Mark Finn
Mark Finn

Clinical Professor of Accounting Information & Management

Print Overview

Mark Finn is a Clinical Professor of Accounting and International Business at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. From 2001 to 2008 he also served as director of Kellogg's Global Initiatives in Management (GIM) program. Prior to coming to Kellogg, Prof. Finn served on the faculty of the University of Chicago. He received PhD, MS, and MBA degrees from Cornell University and an AB with honors from Stanford University.

Prof. Finn teaches core financial accounting and advanced classes in financial reporting, international accounting, and sustainability reporting. He received the Chairs' Core Teaching Award in 1999, 2005, and 2008.  Within the GIM program, he has been a faculty adviser to classes on China, Japan, India, and South Africa.  His primary research interests are related to the quality and credibility of financial disclosures, especially in non-US settings. His research articles include "Market Rewards for Increasing Earnings Patterns" published in the Journal of Accounting Research.  

Prof. Finn has also served as a visiting professor at the Indian School of Business (Hyderabad, India) since 2002, at the Sasin Graduate Institute of Management, Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok, Thailand) since 2003, and at Keio University (Hiyoshi, Japan) in 2007. He received the ISB's Teacher of the Year award in 2003, 2008, and 2009.

Areas of Expertise
Emerging Markets
Financial Accounting
Financial Disclosure/Statements
Financial Reporting
International Accounting
International Finance (Exchange Rates, Current Account)
International Trade
Pension Funds
Risk Management

Print Vita
PhD, 1995, Management, Cornell University
MBA, 1990, Accounting, Finance, Cornell University
BA, 1982, Economics, Standford University, Honors

Academic Positions
Clinical Professor of Accounting and International Business, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2004-present
Visiting Professor of Accounting, Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration, Chulalongkorn University, 2003-present
Visiting Professor of Accounting, Indian School of Business, 2002-present
Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship, Graduate School of Business Administration, Keio University, 2007-2008
Clinical Associate Professor of Accounting and International Business, Kellogg School of Management, Norhtwestern University, 2001-2004
Assistant Professor of Accounting, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1996-2001
Assistant Professor of Accounting, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago, 1993-1996

Grants and Awards
Chairs’ Core Course Teaching Award, Kellogg School of Management, 2007-2008, 2004-2005, 1998-1999

Print Research
Research Interests
Financial reporting and corporate control outside the United States, particularly in Japan and emerging markets. Accounting for foreign operations and risk management activities. Theoretical topics in auditing, financial reporting, and managerial accounting

Brown, Stephen, Mark Finn and Ole-Kristian Hope. 2000. Acquisition-Related Provision-Taking and Post-Acquisition Performance in the UK Prior to FRS 7. Journal of Business Finance & Accounting. 27(9-10): 1233-1265.
Finn, Mark. 1999. Market Rewards for Increasing Earnings Patterns. Journal of Accounting Research. 37(2): 191-208.
Working Papers
Finn, Mark. 2000. The Structure of Accounting Based Equity Valuation Models.
Finn, Mark and Mark Penno. 2000. Real Time Disclosure Games with Varying Levels of Commitment.
Book Chapters
Dye, Ronald A and Mark Finn. 2007. "Equilibrium Voluntary Disclosures When Firms Possess Random Multidimensional Private Information." In Essays on Accounting Theory in Honor of Joel S. Demski, edited by Rick Antle; Pierre Jinghong Liang, Frøystein Gjesdal, New York, NY: Springer Publishing.
Finn, Mark. 2007. Global Corporate Citizenship. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.
Conference Proceedings
Finn, Mark and Jianming Ye. 1999. "Nonlinear Accounting-based Equity Valuation Models." In Proceedings of the 31st Symposium on the Interface: Computing Science and Statistics.

Print Teaching
Full-Time / Part-Time MBA
Accounting For Decision Making (ACCT-430-0)

This course counts toward the following majors: Accounting.

This course acquaints students with the process used to construct and understand the financial reports of organizations. The objective is to understand the decisions that must be made in the financial reporting process and to develop the ability to evaluate and use accounting data. Emphasis is placed on understanding the breadth of accounting measurement practices and on being able to make the adjustments necessary for careful analysis. The course highlights the linkages between accounting information and management planning, and decision making and control.

Turbo Accounting (ACCT-434-0)
An accelerated version of the core accounting course (430), intended for students with recent exposure to accounting principles. In contrast to 430, this course assumes students already have a working knowledge of the journal entry process. The course explores the principles of financial accounting and the structure and meaning of financial statements and footnote disclosures. The additional time made available by not covering the journal entry process allows for an in-dept study of many financial reporting issues, and for extra coverage of current financial accounting topics.

