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Thomas Gilliam


Thomas Gilliam


Accounting & Management Control

Assistant Professor, Accounting & Management Control

Thomas Gilliam thrives on producing research with concrete implications for business and society. This focus stems from a passion for business that he developed while an executive in Silicon Valley. Professor Gilliam had significant financial and operational responsibilities with large multinational technology companies including Silicon Graphics, Inc., LG Corp., Xerox Corp., and Telesensory Systems, Inc. At Silicon Graphics, Professor Gilliam was responsible for the financial affairs of a $1.5 billion computer business and for the operational activities of a $100 million data storage business which he co-founded.

As an executive, Professor Gilliam saw first-hand that many financial decisions were made using heuristics or rules of thumb and that many other financial decisions were dictated by regulators. From these observations Professor Gilliam developed a deep seated curiosity about the effects of such decision making which has in turn led to many of his research questions.  For example, after seeing companies expend large amounts of time and money to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), Professor Gilliam wanted to know if SOX had actually achieved one of its stated intents – curtailment of financial reporting manipulation. To gain insight, Professor Gilliam examined earnings management to avoid reporting small losses.  In a forthcoming article Professor Gilliam reports that the once prevalent practice of loss avoidance disappears immediately after the enactment of SOX and does not return. These findings provide important insights into the on-going debate about the efficacy of SOX.

Professor Gilliam also brings his enthusiasm for business to the classroom where he teaches management accounting and control management.

Academic Background

• PhD in Accounting, Florida State University

• MBA, Notre Dame de Namur University

• BS in Accounting, San Diego State University

Professional License

• Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Florida

Academic Experience

• Assistant Professor of Accounting and Management Control, IE Business School, 2014 – present

• Instructor of Accounting, Florida State University, 2010 – 2014

Latest Publications

Gilliam, T. & Hofmann, R.   (2019). “Fair Value Accounting – A Mangers Perspective”. Forthcoming in Livne, G. & Markarian G. (Eds.). Routledge Companion to Fair Value in Accounting

Gilliam, T. & Hofmann, R.  (2019). “Bank Risk Management and Fair Value Accounting”. Forthcoming in Livne, G. & Markarian G. (Eds.). Routledge Companion to Fair Value in Accounting

Gilliam, T., Heflin, F. & Paterson, J.S. (2015). “Evidence that the zero-earnings discontinuity has disappeared”. Journal of Accounting and Economics, Vol. 60(1): 117-132