Jonathan Bonham studies the effect of accounting rules on the actions taken by managers and employees when their compensation is tied to accounting-based performance measures. For example, his dissertation demonstrated that measurement error in accounting estimates leads to actions with less upside and more downside risk, and to compensation contracts exhibiting bonus caps and floors. His research interests also include relative performance evaluation, the relationship between voluntary and mandatory disclosure, and the properties of accounting systems designed to meet the needs of various users.
Bonham was first drawn to accounting while doing volunteer work in São Paulo, Brazil, where he observed the effects of performance measurement on volunteer behavior firsthand. He also worked briefly with PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Transaction Services and Accounting Advisory Services groups in San Francisco, before beginning his doctoral studies.
He earned a PhD in accounting from Rice University, in its accounting doctoral program’s inaugural graduating class. He also holds a master of accountancy and BS degrees in accounting and economics all from Brigham Young University.