In this article we ask the question: what are the best academic journals in finance?
Whether an accounting student, faculty member, researcher, or practicing professional, journals can give you a leg up in your field. They are great for staying current on trends, research, and techniques that can lead to advances in your career. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs is the field is growing steadily at about six percent per year. This means open positions with healthy competition that you can easily match with the help of the wide variety of information available to you in journals. The guide below will walk you through various financial and accounting journals. In addition, it provides background to help you make an informed choice about which publications you’d like to subscribe to, submit an article for, or join the editorial board of.
Whether you are an accounting student, faculty member, researcher or practicing professional, the field is vast. Staying up-to-date on accounting and financial trends, research findings and management techniques is key for advancing your professional knowledge. Curious about financial accounting journals? Here’s a guide to what the top topics include and what they cover.
The Importance of Academic Journals
Academic journals are a hotbed for the best research in the world. Finance is no different than any other field. Many assume journals are outdated and a bit too academic to understand. Luckily, more and more people are seeing the use for journals outside of universities and schools. If you follow academic journals you are interested in, then you will always be aware of the latest and greatest findings in the field. For example, finance journals look at historic events to dictate future trends.
There are three main functions of an academic journal. Firstly, journals help to keep researchers active and vocal in the community. Secondly, academic journals in finance help to dictate the best elements of the subject. Lastly, academic journals help to reach new audiences and keep returning readers in the loop about trends and findings. We’ll get into the details behind finance journals in this article, as well as the top places to look for content. Hopefully, if you like finance, you find new resources in this article.
Introduction to Accounting Journals
Today’s accounting professional has thousands of resources at their fingertips. However, if you crave academically rigorous new findings, you need high-quality, peer-reviewed resources that you can trust. Peer-reviewed sources differ from mainstream publications because they are written largely by–and for–researchers and scholars. These scholars check that the authors’ methods are up to par and their results are trustworthy. The material they focus on also typically looks at previously unpublished research that adheres to a rigorous protocol.
Modern accounting and research of it involves looking into a number of roles, skills, and tools. Technology plays an important part of technical improvements in the field, allowing for complex but accurate calculations, automation, and storage. Thus, research on artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing, and communications is quite popular. The implementation of accounting forms another facet of research. Different organizations, companies, individuals, and governments all use accounting in their own ways, leading to varied results.
These areas of accounting research are all important, but not necessarily relevant for you. The list below provides background to help make an informed choice about which publications are the best fit for what you’re looking for. You might want to consider any specialties you focus on, or areas of work or study.
Readers can access many of these publications via subscription only. However, a few journals offer open access options that make new research available to anyone at no cost. Another options is taking advantage of certain perks of being part of an academic establishment. For example, if you’re a student, researcher, or staff of a university, you likely have access to a wide library of journals. This may also be true if you are a member of an alumni association from your university.
Today’s accounting professional is always just an online search away from thousands of resources. If you are hungry for academically rigorous new findings, then you need high-quality, peer-reviewed resources that you can trust. Peer-reviewed sources differ from mainstream publications. That’s because they are written largely by (and for) researchers and scholars. In short, they typically focus on previously unpublished research that adheres to a rigorous protocol.
Most of these publications are available via subscription only. A few offer open access options that make new research available to anyone at no cost. If you work or graduated from an academic institution, then you might still get access through the school or university.
The guide below will walk you through various financial and accounting publications and provide background to help you make an informed choice about which publications you’d like to subscribe to, submit an article for or join the editorial board of.
Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance
The Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance is a quarterly, peer-reviewed publication directed primarily towards accounting students and faculty. It also holds interest for researchers in both auditing and accounting. Overall, the journal works towards contributing to the advancement of accounting knowledge. This includes the study of related fields such as economics and finance operations. It publishes mainly empirical, analytical, and experimental works. It has been described as a must-have resource for accounting and auditing faculty, researchers and students. The journal originated in 1986 and currently makes up part of the Sage Publications portfolio.