Accounting for Decision Making (ACCT-438-B)
This course is a condensed version of ACCT-430 (Accounting for Decision Making) for One-Year students. See ACCT-430 course description for more details.

MMM Accounting for Decision Making (ACCT-440-0)
This course acquaints MMM students with the process used to construct and understand the financial reports of organizations. The objective is to understand the decisions that must be made in the financial reporting process and to develop the ability to evaluate and use accounting data. Emphasis is placed on understanding the breadth of accounting measurement practices and on being able to make the adjustments necessary for careful analysis. The course highlights the linkages between accounting information and management planning, and decision making and control. 

Financial Reporting and Analysis II (ACCT-452-0)

This course counts toward the following majors: Accounting, International Business,

This course covers a series of financial reporting topics that have received considerable attention from the financial community in recent years. These include accounting for share-based compensation, pensions and other post-retirement benefits, market value accounting, business combinations, intangible assets, foreign operations, and off-balance sheet structures such as special purpose entities. Each of these topics entails important international dimensions, and students will gain familiarity with several of the most important differences between U.S. and non-U.S. accounting. ACCT-451 is not a prerequisite for this class; however, some of the material is comparatively technical, and students will need a firm understanding of basic financial accounting.

Sustainability Reporting and Analysis (ACCT-459-0)

This course counts toward the following majors: Accounting.

Traditional financial reporting is often criticized for ignoring some of a company’s most important economic assets and liabilities. On the assets side, mainstream accounting often ignores brands, human resources, intellectual property, supplier and customer relationships, and more generally the goodwill that accrues to a business through its involvement in the wider community. On the liabilities side, accountants tend to ignore many of the risks, or contingent liabilities, posed by deleterious environmental and social policies. This course introduces students to sustainability reporting, a system of analysis and reporting that attempts to bridge some of these gaps and provide a more expansive view of an organization’s social and environmental performance (sometimes called the “triple bottom line”). Through lectures and case studies, we will examine markets for sustainability reporting and metrics that have been developed to supply information to these markets. The class will address socially responsible investing, carbon disclosure initiatives, accounting for legal and environmental liabilities, and the role of intangible assets in long-run performance.

Financial Analysis for Strategic Marketing (ACCT-920-0)
Some of the accounting discipline’s most fundamental concepts have important implications for marketing that are insufficiently developed in general-purpose classes. This course will explore these concepts with the explicit goal of applying them to the measurement and management of marketing activities. The class is divided into three broad areas: 1) Measurement and management of return on marketing investment and brand equity. The traditional accounting model treats marketing expenditures as expenses rather than investments, a shortcoming with many potentially deleterious consequences for marketing managers. We will explore this problem and possible responses in depth. Topics to be covered include brand valuation models and non-financial performance metrics connected to marketing activities. 2) Marketing applications of managerial accounting frameworks. Topics to be covered include customer profitability analysis (including customer life-time value) and activity-based pricing. 3) Accounting and financial statement analysis for selling activities. Accounting for selling activities is one of the most critical and controversial areas of financial reporting. Topics to be covered include revenue recognition in retailing or in selling to retailers, as well as the financial analysis of major retail and CPG companies. The class will combine lectures and cases. It should be of interest to anyone pursuing a marketing career as well as students interested in the financial analysis of an organization’s marketing activities. The prerequisite is one prior course in accounting.

Global Initiatives in Management (GIM) (INTL-473-0)

This course counts toward the following majors: International Business

This course offers students an opportunity to learn about non-U.S. business environments within an innovative and flexible framework that combines traditional classroom-based learning with structured in-country field research. From its inception in 1989 as one class of 34 students covering the Soviet Union, the program has grown to become a cornerstone of the Kellogg experience for many students. The school currently sponsors 13 GIM courses composed of approximately 400 students traveling to 15 countries. Evanston full-time students gain admission to GIM classes through the bidding process in the fall quarter. Classroom instruction is held during the winter quarter, followed by two weeks of field research abroad and seminar presentations of written student reports during the spring quarter. (TMP and EMP GIM classes sometimes follow different schedules.) GIM courses are organized by student leaders under the guidance of a faculty adviser. If you would like to become a GIM student leader, please contact the IBMP office for more information.

Executive MBA
Global Initiatives in Management (INTLX-473-0)
Global Initiatives in Management combines classroom study with a 12-day research trip abroad to observe overseas business operations firsthand and to meet with industry executives and political leaders.

Executive Education
Business for Scientists and Engineers
Develop the business acumen to advance your life’s work. In this collaborative program, you will gain skills in marketing, leadership, finance and other management areas to build on your expertise in science or engineering. Covering topics such as taking innovation from bench to market, launching a startup, managing intellectual property and implementing negotiation strategies, this program will arm you with the tools and frameworks to face new challenges and embrace new opportunities.
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