Jonas Heese

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Jonas Heese is an assistant professor of business administration in the Accounting & Management Unit. He teaches the Financial Reporting and Control course in the MBA required curriculum.

Jonas Heese is an assistant professor of business administration in the Accounting & Management Unit. He teaches the Financial Reporting and Control course in the MBA required curriculum.

In his research, Professor Heese focuses on the political economy of regulatory enforcement of accounting standards in the United States, and specifically on the preferences of regulators and the reaction of firms to these preferences. He has explored these ideas in the context of the Securities and Exchange Commission and of agencies that regulate the health-care industry. 

Professor Heese holds a Ph.D. and an M.Sc. in accounting from Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

  1. Regulatory Enforcement of Accounting Standards

    Regulatory agencies have been widely criticized for their failure to detect corporate accounting scandals, especially in the last decade. In light of this critical attention, Professor Heese has investigated the underlying motives of regulatory agencies in exercising judgment in their enforcement of regulations. His findings indicate that such judgment could be motivated by a bias toward fostering behavior that is potentially beneficial for the economy or society as a whole. For example, he has shown that the Securities and Exchange Commission’s enforcement actions are driven by the federal government’s preference for firms that contribute to government policy aimed at promoting employment, and he identifies sources and consequences of systematic biases in the SEC’s enforcement actions. Similarly, he has found that hospital regulators are less likely to enforce regulations for hospitals that provide substantial charity care and medical education.

    Keywords: Accounting; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Health Industry;

  2. Organizational Accounting Strategies in Response to Regulatory Enforcement

    Professor Heese also studies the reactions of regulated organizations to the nuanced enforcement actions he has identified. In particular, he seeks to understand whether managers adjust their accounting choices to such regulatory behavior, notably by engaging in more aggressive accounting practices, together with other aspects of their accounting decision making. In the hospital research cited above, he has discovered that hospitals that are subject to lower enforcement use upcoding, a form of overbilling in the health-care industry, as a tool to subsidize their charitable and educational mission. Further, because upcoding is largely used to meet uncompensated social goals, hospitals do not, as commonly thought, engage in it solely to boost their financial performance. In another hospital study, Professor Heese investigates trade-off decisions that managers make between upcoding and other types of performance manipulation, pointing to the importance of revenue manipulation tools in managing financial performance.

    Keywords: Accounting; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Health Industry;