In addition, this accounting journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics. This committee exists to promote integrity in the publication of research, letting you know that member journals meet high standards of academic publishing. Keep this in mind when submitting potential manuscripts for publication, as well as their other standards. These include include accepting a wide variety of topics, as long as they contain original and unpublished research that is not under consideration for publication with other journals.
Recent examples of selected articles include, “The Role of Accounting Conservatism in Capital Structure Adjustments,” “Determinants and Consequences of Nonprofit Transparency,” and “Strategic Deviation and Stock Return Synchronicity.”
The Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance editor is Rutgers University’s Bharat Sarath. The journal hosts an editorial board consisting of 22 faculty members representing colleges and universities. Institutions represented include the University of Colorado, American University and Yale University. The board makes editorial decisions under the guidance of the editor and 13 associate editors. The editorial team looks for all types of analytical, experimental and empirical studies to be part of its content. The journal is open to a variety of research paradigms. The only rule is that they advance the collective body of knowledge within accounting. The journal insists that all submissions be new and original, and not be under consideration with any other publication.
You can access the journal either by individual or institutional subscription, in both print and e-access versions. Subscription prices range from as low as 49 dollars for an individual, single-print issue to as high as 559 dollars for an institutional subscription that includes both print and e-access.
Accounting Content and Editorial Team
The journal accepts normative and positive topics, given that they contribute to advancing current accounting knowledge. Examples of articles include, “The Role of Accounting Conservatism in Capital Structure Adjustments” and “Determinants and Consequences of Nonprofit Transparency.” The Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance lists as its editor Rutgers University’s Bharat Sarath. An editorial board consisting of 22 faculty members represents colleges and universities across the United States. This group makes editorial decisions under the guidance of the editor and 13 associate editors.
Access to the Journal
You can access this accounting journal either by individual or institutional subscription, in both print and e-access versions. Subscription prices range from 49 to 559 dollars per year.
For more information, to subscribe, or to submit an article for publication, see the Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance.
Journal of Business Finance and Accounting
The Journal of Business Finance and Accounting (JBFA) publishes 10 times per year, so there are various opportunities to join in. It focuses on the relationships among corporate governance, accounting, and corporate finance. The journal has continuously published since 1974. In addition, each year JBFA sponsors a Capital Markets Conference which includes a corresponding special issue that highlights certain conference papers.
JBFA exists to pursue and share the highest quality research regarding the interfaces mentioned above – these interfaces are critical in many areas including financial performance measurement, managerial reward and control structures, valuation, and financial reporting and communication. One distinguishing feature of this journal is its focus on accounting’s key role in resolving the informational problems that are pervasive in both business organizations and larger financial markets.
Submissions to Journal of Business Finance and Accounting
The journal is open to both empirical and theoretical submissions, though it seeks to strike a balance between theory and implementation or impact. The editorial team views accounting and finance as being closely akin to economics, so it’s not uncommon to see studies that have theoretical motivations grounded in economics.
Senior editors at JBFA are Peter F. Pope, of Bocconi University in Italy and the London School of Economics, along with Andrew Stark of the Manchester Business School in the United Kingdom. They work with a team of 13 editors, two consulting editors and a 47-member editorial board from across the world. Like many journals, the effort is highly collaborative.
Content and Team
The journal accepts both empirical and theoretical submissions, though it seeks to strike a balance between theory and implementation. The editorial team views accounting and finance as being closely akin to economics, so some studies are theoretically grounded in economics.
Peter F. Pope, of Bocconi University in Italy and the London School of Economics, serves as senior editor along with Andrew Stark of the Manchester Business School in the United Kingdom. They work with a team of 13 editors, two consulting editors, and a 47-member editorial board from across the world.
Recent examples of selected articles include “The Influence of Other Comprehensive Income on Discretionary Expenditures,” “Finding Diamonds in the Rough: Analysts’ Selective Following of Loss-reporting Firms,” and “Demand for Fair Value Accounting: The Case of the Asset Revaluation Boom in Korea During the Global Financial Crisis”.
JBFA, like some other publications, offers authors the OnlineOpen option which makes articles immediately available to the general public at no charge. Otherwise, readers access the journal by subscription at either the individual or institutional level rate, ranging from 318 to 4817 dollars per year.
