News Archive

PhD Student’s Paper Published in Top Accounting Journal

By Sarah Spreadbury

TAMPA (April 6, 2018) -- Hilda Carrillo joined the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy's doctoral program in 2017, after earning a bachelor's degree in accounting from Louisiana State University-Shreveport and an MBA from the University of Dayton. She has passed all parts of the CPA exam and is currently applying for licensure in the state of Florida. She is a member of the American Accounting Association, the American Institute of CPAs and the Florida Institute of CPAs. Prior to entering the PhD program here, she worked several years as a public and corporate accountant. Carrillo has a wide array of research interests in behavioral-based accounting research, including, but not limited to, auditors' judgment and decision-making and performance measurement.

Carrillo was the lead writer of an article titled, "Employee Engagement in Public Accounting Firms" that was published in the December issue of The CPA Journal – The Voice of the Profession. She took time out to chat with us about her work. Here's some of what she had to say:

Why did you research this?

While doing my MBA, I took a class on performance measurement and control systems and became particularly interested in how a company's performance measurement systems affects the enterprise. One of the articles we read in the class talked about how employee engagement has been at an all-time low across the American workforce. At that point, I became particularly interested in finding out how/if billable hours (something unique to the accounting field and a few other fields) affects employee engagement.

How did you research this?

I surveyed more than 350 CPAs currently employed in public accounting. This was difficult to do because I didn't have that many contacts in the field as I left public accounting a long time ago. However, I reached out to the Ohio Society of CPAs to pitch my research idea and they agreed to support me by sending my survey instrument to their members. I definitely couldn't have done this without their support.

Who are Joseph Castellano and Timothy Keune? Why did you research with these people?

Dr. Castellano was the University of Dayton professor who taught the performance measurement and control systems course that I took. His class discussions inspired me to do this project and so I pitched my idea to him and he agreed to work with me. Shortly after, Dr. Castellano mentioned that Dr. Keune (a new faculty member at the University of Dayton at the time) could contribute to the project. I agreed and that's how we all three ended up working on this.

How do you feel about it?

I feel extremely blessed to have had the opportunity to work with such wonderful people. I am also proud that after over a year of work, my project was finally published. This is certainly something that I never thought I would do when I started my MBA!