaching students about the standards and then also allowing for discussions on applying professional judgment while staying within the allotted class period is challenging. It's always rewarding to see students have that "aha!" moment in class!

3. How does your professional experience assist you in your academic research?

My research on auditor judgment and decision making is informed by my professional experiences. As an example, as a practicing auditor, I remember making the decision to send an email, call or get up and talk to client management about a question. My dissertation investigates how auditors may be unduly influenced by the communication channel used to communicate with client management. Also, I've been able to maintain contact with several professional colleagues. In speaking with them, I've been able to get a sense of what is impacting the profession today, which helps to inform what I decide to investigate.  

4. Which areas of research do you find the most interesting and why? What are you currently working on?

I'm most interested in investigating how auditors make their judgments and more specifically what may bias their judgments. Along with my dissertation, I'm in the early stages of a couple other projects investigating the influence of communication channel on auditor judgments. I'm also working on a project investigating the impact of the PCAOB, which is an independent oversight board that came into power as part of Sarbanes Oxley, on the market for low quality auditors.

5. You're an avid runner. How did you get started running and why do you think it's an important part of your life?

In college I picked up running as a way to stay active. I had such a strong sense of accomplishment the first time I ran a half marathon. It felt great knowing that my hard work and preparation allowed me to run farther than I ever had before. Participating in races gives me additional incentive to set new time or distance goals and constantly challenge myself. 

6. Tell us a bit about your family and what you enjoy doing in your personal life.

My husband, Michael, and I are both originally from Northeast Ohio. We are excited to be back here after five years in Atlanta. We've have been married for seven years and we have a 10-month-old daughter, Corinne. We enjoy traveling and recently visited Ireland for the first time. 

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