Thomas Lys
Thomas Lys

Eric L. Kohler Emeritus Chair in Accounting
Professor Emeritus of Accounting Information & Management

Print Overview

Thomas Z. Lys is the Eric L. Kohler Chair in Accounting and Professor of Accounting Information and Management and Professor of Law (by courtesy) at the Northwestern School of Law.

Professor Lys’ research has been published in prominent academic journals, including the Journal of Accounting and Economics, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Accounting Research, Journal of Business, and the Journal of Monetary Economics. His research investigates the stock price consequences that result from alternate financial reporting standards, changes in capital structure, changes in the money supply, and from corporate disclosures. He is an editor of the Journal of Accounting and Economics and has served on the editorial board of the Accounting Review. He is a member of the American Accounting Association.

In Kellogg’s MBA program, Professor Lys teaches courses in real estate finance, financial reporting, security analysis, and mergers and acquisitions. He co-teaches this course with a faculty member from Northwestern School of Law and the course is offered jointly to both business and law school students.

In Kellogg's Executive Master's Program, Professor Lys conducts a course on financial reporting, a course on security analysis, and a course on behavioral finance integrating both the economic and the behavioral perspective of financial decision-making. He was awarded the Outstanding Professor of the Year Award, Executive Masters’ Program 32 (1996), 35 (1997), 38 (1998), 44 (2000), and 46 (2000), and the Sidney J. Levy Teaching Award, Master of MBA Program 1998-99.

Professor Lys has consulted with Cox Communications, Ciba Chemical, General Electric, IBM, USX and Guidant Corporation. Professor Lys holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Bern, Switzerland, and a master and PhD in Accounting and Finance from the University of Rochester. He is fluent in three foreign languages: German, French, and Polish.

Areas of Expertise
Acquisitions (Biotechnology)
Corporate Capital Structure
Corporate Governance
Corporate Restructuring
Debt-Equity Choice
Financial Accounting
Financial Analysts
Financial Disclosure/Statements
Financial Reporting
Management Compensation
Mergers and Acquisitions
Pension Funds
Performance Evaluations
Real Estate
Security Analysis

Print Vita
PhD, 1982, Accounting, Finance, University of Rochester
MS, 1980, University of Rochester
Lic.Rer.Pol., 1976, Economics, Operations Research, University of Bern, Summa Cum Laude

Academic Positions
Eric L. Kohler Chair in Accounting and Professor of Accounting and Information Management, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2006-present
Professor of Law (courtesy appointment), School of Law, Northwestern University, 2000-present
Gary A. Rosenberg Distinguished Professor of Real Estate Management, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1999-2006
Director, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1997-2006
Gary A. Rosenberg Distinguished Associate Professor of Real Estate Management, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1997-1999
Professor of Accounting and Information Management, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1997-2006
Visiting Associate Professor of Accounting, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, 1997-1997
John L. and Helen Kellogg Distinguished Associate Professor of Accounting and Information Systems, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1995-1997
Associate Professor of Accounting and Information Systems, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1989-1995
Visiting Assistant Professor of Accounting, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago, 1986-1987
Assistant Professor of Accounting and Information Systems, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 1981-1989

Honors and Awards
Teacher of the Year, Kellogg Recanati Award , 2009
Executive MBA Program Outstanding Teaching Awards, Kellogg School of Management

Print Research
Research Interests
Stock price consequences of financial reporting standards, changes in capital structure, money supply,corporate disclosures, Risk arbitrage, labor participation in corporate decisions, auditors’ liability, earnings forecasts