Contemporary Accounting Research – Financial Accounting Resources
Contemporary Accounting Research touts itself as the premiere research journal of the Canadian Academic Accounting Association. As such, it explores cutting-edge research that furthers the accounting field’s collective knowledge of the accounting function’s philosophical and strategic role within various organizations, societies and/or markets.
But don’t let the nationality steer your away. The material in the journal is relevant anywhere. Based in Canada, but global in its approach, the journal seeks to reflect intellectual diversity across the world as represented in the body of accounting-focused research. To that end, the journal actively seeks rigorous and challenging new work on a variety of accounting topics, as long as appropriate research methods are employed. This results in a presentation of topics that represent the diversity of accounting, as long as they are based in a discipline or research tradition that furthers empirical understanding of accounting.
Content and Team
To illustrate, a few of the journal’s most popular posts have included titles such as “An Incomplete Audit at the Earnings Announcement: Implications for Financial Reporting Quality and the Market’s Response to Earning,” “The Loss of Information Associated with Binary Audit Reports: Evidence from Auditors’ Internal Control and Going Concern Opinions,” and “Internal Information Quality and the Sensitivity of Investment to Market Prices and Accounting Profits.”
Michael Welker of Queens University serves as the journal’s editor-in-chief, while Jeffrey Pittman from Memorial University of Newfoundland serves as deputy editor-in-chief. The publication boasts eight consulting editors from various countries and 24 editors from universities across the globe. The journal’s editorial board consists of 154 faculty members from all over the world.
Ultimately, the editor-in-chief bears authority and responsibility for ensuring journal quality and integrity. At the same time, authors of studies and articles are expected to guarantee that the work submitted to the journal is always original–so you won’t see their content anywhere else.
The accounting journal offers the OnlineOpen option for open access, which makes articles immediately publicly available at no charge. You can subscribe to Contemporary Accounting Research via its website where it’s available as an institutional subscription. Depending on whether you choose print, online, or a combination of both, prices range from 981 to 1227 dollars per year.
Journal of Banking and Finance
The Journal of Banking and Finance presents both empirical and theoretical research studies that touch all major research fields in banking and finance. This accounting journal strives to provide an appropriate dissemination point for the ever-growing scholarly output that explores both financial institutions and the markets within which they operate.
The Journal of Banking and Finance ranks as one of the top 40 finance journals in the world as recently as 2018 and has been continuously published since 1977. In 1989 the publication absorbed the previously published Studies in Banking and Finance.
Content and Team
The journal focuses on theoretical developments and how they’re implemented, plus empirical, applied, and policy-oriented study. In addition, the journal strives to improve communication both between and within the research community, policymakers, and operational decision makers at financial organizations and regulators. It does so on public, private, national, and international levels. Specific topics historically covered include banking regulation, corporate finance, derivative pricing and hedging, financial forecasting, and much more.
The journal boasts 100 editors on its editorial board, representing universities ranging from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, to Texas A&M University and Georgia Tech in the States.
Competition can be fierce to be published in this accounting journal. It receives roughly 1500 new submissions every year in areas ranging from asset management to investments and market microstructure. Examples of recent titles include, “Risk and Risk Management in the Credit Card Industry,” “Measuring Firm Size in Empirical Corporate Finance,” and “Optimal Delta Hedging for Options.”
The Journal of Banking and Finance supports open access publication. It also offers a subscription model. Ultimately, the study author chooses whether the end user can access the article at no cost.
Yearly print subscriptions start at 310 and rise as high as 5684 dollars, depending on whether you’re looking for an individual or institutional subscription. You can also request a quote for the eJournal through the Journal of Banking and Finance website.
Journal of International Financial Management & Accounting
The Journal of International Financial Management & Accounting (JIFMA) publishes fresh, original research exploring international aspects of financial reporting. This also includes management, auditing and taxation, and banking and financial services. The publication, produced by Wiley-Blackwell, provides a forum for exchanging ideas from both practitioners and academics. It has continuously published since 1989. It has also served as the official journal of the International Association for Accounting Education and Research since 1999. As such, this accounting journal supports the mission of the association–to promote accounting education excellence, along with rigorous research worldwide. It also seeks to optimize the contribution of accounting academics to developing and maintaining high-quality, world-renowned standards of accounting practice.
