SMU School of Accountancy ranked first in the world by BYU Accounting Research Rankings (2021)

The school takes top spot worldwide in three categories - Citation Rankings, Archival Research (All Topics) and Archival Research (Financial Accounting)

SMU School of Accountancy has scored in these categories:

  • 1st in the world for Citation Rankings
  • 1st in the world for Archival Research (All Topics)
  • 1st in the world for Archival Research (Financial Accounting)
  • 1st in Asia for All Areas and All Discipline Research
  • 7th in the world in main rankings

Singapore, 28 February (Monday) – SMU’s School of Accountancy (SoA) has achieved excellent and unprecedented ratings according to the latest Brigham Young University (BYU) Accounting Research Rankings 2021 (released in February 2022). The School is now ranked first in the world for Citation Rankings, Archival Research (All Topics) and Archival Research (Financial Accounting). In addition, it is also first in Asia for All Areas and All Discipline Research, climbing to seventh in the world in the overall main rankings.

The rankings place the School of Accountancy in the league of top universities in the world, and ahead of University of Pennsylvania, University of Toronto and University of Washington.

Acclaimed as an objective and key ranking to watch for in accounting research, the BYU Accounting Research Rankings are based on award winning research and rankings are based on classifications of peer reviewed articles in 12 accounting journals since 1990, which in turn determines university ranking based on authors’ affiliation. Researchers at BYU measure the intellectual contribution of accounting faculty members at all institutions in the world. They go through publications in the top peer-reviewed accounting journals and rank departments or schools in the recent years based on the number of publications.

A high ranking signals that SMU has the highest research productivity in the top peer-reviewed journals as compared to other peer schools worldwide, particularly in the fields that SMU’s SoA emphasises – archival accounting research. In particular, emerging world number one in the Citation Rankings for a second consecutive year represents the strong influence of SoA’s academic research in the field of accounting. As a citation represents a form of acknowledgment that one research paper gives to another existing piece of published research, citation analysis has widely been viewed as a means to assess the research impact generated by that original body of work.

BYU Accounting Research: 2021 Citation Rankings




Singapore Management University



University of Pennsylvania



University of Southern California

3 5990

University of Texas at Austin

4 5805

University of Washington

5 5271

University of Chicago

6 5220

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

7 4889

Arizona State University

8 4866

University of Toronto

9 4533
Brigham Young University 10 4412


Associate Dean (Research) of School of Accountancy, Lee Kong Chian Professor Zhang Liandong says, “Accounting research plays an important role in connecting educators, industry practitioners, and regulators to shape the future of the accounting profession. At SMU School of Accountancy, we are committed to taking the lead in accounting research and translating this knowledge into innovative approaches to teaching and practice. Our strong performance at this year’s BYU Rankings signals that we are moving closer to achieving this mission.”

Under the leadership of Lee Kong Chian Chair Professor Cheng Qiang, who has been Dean of the School since July 2015, the SoA’s reputation for its high quality research has grown and it has achieved robust rankings. He says, “Once again, we have achieved the number one position in Citation Rankings in the world. In addition, we have taken top spot in two other categories - Archival Research (All Topics) and Archival Research (Financial Accounting) - and this has helped us climb to seventh spot in the world in the overall rankings. I am extremely proud of the dedication and commitment of all our faculty members, and this is a testament to the high standards of accounting research and education of SMU’s School of Accountancy.”

SMU strongly encourages the research faculty to publish in the best academic journals to demonstrate the expertise and findings of our academics. In 2021 alone, the SoA faculty published 12 articles in the top five journals[1], a rare feat for any accounting department or school.  

*Source: BYU Accounting Research Rankings:


[1] The top five journals are: Contemporary Accounting Research; Journal of Accounting and Economics; Journal of Accounting Research; Review of Accounting Studies and The Accounting Review.