Lys, ThomasJames Naughton and Clare Wang. 2015. Signaling through Corporate Accountability Reporting. Journal of Accounting and Economics. 60(1): 56-72.
Lys, Thomas, Daniel Cohen and Aiyesha Dey. Forthcoming. Corporate Governance Reform and Executive Incentives: Implications for Investments and Risk-Taking. Contemporary Accounting Research.
Hostak, Peter, Emre Karaoglu, Thomas Lys and Yong Yang. 2013. An Examination of the Impact of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on the Attractiveness of U.S. Capital Markets for Foreign Firms. Review of Accounting Studies. Volume 18(Issue 2): 522-559.
Lys, Thomas, Brad Badertscher and Daniel Collins. 2012. Earnings Management and the Predictive Ability of Accruals with Respect to Future Cash Flows. Journal of Accounting and Economics. 53(1-2): 1-488.
Beyer, Anne, Daniel Cohen, Thomas Lys and Beverly Walther. 2010. The Financial Reporting Environment: Review of the Recent Literature. Journal of Accounting and Economics. 50(2-3): 296-343.
Cohen, Daniel A, Aiyesha Dey and Thomas Lys. 2008. Real and Accrual-Based Earnings Management in the Pre- and Post-Sarbanes Oxley Periods. Accounting Review. 83(3): 757-787.
Lys, Thomas and Jayanthi Sunder. 2008. Endogenous Entry/Exit as an Alternative Explanation for the Disciplining Role of Independent Analysts. Journal of Accounting and Economics. 45(2-3): 317-323.
Cohen, Daniel A, Aiyesha Dey, Thomas Lys and Shyam V. Sunder. 2007. Earnings Announcement Premia and the Limits to Arbitrage. Journal of Accounting and Economics. 43(2-3): 153-180.
Cohen, Daniel A and Thomas Lys. 2006. Weighing the Evidence on the Relation between External Corporate Financing Activities, Accruals and Stock Returns. Journal of Accounting and Economics. 42(1-2): 87-105.
Gonzalez, Chris M., Tom Jang, Melanie Raines, Thomas Lys and Anthony J. Schaeffer. 2006. Significant Clinical Practice Cost Savings through Downsizing Office Supply Inventory and Just in Time Ordering. Journal of Urology. 176(1): 267-269.
Cohen, Daniel A and Thomas Lys. 2004. A Note on Analysts' Earnings Forecast Errors Distribution. Journal of Accounting and Economics. 36(1-3): 147-164.
Keating, Elizabeth K., Thomas Lys and Robert Magee. 2003. The Internet Downturn: Finding Valuation Factors In Spring 2000. Journal of Accounting and Economics. 34(1-3): 189-236.
Lys, Thomas and Marguerite L Bishop. 2001. The effect of accounting information on corporate financing choices: an examination of security issuances in the banking industry. Contemporary Accounting Research. 18(3): 397-423.
Fields, Thomas, Thomas Lys and Linda Vincent. 2001. Empirical Research on Accounting Choice. Journal of Accounting and Economics. 31(3-1): 255-301.
Bishop, Marguerite L and Thomas Lys. 2001. Inferring Accounting Information from Corporate Financing Choices: An Examination of Security Issuances in the Banking Industry.. Contemporary Accounting Review. 18(3): 397-423.
Lo, Kin and Thomas Lys. 2000. The Ohlson model, contribution to valuation theory, limitations, and empirical applications. Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance. 15(3): 337-367.
Jacob, John, Thomas Lys and Jowell Sabino. 1999. Auto-Correlation Structure of Forecast Errors from Time-Series Models: Implications for Post-Earnings Announcement Drift Studies. Journal of Accounting and Economics. 28(3)
Brown, Stephen, Kin Lo and Thomas Lys. 1999. Use of R2 in accounting research: measuring changes in value relevance over the last four decades. Journal of Accounting and Economics. 28(2): 83-115.
Jacob, John, Thomas Lys and Margaret A. Neale. 1999. Expertise in Forecasting Performance of Security Analysts. Journal of Accounting and Economics. 28(1): 51-82.
Lys, Thomas and Leonard Soffer. 1999. A Closer Look at Post Earnings Announcement Drift: The Role of the Dissemination of Predictable Information. Contemporary Accounting Review. 16(2): 305-331.
Lys, Thomas. 1996. Abandoning the Transactions-Based Accounting Model: Weighing the Evidence. Journal of Accounting and Economics. 22(1-3): 155-175.
Lys, Thomas and Linda Vincent. 1995. An Analysis of the Value Destruction in AT&T's Acquisition of NCR. Journal of Financial Economics. 39(2): 353-378.
Lys, Thomas and LisaGilbert Soo. 1995. Analysts’ Forecast Precision as a Response to Competition. Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance. 10(4)
Lys, Thomas and Ross Watts. 1994. Lawsuits against Auditors. Journal of Accounting Research. 32(Supplement): 65-93.
Lys, Thomas. 1993. The evolution of lawsuits against auditors - determinants, consequences, and solutions. Journal of Economics & Management Strategy. 2(3): 427-433.
