Katherine Gunny
Associate Professor

BUSB 5201

Katherine Gunny's research focuses on the strategic use of accounting information by managers. She explores how and why managers create intentional differences between reported earnings and economic performance (i.e. earnings management). Managers can influence reported accounting numbers by changing the underlying operations of the firm (i.e. real earnings management) or by using the inherent discretion in GAAP (i.e. accrual earnings management) and her work examines both techniques. She, also, examines under which circumstances managers use earnings management opportunistically to the detriment of shareholders and, conversely, under what circumstances they exercise discretion consistent with shareholder value maximization.

Another related stream of research focuses on how regulators, auditors, and political activities impact the measurement of firm performance by influencing the menu of accounting policy choices available and the responsibilities of the audit profession. For example, Gunny examines how the creation of a new regulatory body to oversee auditors (i.e. the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board) impacts the important role auditors' play as monitors of reported accounting numbers.


PhD Business, University of California Berkeley

MS Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California Davis

BS Managerial Economics, University of California Davis

Areas of expertise

Financial Reporting and Capital Markets

Earnings Management



Publications and presentations

Jane Barton, Brian Burnett, Katherine Gunny and Brian Miller. The importance of separating the probability of committing and detecting misstatements in the restatement setting. Management Science, forthcoming.

Jenna Burke and Katherine Gunny. The dueling impact of SEC comment letters on 10-K reporting complexity. Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance, forthcoming.

Bok Baik, Katherine Gunny, Boochun Jung and Duri Park. 2022. Income smoothing through R&D management and earnings informativeness. The Accounting Review 97 (3): 25-49.

Katherine Gunny and Judith Hermis. 2020. How busyness influences SEC compliance activities: Evidence from the filing review process and comment letters. Contemporary Accounting Research 37 (1): 7-32.

Jeff Chen, Marc Cussatt, and Katherine Gunny. 2020. When are outside directors more effective monitors? Evidence from real activities manipulation. Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance 35 (1): 26-52.

Brian Burnett, Hui Chen, and Katherine Gunny. 2018. Auditor-provided lobbying service and audit quality. Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance. 33 (3): 402-434.

Lawrence Abbott, Katherine Gunny, and Troy Pollard. 2017. The Impact of litigation risk on auditor pricing behavior: Evidence from reverse mergers. Contemporary Accounting Research 34 (2): 1103-1127.

Katherine Gunny and Tracey Zhang. 2014. Do managers use meeting analyst forecasts to signal private information? Evidence from patent citations. Journal of Business Finance and Accounting 41 (7): 950-973.

Katherine Gunny, John Jacob, and Bjorn Jorgensen. 2013. Implications of the integral approach and earnings management for alternate annual reporting periods. Review of Accounting Studies 18 (3): 868-891.

Lawrence Abbott, Katherine Gunny, and Tracey Zhang. 2013. When the PCAOB talks, who listens? Evidence from stakeholder reaction to GAAP-deficient PCAOB inspection reports of small auditors. Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory 32 (2): 1-31.

Katherine Gunny and Tracey Zhang. 2013. PCAOB inspection reports and audit quality. Journal of Accounting and Public Policy 32 (2): 136-160.

Leslie Eldenburg, Katherine Gunny, Kevin Hee, and Naomi Soderstrom. 2011. Earnings management using real activities: Evidence from nonprofit hospitals. The Accounting Review 86 (5): 1605-1630.

Gunny, Katherine. 2010. The relation between earnings management using real activities manipulation and future performance: Evidence from meeting earnings benchmarks. Contemporary Accounting Research 27 (3): 855-888.


Dean’s Research Scholar, University of Colorado Denver (2018,2019)

Provost's Faculty Achievement Award, University of Colorado Boulder (2012)

EKS&H Research Award, University of Colorado Boulder (2012)


Editorial Board Member: Journal of Accounting, Auditing, & Finance