Gregory Waymire is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Accounting at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. He has been a member of the Goizueta faculty since 1990. He previously served as President of the Financial Accounting and Reporting Section and Vice-President of Research for the American Accounting Association. Waymire will serve as President-Elect and President of the American Accounting Association in 2010-11 and 2011-12, respectively.
University of Chicago: PhD. 1984
University of Chicago: MBA 1980
Indiana University: BS 1978
Areas of Expertise (2)
Corporate Reporting and Disclosure
Neuroaccounting: Consilience between the Biologically Evolved Brain and Culturally Evolved Accounting PrinciplesAccounting Horizons
2010 We develop the hypothesis that culturally evolved accounting principles will be ultimately explained by their consilience with how the human brain has evolved biologically to evaluate social and economic exchange. We provide background on the structure and evolution of the brain, the measurement of brain behavior during economic decision making, and the brain’s central role in building economic institutions. We describe the emergence of modern accounting principles and argue that the primary function of accounting in evaluating exchange is to provide quantified information on the net benefits of past exchanges. We review evidence documented by neuroscientists that is consistent with the hypothesis that longstanding accounting principles (e.g., Revenue Realization and Conservatism) have distinct parallels in brain behaviors. Our analysis of Neuroaccounting extends Basu and Waymire (2006) to provide a new way to scientifically view accounting, which has implications for how we think about the origins and persistence of longstanding accounting principles.
Memory, transaction records, and The Wealth of NationsAccounting, Organizations and Society
2009 Adam Smith hypothesized that impersonal exchange was necessary for a society to develop specialized division of labor and create wealth. Douglass North and Vernon Smith argue that successful developed economies are the result of institutions. We hypothesize and provide evidence from ethnographic data that the basic accounting technology of recording transactions is associated with more extensive impersonal exchange and increased specialization in the division of labor. Our intuition is that extensive impersonal exchange requires reliable memory of trading partners’ past behavior to sustain trust and encourage reciprocity when a group expands beyond the size of traditional hunter-gatherer groups. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that transaction records are necessary for the emergence of complex economies as suggested by the archaeological evidence of recordkeeping in Mesopotamian societies 10,000 years ago.
In the News (1)
Accounting faculty published in The Accounting Review
Four articles in the latest issue of The Accounting Review were published by Goizueta faculty and P.hD. alumni. Jan Barton, Greg Waymire, and Shiva Rajgopal, independently had research featured in this issue, as well as Marcus Kirk and David Reppenhagen, graduates of the Goizueta Ph.D. program. Accounting is a means for measuring and communicating business performance and is used by corporate managers, investors, and other stakeholder groups in evaluating a business. Goizueta’s accounting group conducts research on fundamental questions about accounting based in the social sciences, especially economics and psychology. This research has been published in the leading academic accounting journals such as Journal of Accounting Research, Journal of Accounting and Economics, The Accounting Review, Contemporary Accounting Research, Review of Accounting Studies, and Accounting, Organizations, & Society. Accounting faculty have also published their research in preeminent journals in other fields including American Economic Review, Journal of Financial Economics, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In addition, several members of the Accounting faculty serve on the editorial boards of the major accounting journals. The research projects currently underway in the Accounting group address questions of interest to a broad range of academic scholars in Accounting and related areas. This work includes studies of on fundamental issues such as ethics, disclosure language, investor trading decisions, the development and spread of international standards, and the impact of psychological forces in human decisions.