Lys, Thomas and Jowell Sabino. 1992. Research design issues in grouping-based tests. Journal of Financial Economics. 32(3): 355-387.
Lys, Thomas and Sungkyu Sohn. 1990. The association between revisions of financial analysts’ earnings forecasts and security price changes. Journal of Accounting and Economics. 13(4): 341-363.
Johnson, W.Bruce and Thomas Lys. 1990. The market for audit services: evidence from voluntary auditor changes. Journal of Accounting and Economics. 12(1-3): 281-308.
Lys, Thomas and Konduru Sivaramakrishnan. 1988. Earnings Expectations and Capital Restructuring: The Case of Equity for Debt Swaps. Journal of Accounting Research. 26(2): 273-299.
Kothari, S. P., Thomas Lys, Clifford W. Smith and Ross Watts. 1988. Auditor Liability and Information Disclosure. Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance. 3(4): 349-350.
Larcker, David F. and Thomas Lys. 1987. An Empirical Analysis of the Incentives to Engage in Costly Information Acquisition: The Case of Risk Arbitrage. Journal of Financial Economics. 18(1): 111-126.
Benelli, Giuseppe, Claudio F. Loderer and Thomas Lys. 1987. Labor Participation in Private Business Making Decisions: The German Experience with Codetermination. Journal of Business. 60
Loderer, Claudio F., Thomas Lys and Urs Schweizer. 1986. Daily Monetary Impulses and Security Prices. Journal of Monetary Economics. 18(1): 33-47.
Healy, Paul and Thomas Lys. 1986. Auditor changes following big eight mergers with non-big eight audit firms. Journal of Accounting and Public Policy. 5(4): 251-265.
Lys, Thomas. 1986. Discussion of: Capital Analysis of Reserve Recognition Accounting. Journal of Accounting Research. 24(Supplement): 109-111.
Lys, Thomas. 1984. Mandated Accounting Changes and Debt Covenants: The Case of Oil and Gas Accounting. Journal of Accounting and Economics. 6(1): 39-65.
Working Papers
Lys, Thomas, Gary Chen and Jie Zhou. 2011. How Much Silence is Too Much? An Empirical Analysis of Firms Ceasing Guidance of Different Frequencies.
Sletten, Ewa and Thomas Lys. 2006. Motives for and Risk-Incentive Implications of CEO Severance.
Karaoglu, Emre and Thomas Lys. 2007. Exceptions do not Change the Rule: Substance Overrules Form in Us GAAP.
Lys, Thomas and Thomas Fields. 2002. Optimal Structure of the Consideration in Mergers and Acquisitions.
Jacob, John, Thomas Lys and Jowell Sabino. 2000. Estimating auto-correlation coefficients in small samples.
Lys, Thomas and S.Ramu Thiagarajan. 1999. The role of earnings levels vs. earnings changes in explaining stock returns: Implications from the time series properties of earnings.
Lys, Thomas and Jowell Sabino. 1998. Addressing Recognition issues in accounting: an evaluation of alternative research approaches.
Lys, Thomas, Henock Louis and Amy X. Sun. 2010. Conservatism and the Apparent Analyst Optimistic Bias.
Cohen, Daniel A, Aiyesha Dey and Thomas Lys. 2012. The Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002: Implications for Compensation Structure and Risk-Taking Incentives of CEOs.
Book Chapters
Lys, ThomasBurton Cohen and Tzachi Zach. Forthcoming. "Financing Decisions by Company (Net Stock Anomalies)." In Conceptual Foundations of Capital Market Anomalies: Handbook of Investment Anomalies, edited by Len Zacks. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Lys, Thomas. 1992. "The real value of takeovers to shareholders." In The Handbook of Communications in Corporate Restructuring and Takeovers, edited by Clarke L. Caywood and Raymond P. Ewing, Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.
Lys, Thomas and Margaret A. Neale. "Discretion in Financial Reports: Communicating in a less-than-rational World." CEO Magazine, December.
Lys, Thomas and Margaret Neale. 2015. Getting More of What You Want: Integrating Economic and Psychological Perspectives for Competitive Advantage in Negotiations. New York: Basic Books, 1st.
Lys, Thomas. 1997. Monetary theory and monetary policy. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Lys, Thomas. 1996. Economic analysis and political ideology. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Print Teaching
Teaching Interests
Financial reporting, security analysis, mergers and acquisitions
Full-Time / Evening & Weekend MBA
Financial Planning for Mergers & Acquisitions (ACCT-444-0)
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.

Executive Education
Merger Week

Our M&A experts will show you how to evaluate mergers and acquisitions from all angles — from strategy and marketing to financing and alliances — and then use an M&A process that generates the greatest value from any restructuring deal.

View Program