Two female students walking down hallway with professor

#3 Ranked Undergraduate Accounting Program

Accounting is the universal language of business, and Gies Business is an accounting powerhouse. With the #1 accountancy faculty in the nation, #3 undergraduate program, and #2 graduate program, Gies accountancy delivers an education that readies you for a successful career. You'll be taught and mentored by the top experts and innovators in the field. You'll have exceptional opportunities inside and outside the classroom to pursue your interests and develop your career path. And you'll be part of a program that has long been a recruiting hotbed for accounting leaders.

We work hand in hand with the profession to ensure that you will be career ready and that rewarding careers will be waiting for you.

Check out the Gies Accountancy 2020-2021 Annual Report.

Learn from the best

Our department’s reputation for academic excellence ensures your career readiness and gives you a competitive advantage.

Brooke Elliott

"At Gies Business, we create an environment that gives today’s students the opportunity to become tomorrow’s accounting leaders. We continuously innovate our curriculum, so our students are prepared to meet the changing needs of the profession - a profession that relies on the talents of Gies graduates."

Theodore Sougiannis, Accountancy
KPMG Distinguished Professor of Accountancy and Interim Department Head

Gies accountancy graduates succeed

Gies accountancy prepares you for success. 98% of our accountancy graduates earn successful placement. Starting salaries for those with a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from Gies average $64,896, which is 34% higher than the national average. And when it comes to being prepared for the CPA exam, our Master of Accounting Science graduates are ready, with more than 80% of them passing the first time.

With a Gies accountancy degree, you will find success, too.

Kevin Brower

"Gies does a great job of training students to tackle real-world problems. Expert faculty teach practical applications of traditional accounting concepts and push students out of their comfort zone. For all those reasons, students who come from Gies Business are consistently high performers within our firm."

Kevin Brower, Accountancy ’98
Ernst & Young

Innovative, inspiring faculty enhance your experience

There is nothing typical about the way accounting is taught at Gies Business. Here, you'll find professors like Michael Donohoe who are not only experts in their field but innovators in how they teach it. From creating a unique business model to leading a spring break immersion trip to the Virgin Islands, Donohoe finds new ways to create engaging content. That's one reason why he was named a Top 50 Undergraduate Business Professor by Poets&Quants.

That's what you can expect as a Gies accountancy student - fresh, fun, relevant ways to learn and practice your profession taught by committed, award-winning professors.

Michael Donohoe

"I entered accounting and academia, in part, because of an inspiring professor. Therefore, I strongly believe in making genuine personal connections with students."

Michael Donohoe, Associate Professor of Accountancy

A history of excellence

Read more about the long and successful history of the department in A History of Accountancy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a book written by by the late Norton M. Bedford, Professor Emeritus and former Head. This book is available to read for free here.

Heads of the Department of Accountancy

Hiram Scovill (1953 transition year)
C. A. Moyer (1953-1965)
E. J. DeMaris (1965-1974)
Norton M. Bedford (1974-1981)
Frederick L. Neumann (1981-1986)
Lawrence A. Tomassini (1987-1993)
Andrew D. Bailey, Jr. (1995-1997)
Eugene Willis (1997-2001)
Ira Solomon (2001-2011)
Jon Davis (2012-2017)
W. Brooke Elliott (2017-Present)

Accounting Hall of Fame Illinois Alumni

Hiram Thompson Scovill (1954)
Ananias Charles Littleton (1956)
Andrew Barr (1963)
Lloyd Morey (1963)
Paul Franklin Grady (1964)
John William Queenan (1976)
Robert Kuhn Mautz (1978)
Norton Moore Bedford (1988)
Charles A. Bowsher (1996)
Arthur Ramer Wyatt (1998)
Nicholas Dopuch (2001)
William Louis Campfield (2019)

A reputation for advancing the profession

Our reputation for excellence in accounting research and education has been earned through a long-held commitment to engaging thought leaders in conversations about timely topics that move the profession forward. That commitment continues through several important initiatives. Through our lyceum events, Gies Business students have several opportunities each semester to hear from accounting professionals about their work and their views on the future of the profession. In addition, we host several biennial symposia that provide opportunities for scholars to present and discuss current research and to generate new ideas that advance the profession. These symposia include:

  • Illinois Audit Symposium sponsored by KPMG
  • Illinois Tax Symposium sponsored by Deloitte
  • Emerging Management Accounting Scholars Symposium
  • Young Scholars Research Symposium sponsored by PwC

In addition, in 1967 we organized the first Illinois International Accounting Symposium to foster research in international accounting. Since 2003, our Vernon K. Zimmerman Center has sponsored the symposium in collaboration with other universities to advance the work of scholars in different regions of the world.

Vernon K. Zimmerman Center

The Vernon K. Zimmerman Center for International Education and Research in Accounting serves the academic and professional communities by providing world-class leadership in international accountancy and business research and education support. It provides innovative learning experiences for faculty, students, and professionals in all aspects of scholarship, including the creation, integration, dissemination, and management of accounting knowledge in the international domain.

Engaging with the Zimmerman Center affords you broad and deep insights in international topics as they relate to accounting. Grasping these central issues and learning from the Center's annual symposium and its flagship publication, The International Journal of Accounting, will prepare you for leadership positions in your career.

The International Journal of Accounting is now published by World Scientific Publishing company. Submit journal manuscripts at

Please view our list of forthcoming articles.

Dedication of the Vernon K. Zimmerman Center

Vernon K. Zimmerman was dean of the College of Commerce and Business Administration from 1971 to 1985. He was a leading force in the establishment of the Center for International Education and Research in Accounting (CIERA). The Vernon K. Zimmerman Center for International Education and Research in Accounting was dedicated in 2002.

Gies News and Events

news item picture

'Paradox brands' hold strong appeal for bicultural consumers

According to a new paper co-written by a team of Gies experts, “paradox brands” – that is, brands that can straddle contradictory meanings or possess opposing characteristics – are more appealing to bicultural consumers than traditional singular-meaning brands.