Faculty & Staff Directory

Karen Nelson

M. J. Neeley Professor of Accounting
Accounting Department


  • PhD, University of Michigan
  • BS, University of Colorado

Areas of Expertise/Research

  • Financial disclosure and securities regulation
  • Earnings quality
  • Voluntary disclosure
  • Economic consequences of accounting choice

Selected Publications

  • “What Does the Auditor Say? Auditors’ Disclosures of Material Misstatement Risks and Audit Fees” with Jeff Zeyun Chen, Yanyan Wang, and Lisheng Yu, Accounting Horizons, conditionally accepted.
  • “Data Visualization in 10-K Filings,” with Theodore E. Christensen, Karson E. Fronk, and Joshua Lee, Journal of Accounting and Economics (February 2024), Vol 77, No. 1, Article 101631.
  • “Explaining Accruals Quality over Time” with Theodore E. Christensen and Jenna D’Adduzio,  Journal of Accounting and Economics (August 2023), Vol. 75, No. 1, Article 101575.
  • “Mind the Gap: CEO-Employee Pay Ratios and Shareholder Say on Pay Votes,” with Steven S. Crawford and Brian R. Rountree, Journal of Business Finance and Accounting (January/February 2021), Vol. 48, No. 1-2, 308-337.
  • “Carrot or Stick? The Shift from Voluntary to Mandatory Disclosure of Risk Factors,” with A. C. Pritchard, Journal of Empirical Legal Studies (June 2016), Vol. 13, No. 2.


  • Financial Accounting for Undergraduates, James S. Wallace, Karen K. Nelson, and Theodore E. Christensen (currently in 5th edition), Cambridge Business Publishers (2023).
  • Intermediate Accounting, Michelle Hanlon, Leslie Hodder, Karen K. Nelson, Darren Roulstone (currently in 3rd edition), Cambridge Business Publishers (2023).

Honors and Awards

  • Neeley Undergraduate Teaching Award, 2023
  • TCU Student Government Association, Neeley Faculty Member of the Year, 2023
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Accounting and Economics, 2020-present
  • Poets & Quants Top 50 Undergraduate Business Professors, 2020
  • Outstanding Discussant Award, AAA Financial Accounting and Reporting Section, 2018
  • Editorial Board, The Accounting Review (2004-2017)
  • MBA for Professionals Teaching Excellence Award (2015)
  • MBA for Executives Teaching Excellence Award (2012)
  • MBA for Executives Teaching Excellence Award (2008)
  • Distinguished Resident Faculty, AAA Doctoral Consortium (2009)
  • State Farm Companies Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Award (1995)
  • Deloitte & Touche Foundation Doctoral Fellowship (1994-1995)
  • Paton Fellowship (1991-1995)
  • Dykstra Award for Excellence in Teaching (1994)