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Professor, Accounting, RSM Faculty Scholar
Year Started at JMU: 2004
Contact Info

  • Ph.D., School of Accountancy, University of Alabama, December 1987
  • Master of Accountancy, University of Alabama, December 1983
  • B.B.A., College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va., May 1979
Professional Interests

Dr. Copley’s research interests include financial reporting and auditing of public sector entities.

Topics include: the effect of auditor competition on audit quality, the relation between audit quality and financial reporting quality, the effect of auditor tenure on audit quality, and the consequence of balanced budget requirements on the funding of state pension plans. Additional articles examine the role of auditing in the market for initial public offerings.

Personal Interests
  • Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of America
  • Trout fishing
  • Woodworking
Current Courses Taught
  • ACTG 678: Governmental Accounting and Reporting
  • ACTG 302: Introduction to the Accounting Profession:  Role of Accountants
  • ACTG 244: Accounting for Nonbusiness Majors
  • COB 242: Principles of Managerial Accounting
Positions Held
  • Professor, School of Accounting, James Madison University (2004 – present)
  • Previously served on the faculty and as Director of the J.M. Tull School of Accounting at the University of Georgia (1987-2004)
Awards and Recognitions
  • 2016 Educator Award, Association of Government Accountants - National Organization - July 18, 2016
  • 2016 Educator Award, Association of Government Accountants - Washington DC Chapter - March 15, 2016
  • American Institute of CPAs – Federal Accounting Standards Board Rule 203 Review Committee (Washington, D.C.)
  • Comptroller General’s Advisory Council on Governmental Auditing Standards   Government Accountability Office (Washington, D.C.)
  • Virginia Society of CPAs Education Foundation (Glen Allen, Va.)
Key Publications

Copley has authored six textbooks on governmental and not-for-profit accounting and served as Editor of Research in Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting, an academic journal publishing research on the reporting and auditing of governments and not-for-profit entities. 

Copley, P.A. and E.B. Douthett. 2009.  “Are Assurance Services Provided by Auditors on Initial Public Offerings Influenced by Market Conditions? “ Contemporary Accounting Research. 26 (Summer) 453-476.

Copley, P.A. and E.B. Douthett. 2002. "Simultaneous Estimation of the Supply and Demand of Auditor Reputation in the Market for Initial Public Offerings."  Contemporary Accounting Research 19: 49-76. 

Copley, P.A., J.J. Gaver, and K.M. Gaver 1995. "Simultaneous Estimation of the Supply and Demand of Differentiated Audits:  Evidence from the Municipal Market." Journal of Accounting Research 23(Spring): 137-155.

Copley, P.A., M.S. Doucet and K.M. Gaver 1994. "A Simultaneous Equations Analysis of Quality Review Outcomes and Engagement Fees for Audits of Recipients of Federal Financial Assistance." The Accounting Review 69(January): 244-256.

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