Linda Whittaker

PhD Accounting

Linda WhittakerAfter living in Vancouver, Montreal, India, and Mexico City, Linda Whittaker returned to her hometown of Waterloo for the PhD program in Accounting. When looking at schools, Linda hoped to find a PhD program “that would allow me to have a fairly broad perspective on possible research questions and topics.” She also cites the mix of empirical and behavioural research methods as a big draw to the program. “The quality of the faculty is really quite high. They are all well-respected academics, and have made themselves very accessible to the students.” Most PhD students and faculty members have spent time working in the field before entering or returning to academia, bringing a high level of relevancy to discussions.

Although she has not begun work on her thesis at this stage in the program, Linda hopes to focus in behavioural accounting. “I will be looking at the way in which employees of nonprofit organizations respond to reporting requirements. Does their level of attachment to the organization influence the accuracy of their reporting?” With a background and interest in performance measures in nonprofit organizations, Linda entered the program with the intent of examining this topic but has not yet defined specific research questions.

Linda hopes to continue her research after graduation in an academic setting. “I really do think the world is my oyster. The great thing about a PhD in accounting is that the demand is high; your job prospects are high and there is a lot of opportunity.” She goes on to emphasize the diversity of the field and its implications on larger social issues. “Accounting affects everybody’s life, whether it be through capital markets, tax returns, or reports at work. There is a reason that the School of Accounting & Finance is a part of the Faculty of Arts. It really has to do with people.  And it is important that everyone understand the role of accounting in their day-to-day life.”

January 2014 Megan Scarborough

University of Waterloo

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