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 was 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, taxation, international accounting, and sustainability reporting. He received the Chairs' Core Teaching Award in 1999, 2005, 2008, 2012, and 2014.  Within the GIM program, he served as 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 been affiliated with the Sasin Graduate Institute of Management, Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok, Thailand) since 2003. He has also been a visiting professor at the Indian School of Business (Hyderabad and Mohali) and Keio University (Hiyoshi, Japan). 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, Stanford 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

Honors and Awards
Chairs Core Course Teaching Award
Chair Core Teaching Award
2014 Faculty of the Year, MSMS Program, 2013-14
Chairs Core Course Teaching Award, Kellogg School of Management, 2013-14, 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, Fr, 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
Teaching 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
Full-Time / Evening & Weekend MBA
Accounting For Decision Making (ACCT-430-0)
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. Course sections that end in "H" will be taught in a format that combines the convenience and flexibility of online learning with the social and instructional benefits of face-to-face classroom experiences. Online sessions are conducted synchronously with classmates and faculty.

Prior to beginning ACCT 430, students are required to complete a prep course based on their specific academic program.

Evening and Weekend Students are required to complete this Accounting Essentials Prep Course

1Y and MMM students are required to complete this Accounting Essentials Prep Course

2Y students are required to complete this Accounting Essentials Prep Course

Financial Planning for Mergers & Acquisitions (ACCT-444-5)
Many companies are able to identify potential merger partners where combinations can result in significant synergies or value creation, but less than half are able to execute the merger to claim the value created. This course provides the technical knowledge necessary to identify targets as well as prepare business and law practitioners for their future collaborations in the mergers and acquisitions field. The course is offered jointly by the Kellogg School of Management and the Northwestern Law School and is primarily targeted for those interested in planning, analyzing, executing, or facilitating corporate acquisitions. Topics include: economics of mergers and acquisitions, securities law and antitrust regulation, financial reporting issues, tax implications, and economic and legal considerations.

Financial Reporting and Analysis (ACCT-451-0)
This course provides a study of current practices in corporate financial reporting and fundamental issues relating to asset valuation and income determination. The emphasis is on financial statement analysis and interpretation of existing financial disclosures. The course stresses critical analyses of financial reporting numbers as a basis for improved risk assessment and cash flow forecasting. Cases are used extensively to enhance relevance.

Issues in Financial Reporting (ACCT-452-0)
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.

Global Financial Management and Reporting (ACCT-457-5)
Designing and executing a global financial strategy is one of the most important duties of senior managers in international organizations. This class will use a mixture of cases and lectures to prepare students to work in this area. Specific topical areas covered will include international taxation and reporting, governance and stewardship in foreign environments, and cross-border financial management. The business questions raised by our exploration of these areas, particularly those related to international taxation, are among the most widely discussed in the business world.

Sustainability Reporting and Analysis (ACCT-459-5)

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/customer relationships, and (more generally) the goodwill that accrues to a business through its involvement in the wider community. On the liabilities side, despite numerous attempts, accountants have been unable to develop a coherent framework for reporting on 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 these gaps and provide a more expansive view of an organization's social and environmental performance, sometimes called the triple bottom line. Through lectures, cases, and a research project, we will examine markets for sustainability reporting and metrics that have been developed to supply information to these markets. The class will address a number of important topics, such as socially responsible investing, the Global Reporting Initiative, carbon disclosure, tracking and controlling product and labor standards in the supply chain, accounting for legal and environmental liabilities, and the role of intangible assets in long-run performance.

Field Study (ACCT-498-0)
Field Studies include those opportunities outside of the regular curriculum in which a student is working with an outside company or non-profit organization to address a real-world business challenge for course credit under the oversight of a faculty member.

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 lifetime 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.

Prerequisite: One prior ACCT course

Accounting for Decision Making (ACCTM-430-0)
Accounting conventions and issues; evaluating and using accounting data. Mechanics of financial accounting and the overall effect of alternative accounting procedures on published financial reports are examined. Emphasis is on linkages between accounting information and management planning, decision making, and control.

Executive Education
Business for Scientists and Engineers

For practitioners and academics in science and engineering, this highly focused program provides a solid grounding in business concepts, industry-specific tools and practical frameworks for developing the business acumen you need to advance your life’s work.

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