Marquette professors win award for best accounting paper

Aug. 29, 2019

q ling headshotjoseph wall headshot

MILWAUKEE — Marquette University professors Dr. Qianhua “Q” Ling and Dr. Joseph Wall have been honored by the American Accounting Association.

Ling, associate professor of accounting, and Wall, assistant professor of accounting, received an AAA Best Paper award for their study, “Lowering Standards: Unintended Consequences of 990-N and Value Congruence on Cost Shifting.”

The pair co-authored the paper which examines the impact recent changes to the required IRS filings for certain nonprofit organizations is having on the organizations, including donor confidence and behavior.

Ling said they found that as nonprofits are being required to fill out less in-depth IRS documentation — a much easier process for both the nonprofits and the IRS — potential donors prefer the more stringent filing system. Among other things, Ling said, donors believe that with more complete filings, they would be able to better detect fraud.

“Some people think that our finding is especially important since it shows that donors could walk away if there is lack of information,” Ling said. “Even if they are passionate about the cause of the nonprofit.”

The American Accounting Association, founded in 1916, is an organization made up of volunteers promoting accounting education, research and practice.

About Shelby Williamson

Shelby Williamson

Shelby is a senior communication specialist in the Office of Marketing and Communication. Contact Shelby at (414) 288-6712 or