Aleksandra (Ally) Zimmerman

Assistant Professor and Dean's Emerging Scholar
Ally Zimmerman
RBA 503
Academic Specialty

Ph.D. Accounting, Case Western Reserve University (2016)
M.S. Accounting, Kent State University (2012)
B.S.B.A. with a Major in Accounting, John Carroll University (2008)

Areas of Expertise


Academic Background

Dr. Aleksandra Zimmerman is an Assistant Professor and Dean's Emerging Scholar in the Department of Accounting at Florida State University's College of Business. She also is a visiting scholar at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) and will be serving as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Office of the Chief Accountant Academic Fellow from August 2023 to July 2024. Dr. Zimmerman received her bachelor's degree in accounting from John Carroll University, a master's degree in accounting from Kent State University, and Ph.D. in accounting from Case Western Reserve University.

She is passionate about teaching auditing at the undergraduate level and is a champion for her students, helping them achieve their personal and professional aspirations. Her student evaluation scores have been excellent, averaging 4.65/5. Her teaching style involves a modified flipped classroom approach. This includes students watching lecture videos, reading, and doing practice questions for homework and then completing hands-on real-world cases, exercises, and quizzes together in rotating groups during class. Dr. Zimmerman is caring and flexible and loves advising students on career opportunities. She is also currently serving as the faculty advisor of the student group FSU Women in Accounting and has previously served as the faculty advisor for the Jewish Student Union student organization at FSU. Finally, she serves as an advisor to several graduate students in FSU's highly-ranked and regarded Ph.D. Accounting program and advises undergraduate students as part of FSU's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.

Her research interests include the effect of human capital on audit quality. Dr. Zimmerman is skilled in conducting empirical archival, experimental, survey, and interview (qualitative) research. She has published research in and reviewed many manuscripts for top accounting journals, including The Accounting Review, Contemporary Accounting Research, Accounting, Organizations, and Society, Journal of Accounting Research, Review of Accounting Studies, Accounting Horizons, and Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory. She is currently serving a three-year term on the editorial board of the top accounting journal Contemporary Accounting Research. Her research has been presented at prestigious international accounting conferences, including the PCAOB/Journal of Accounting Research Capital Markets conference, Deloitte/University of Kansas Audit Symposium, the International Symposium on Audit Research, the American Accounting Association's Auditing Section Midyear Meeting, Canadian Academic Accounting Association's Annual Meeting, European Accounting Association Annual Congress, and British Accounting and Finance Association Auditing Special Interest Group Annual Meeting. Finally, Dr. Zimmerman's research has been cited by the media (Bloomberg Law, MarketWatch) and regulators (PCAOB).

Dr. Zimmerman is a servant leader in the FSU and broader accounting academic community. Besides serving as a student advisor, she has also served on the College of Business Diversity Committee and as a graduation representative for the Department of Accountancy. She has also served in various leadership roles for the Auditing Section of the American Accounting Association, including Paper Vice Chair for the 2023 AAA Auditing Section Midyear Meeting, Co-Chair of the 2024 AAA Auditing Section Midyear Meeting, Paper Co-Chair for the 2022 AAA Annual Meeting – Auditing Section Papers, and Paper Vice-Chair for the 2021 AAA Annual Meeting – Auditing Section Papers. Finally, Dr. Zimmerman regularly volunteers to review research manuscripts, serve as a paper discussant, and moderate paper sessions at academic conferences.

Professional Background

Before commencing graduate studies, Dr. Zimmerman worked full-time for four busy seasons for a regional public accounting firm in Northeast Ohio. She has experience in auditing nonprofits, private companies, healthcare entities, and employee benefit plans; tax compliance and planning; employee benefit plan ERISA compliance, business valuation for gift, estate, and due diligence purposes, IT audit of public companies, and the internal audit of banks. She is an active CPA in Ohio and also a Certified Management Accountant (CMA).

Honors and Awards
  • SEC Office of the Chief Accountant Academic Fellowship for 2023-2024
  • PCAOB Visiting Scholar 2020-Present
  • PCAOB Senior Research Fellow 2019-2020
  • Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) Research Participants Grant 2019
  • 2016 AAA/Grant Thornton Doctoral Dissertation Award
  • 2016 Academy of Accounting Historians Award of Excellence for "The Matching Principle Revisited"
  • 2015 AAA Mid-Atlantic Region Meeting Best Doctoral Paper Award
  • 2015 AAA Ohio Region Meeting Best Doctoral Paper Award
Media and Regulatory Mentions
Interesting Facts

In her spare time, Zimmerman enjoys playing trivia; running, walking and hiking outdoors; traveling the world; and spending time with her family. So far, she has run two marathons and six half-marathons, earning several Top 3 female awards within her age group. She is a first-generation American and speaks Russian and some Spanish.