University of Washington Foster School of Business Accounting Ph.D. Candidate Joe Croom Earns Deloitte Foundation Doctoral Fellowship

Foster Ph.D. Candidate Joe Croom Earns Deloitte Foundation Doctoral Fellowship

Croom’s research focuses on the intersection of emerging technologies and financial information

Among the 10 accounting Ph.D. students across the U.S. selected for a 2024 Deloitte Foundation Doctoral Fellowship is Joe Croom, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Washington Foster School of Business. The $25,000 fellowships are given annually to students who plan to pursue academic careers upon graduation.

Currently in his final year at Foster, Croom is examining how users access an evolving menu of financial information sources—and how emerging technologies can shape how that information is processed and evaluated.

Each year, accounting doctoral students from more than 100 universities are invited to apply for the fellowship. A selection committee composed of eminent accounting educators chose this year’s recipients, who were nominated by accounting faculty at their school. Since inception, the program has supported nearly 1,200 Ph.D.s.

“The Foundation invests in student, educator, and school success to help prepare the next generation for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Erin Scanlon, Deloitte Foundation president. “Supporting the selected Ph.D. candidates during the last phase of their academic studies is one way the Foundation can help strengthen the pipeline of accounting professors who are helping to prepare students for the future of work.”

Examining emerging technologies and investor decision-making

For Croom, the big question in accounting is how investors will use emerging technologies to translate information into investment decisions.

“My research focuses on what’s next in accounting, exploring how Generative AI and similar technology will change how people make sense of all the information companies report,” said Croom.

With companies reporting hundreds of pages of financial disclosure, analysis can become complex. Today, new technologies are empowering everyday investors to understand and apply this information. According to Croom, how people use Generative AI to acquire and integrate financial information and available disclosures could have a larger impact on investor decision-making.

Croom’s research in accounting relies on experimental methods. While traditional accounting research uses historical data to examine the effects of financial reporting, Croom relies on the use of experiments to understand the potential effects of new technologies and regulatory changes, for which data is not available.

“We don’t yet have a strong body of knowledge about how newer technologies, such as Generative AI, can shape investment strategies and other decisions,” explained Croom.

Beyond emerging technology, Croom is also researching how companies disclose information to various stakeholders.

Croom earned his B.S.B.A, Accounting at the University of Richmond’s Robins School of Business. He most recently worked as an Audit Associate at KPMG and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Croom’s dissertation committee at the University of Washington Foster School of Business is chaired by Stephanie Grant, associate professor of accounting. His committee members include Elizabeth Blankespoor, associate professor of accounting; Frank Hodge, dean and professor of accounting; and Susan Joslyn, professor of psychology.