The JIFMA prides itself on keeping readers up-to-date on trends and new developments in the financial management and accounting fields. This accounting journal straddles the line between theory and practice. Both are increasingly dependent on a good understanding of everything from institutional, regulatory, and accounting differences to the impact of imperfections in the world product, factor, and financial markets.
Content and Team
The editorial board comprises two editors: Professor Sidney Gray from the University of Sydney, Australia, and Professor Richard Levish, of New York University. In addition, two editors serve specifically for the institutional perspectives section and a 22-member editorial board represents universities from Copenhagen to London and Chicago. The team is supported by an editorial assistant.
Recent popular articles like “Financial Constraints and Synergy Gains from Mergers and Acquisitions,” “The Effect of Cash Holdings on Firm Performance in Large Italian Companies,” and “International Financial Reporting Standards Adoption and Information Quality: Evidence from Brazil” provide a cross-section of the types of articles you can expect.
The JIFMA offers authors an Online Open option that makes their articles freely available to anyone at no cost. The JIFMA also offers subscriptions for either individuals or institutions at rates ranging from 1382 to 1727 dollars. Subscriptions can be purchased on the JIFMA website.
British Accounting Review Journal
The British Accounting Review publishes original scholarly work that addresses topics under the umbrellas of accounting and finance. This publication touts itself as “eclectic” and “pluralistic,” and welcomes submissions across research methodologies. Those may include experimental, survey, archival, qualitative case methods, and analytical submissions. It also boasts an interest in and acceptance of a broad range of topics. Those may include everything from management accounting and accounting history to financial management and auditing.
Additionally, the British Accounting Review serves as the official journal of the British Accounting and Finance Association. It helps uphold the association’s mission by educating and connecting users across various disciplines. The journal’s editors number 68 and represent colleges and universities like the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, The Turku School of Economics in Turku, Finland, and the University of South Australia in Adelaide, Australia.
Content and Team
Recent articles of interest have included such titles as “The Effects of Environmental, Social and Governance Disclosures and Performance on Firm Value: A Review of the Literature in Accounting and Finance,” “What Do We Know About Audit Quality?” and “20 Years of Studies on the Balanced Scorecard: Trends, Accomplishments, Gaps and Opportunities for Future Research”. Some of the journal’s most frequently cited articles explore balanced scorecard trends and capital accounting and debate.
While based in the United Kingdom, the British Accounting Review reflects its multi-national users and accepts research and articles from across the globe.
Contributors have options for how to publish their work. This accounting journal offers an open access model or a subscription model. With open access, articles are available both to journal subscribers and to the general public with permitted reuse. The subscription model makes articles available to subscribers through the journal’s access programs. An open access publication fee applies under the open access path. No open access publication fee applies to the subscription option.
Readers may purchase subscriptions on the British Accounting Review website– a print subscription runs 90 dollars.
Reading Accounting Journals Without Worrying About Paywalls
If while reading this list you just couldn’t help but think about how difficult the access options are, then don’t lose hope. There are a few options for getting around paywalls that don’t depend on a relationship with a higher institution. One is sticking to the Open Access directory of free journals, but of course this list has its limits. Another option is to use a legal Chrome extension called Unpaywall, or the similar Open Access Button. They both allow you to search articles and then they will look for free open access versions of them online. The classic Google Scholar also works in a similar way, providing links next to results that have free versions available.
A somewhat old-school method could be to directly contact authors and let them know about your situation regarding access. Many of the authors can directly provide you with free access via their own codes or copies of their work. This is called “snail trailing” due to the potentially long wait times, but it might be worth a shot. It’s also a good way to build a relationship with researchers you might have an interest in.
Whatever methods you choose, developing the habit of lifelong learning within your field is essential for success in today’s environment. Choosing from any of these publications will help you stay abreast of latest trends and evidence-based approaches.