News from the Richard C. Adkerson School of Accountancy

Faculty Focus: Dr. Mike Truelson

Dr. Mike Truelson

Dr. Mike Truelson is putting the finishing touches on his first academic year as a member of the Adkerson School of Accountancy faculty – and his first as a professor in general.

“I was very lucky to get this job,” shares the assistant professor, who completed his PhD at Virginia Tech last May, preceded by bachelor’s and master’s degrees at LSU.

In his first year on staff, he has taught Accounting Information Systems I to undergraduates, as well as the Fraud and Data Analytics graduate course that is part of ASAC’s data analytics minor.

He has also been relishing his role as an audit archival researcher, having published his first article in Accounting Horizons, which focuses on a highly publicized 2017 audit firm scandal and its impact on new client acquisition.

Truelson, a CPA in Texas, has worked for EY in Dallas on audits of public and private companies and for KPMG in Pittsburgh as a senior auditor for client BNY Mellon.

“My experience has driven an interest in researching private companies,” he notes.

Recently, he has been investigating the impact of low-quality audits on an auditor’s reputation, specifically the effect on private-client market share. When one of an auditor’s public clients announces a restatement, findings have shown the auditor is likely to see a decline in private clients, through the loss of existing clients and difficulty in adding new ones. In fact, data indicates an auditor is more likely to lose private clients than publicly held ones.

Another project has Truelson and co-authors delving into the influence that the diversity of an audit office’s leadership has on retention of personnel. They have learned that gender and ethnic diversity among office audit partners is a key to demonstrating a climate where that is valued. Such offices tend to have lower turnover among audit personnel, and because of this increased retention, audit quality is higher.

As an archival researcher, Truelson examines existing data to learn how past events have shaped today’s environment and what lies ahead. The insights he gleans further the understanding of audit accounting for the benefit of academics and practitioners alike.