Jenny Zha Giedt
Assistant Professor of Accounting
George Washington University
School of Business
Washington, DC


Research interests:
  • Potential changes in corporate control; the preliminary sale process in mergers & acquisitions
  • Financial accounting and reporting choices

[6] "Why Are Firms Sold? Targets' Motives and Bidders' Selection of Targets" (2017), Washington Area Research Symposium paper 2017 and AAA Annual Meeting paper 2017. Link
Motivation: Prior papers that explain why certain firms become M&A targets compare ex-post target firms to non-target firms, but can those papers disentangle target firms' motives from the traits of targets that are selected by bidders? This study uses an intermediate sample of firms that are reviewing strategic alternatives to explain (1) why certain firms self-select to become potential takeover targets and (2) why bidders make offers to select target firms. Hence, target firms' takeover motives can be separately modeled from bidders' selection of targets. Furthermore, this study compares firms that voluntarily disclose their review of strategic alternatives with firms that experience a media leak, to uncover differences in firms that utilize these alternative channels of information transmission.
[5] "Economic Consequences of Announcing Strategic Alternatives" (2017), SSRN working paper which is based on my job market paper. Link
Motivation: Little is known about the consequences of publicly revealing that a company is seeking strategic alternatives, yet managers and directors face this disruptive disclosure decision when their company seeks to sell itself in the market for corporate control. This paper documents the increased shareholder value that follows a public announcement, but this valuation benefit is only captured if a sale is consumated. Otherwise, if a firm announces it's seeking strategic alternatives but ultimately fails to sell itself, the announcement premium gradually reverses and the long run abnormal returns are actually negative. Further tests examine the investor attention, number of bidders in the sale process, operating performance, and employee declines following the announcement, and these potential mechanisms potentially explain how a public announcement of strategic atlernatives could generate or wear down shareholder value.
[4] "Defining, Measuring and Modeling Accruals: A Guide for Researchers" (2017) with Chad Larson and Richard Sloan, RAST Conference paper 2017. Link
Motivation: Measures of accruals and models used to estimate discretionary accruals are widely used in financial accounting research. Yet, empirical researchers are faced with many measures and models to choose from, where some of the commonly choosen ones are incomplete and fragmented. To guide researchers, this paper provides a comprehensive definition and meaure of accruals, and shows how some existing measures of accruals fit in as a component within comprehensive accruals. For resesarchers interested in modeling non-disccretionary accruals, this paper provides a more comprehensive model specification that takes into account the normal properties of accruals. Overall, we urge researchers to carefully consider which measure of accruals to use and how to model normal variation in accruals.
[3] "Modeling Receivables and Deferred Revenues to Detect Revenue Management" (forthcoming), Abacus (Special Issue on Earnings Management)Link
Motivation: Researchers and regulators interested in detecting earnings management and opportunistic discretion may estimate abnormal aggregate accruals or estimate abnormal specific accruals. This paper incorporates and extends the discretionary revenue models from Caylor (2010) and Stubben (2010), by using the the income statement item and cash flows that directly relate to the origination and reversal of specific revenue accruals. Compared to alternative methods, the proposed model can explain more variation in normal revenue accruals and can detect simulated revenue management with more power and less bias. Discretionary changes in receivables and deferred revenues are modeled as:
ΔAccounts receivablet = α0 + α1*1/Avg assetst + α2*ΔRevenuesQ123t + α3*ΔRevenuesQ4t + α4*ΔCash flows from salest+1 + et
ΔDeferred revenuest = α0 + α1*1/Avg assetst + α2*ΔCash flows from salest + α3*ΔRevenuest+1 + et 
[2] "On the Pricing of Mandatory DCF Disclosures: Evidence from Oil and Gas Royalty Trusts" (2015) with Panos Patatoukas and Richard Sloan, The Accounting ReviewLink
Motivation: In the value-relevance literature, tests of the relation between an asset's value that's disclosed on the financial statments and the asset's market value are typically plagued by measurement issues (from imputing the asset's market value from the equity value of the entire company) and model misspecification issues (from imperfectly controlling for the company's other assets and liabilities). Oil and gas royalty trusts, however, provide a cleaner setting to conduct a value-relevance test because the primary assets of these trusts are relatively mature oil and gas reserves, and their other assets and liabilities are negligible. The oil and gas assets that are valued by managers in the financial statements correpond directly to the oil and gas assets that are priced by investors as the market value of equity. We find that mangers' DCF estimates of the oil and gas reserves are priced by investors, yet investors appear inattentive to the finite nature of these reserves until media coverage prompts price to coverge with the DCF estimate.
[1] "Stock Prices and Earnings: A History of Research" (2014) with Patricia Dechow and Richard Sloan, Annual Review of Financial EconomicsLink

About Me
Jenny is an Assistant Professor at the George Washington University School of Business. Her research examines financial accounting and disclosure choices made by corporations and their effects on the stock market and market for corporate control.
Jenny graduated with a PhD in Business Administration in 2016 from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and is a Deloitte Foundation doctoral fellow. Her UC Berkeley dissertation explores why certain companies voluntarily announce that they are seeking strategic alternatives, and documents the costs and benefits associated with the announcement. Her dissertation is titled, "Voluntary Disclosure of Strategic Alternatives: A Cost-Benefit Analysis" (2016). Link
Prior to Berkeley, she worked in the audit and forensic groups at KPMG in Los Angeles, CA, and obtained her CPA. She also has experience in the mutual fund and hedge fund industries with US Bank and Dorchester Capital. She earned her Bachelor's degrees from the University of Southern California in Accounting and Business Administration-Finance.
In her spare time, Jenny enjoys snorkeling, ice skating, skiing, and yoga.