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Rebecca Lester

Rebecca Lester
Assistant Professor, Accounting
Contact Info
Assistant Professor of Accounting
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Research Statement

Professor Rebecca Lester's research focuses on the economic consequences of U.S. tax policies on multinational companies. Specifically, her work studies how accounting rules and tax policies affect real firm investment and employment decisions.

Research Interests

  • Taxation
  • Firm Investment
  • Multinational Location Decision
  • Mergers and Acquisitions

Teaching Statement

Professor Lester teaches the first year MBA Financial Accounting course. The objective of this course is to learn how a company's economic transactions are reflected on financial statements and to train students to be informed users of this financial information.


Rebecca Lester joined the Stanford Graduate School of Business as an Assistant Professor of Accounting in July 2015. She studies the effects of accounting rules and tax policy on domestic and multinational firm investment decisions. Her recent work has examined how U.S. tax rules have encouraged firms to reinvest offshore rather than repatriate cash to the U.S. She also has examined how firms have responded to a recent U.S. manufacturing tax incentive that was intended to increase domestic investment and employment.

Professor Lester received her PhD in Accounting from the MIT Sloan School of Management and both a B.A. and Masters of Accountancy from the University of Tennessee. Prior to her studies at MIT, she was a Manager in the M&A Transaction Services practice of Deloitte in Chicago, Illinois.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD, Accounting, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2015
  • Masters of Accountancy, University of Tennessee, 2002
  • BS, Accounting, University of Tennessee, 2002

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor, Stanford GSB, 2015 - present

Professional Experience

  • Manager, Deloitte M&A Transaction Services, 2003-2008
  • Tax Senior Consultant, Deloitte Lead Tax Services, 2001-2003
  • CPA, State of Illinois (Inactive), 2003

Awards and Honors

  • MIT Sloan Thesis Prize, First Place
  • Deloitte Foundation Doctoral Fellowship


Journal Articles

Michelle Hanlon, Rebecca Lester, Rodrigo Verdi. Journal of Financial Economics. 2015, Vol. 116, Issue 1, Pages 179-196.
SP Kothari, Rebecca Lester. Accounting Horizons. 2012, Vol. 26, Issue 2, Pages 335-352.

Courses Taught

Degree Courses


Financial accounting is the measurement of economic activity for decision-making. Financial statements are a key product of this measurement process and an important component of firms' financial reporting activities. The objective of this course...

School News

October 6, 2015
New faculty and lecturers offer unique perspectives and experience to augment program offerings.