Francine McKenna

Francine McKenna
  • Lecturer

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    1314 Steinberg Hall - Dietrich Hall
    3620 Locust Walk
    Philadelphia, PA 19104/6365


Francine McKenna is a full-time Lecturer at University of Pennsylvania Wharton Business School. She teaches ACCT 611 and 613, Introduction to Financial Accounting for MBAs. She is also an independent writer and commentator and authors the newsletter The Dig, where she scrutinizes accounting, audit and corporate governance issues at public and pre-IPO companies.

Beginning in 2006, McKenna was an investigative reporter and feature writer for publications including Dow Jones MarketWatch, Forbes, American Banker, Financial Times, Chicago Booth Review, the Pro-Market blog of the University of Chicago’s Stigler Center, Accounting Today, and Boston Review. At MarketWatch, and for The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s, McKenna reported on public company accounting, fraud and financial investigations, and the potentially dubious financial reporting practices of pre-IPO companies. Her column “Accounting Watchdog” appeared at Her column “Accountable” appeared in American Banker. You may also know her writing from her blog,, now McKenna was a member of the inaugural class of Journalism Fellows at the Stigler Center of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She was twice a finalist for the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Financial Journalism, for and for her magazine articles at Forbes.

She has previously been an adjunct professor of international business in the MBA program at American University’s Kogod School of Business in Washington DC since 2017. She also regularly taught a custom-developed graduate-level course in accounting ethics for the Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and taught a custom-developed course in reporting on corporate fraud at Baylor University. McKenna is a frequent speaker at universities, conferences and other forums. She was honored in 2020 as the Dreier Chair in Accounting Distinguished Speaker at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA.

McKenna was BearingPoint’s first female Managing Director in Latin America, responsible for the Industrial, Automotive and Transportation practice for the firm in the region. She directed the Y2K Project Management Office for JP Morgan in Latin America. Earlier in her career she worked as an accounting manager, financial reporting manager and controller in private industry. She began in internal audit at Chicago’s Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust.

McKenna has lived and worked in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Italy, and is fluent in Spanish as well as her native English. Before turning to journalism and academia, McKenna spent more than 20 years in public accounting and consulting, including as a managing Director for KPMG LLP/BearingPoint in the U.S. and Latin America, and auditing the firm itself in the post-Sarbanes-Oxley era as a Director for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

McKenna earned a Master’s in Liberal Arts degree from the University of Chicago and an undergraduate degree is from Purdue University’s Krannert School where she majored in accounting. She is a registered CPA in Illinois.

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Research Interests: opportunistic/fraudulent reporting, insider trading, regulation.

“Corruption in the Auditor Inspection Process: The Case of KPMG and the PCAOB,”
Forthcoming in Issues in Accounting Education.
– with Pevzner, Mikhail; Sheneman, Amy; and Zach, Tzachi.

IT Control Objectives for Sarbanes-Oxley: Using COBIT® 2019 in the Design and Implementation of Internal Controls Over Financial Reporting, 4th Edition
– Co-author with Dina Nu’man.

“CEO Succession Practices in the Russell 3000 and S&P 500: 2021 Edition,” The Conference Board.
– Co-author with Tonello, Matteo; Schloetzer, Jason, Georgetown University.

“Have Advanced Degrees Increased Ethical Professionalism for Auditors?” in The Routledge Handbook of Accounting Ethics. Taylor, Eileen Z., and Paul F. Williams, eds. Routledge, 2020.

“Economic Consequences of Auditor Reputation Loss: Evidence from the Audit Inspection Scandal”
– with Pevzner, Mikhail; Sheneman, Amy; and Zach, Tzachi. Working paper.



Lecturer, The Wharton School, The University of Pennsylvania 2022 – Present

Full-time teaching Acct 611 and 613, “Introduction to Financial Accounting,” in the MBA Program.

Adjunct Professor, American University Kogod School of Business 2017–2022

Online MBA Program. “The Manager in the International Economy”.

Adjunct Professor, Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business Summer 2021 and Summer 2020. MAcc program. Custom-developed course, “Ethics in Accounting & Business”.

Adjunct Professor, Baylor University, Hankerer School of Business Summer 2019

MAcc program. Custom-developed course, “Reporting on Corporate Fraud”.

All Courses

  • ACCT6110 - Financial Accounting

    The objective of this course is to provide an understanding of financial accounting fundamentals for prospective consumers of corporate financial information, such as managers, stockholders, financial analysts, and creditors. The course focuses on understanding how economic events like corporate investments, financing transactions and operating activities are recorded in the three main financial statements (i.e., the income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows). Along the way, students will develop the technical skills needed to analyze corporate financial statements and disclosures for use in financial analysis, and to interpret how accounting standards and managerial incentives affect the financial reporting process. This course is recommended for students who want a more in-depth overview of the financial accounting required for understanding firm performance and potential future risks through analysis of reported financial information, such as students intending to go into security analysis and investment banking.

Awards and Honors

2020 Accounting Ethics Award: Best Innovation for Teaching

· American Accounting Association 2020, for “Corruption in the Auditor Inspection Process: The Case of KPMG and the PCAOB,” a teaching case with Mikhail Pevzner, (University of Baltimore), Amy Sheneman and Tzachi Zach (Ohio State).

2020 Dreier Chair in Accounting Distinguished Speaker

· Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California.

2017 Journalist in Residence Program, Fellow, Stigler Center

· University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

2013 Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism

· Finalist in Magazines category for two feature stories in Forbes.

2010 Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism

· Finalist in Online Commentary and Blogging category.

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