Faculty Directory

Nicole Thibodeau

Nicole Thibodeau


Numbers are the language of business, they permeate transactions and contracts and influence individual and organizational behavior. Yet accountants often sit in their own silos crunching numbers that too often are not informative for future decisions or timely. Accounting and finance information should be decision useful and timely and should not be rocket science.  Numbers should be relevant should tell the story and provide useful information for decisions and transactions that all can understand. I take a 1,080 view in integrating accounting for management and management for accounting to build future and current leaders.


Nicole has over 25 years of experience in educating and advising executives, managers, professionals, and accountants on leveraging financial information to improve business results. An expert in real cost, pricing mindset, and strategic financial leadership, Nicole’s experience spans the industries, borders, and coasts of North America. Contributing Assistant Professor at Willamette University, Nicole is also President of Nicole Thibodeau and Co. LLC Management Consultants, “Nthandco,” and Associate Professor at Pacific University. She obtained her BBA in 1988 from Laval University, her CPA in 1990, and her PhD in 2003 from the University of Pittsburgh. Nicole particularly thrives on challenges and in the outdoors, in the open spaces, where she can feel the elements and where the growth opportunities are without limit. Nicole volunteers at Mercy Corp NW to help young micro start-ups, and she has mentored and inspired success with individuals from a variety of leading firms and organizations including Nike, Intel, Benchmade Knives, Les Schwab, Deloitte, KPMG, Moda Health, the Department of Defense, Port of Portland, Northwest Natural.


  • Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
  • B.B.A., Universite Laval (Quebec)

Selected Personal Interests


I enjoy being active, especially exploring outdoors: bicycling, hiking, trekking and sometimes climbing (hopefully more of that to come). It's especially wonderful if there is a great view along the way or interesting wildlife such as when exploring in a kayak. A motorcycle ride is also good for the soul and the senses and beats the car any day. Though I am very much a novice in terms of traveling and adventures, I do cherish every opportunity that I get to go out, be it a small or big trip, as much for the experience as for moments shared with great friends or with new acquaintances who share the same passion. Some notable favorites include finishing the 2001 Pittsburgh marathon without any prior running experience, hiking in the Himalayas to the base camp of Mount Everest (pictured to the left), and more recently, backpacking in the Mount Whitney area - summiting Mt. Langley and almost summiting Mt. Whitney as well as circumnavigating the central sierras through Yosemite and up to King’s Canyon on my Harley Davidson Sportster.  

Locally, I am very much a gym enthusiast who regularly needs the solitude and the intensity of a workout (and the rhythm of the music on the Ipod) to clear my mind and to build strength and energy. Running (especially if it’s cold and raining), bicycling and spinning sessions also complement workouts. The endorphins that come from a great hike, workout, ride, run or paddle, are powerful energizers and motivators.

Courses Taught

Strategic Management Controls, Introduction to Financial and Managerial Accounting, Financial Reporting, Accounting for Managers, Leadership and Management for Attorneys in Business.

Research Interests

The role and effect of accounting (financial and nonfinancial) information in organizations from a managerial economics perspective, especially:

  • Strategic performance management, incentive contracts, organizational design and reforms particularly in the context of public sector and healthcare organizations and in relation to institutional constraints
  • Financial accounting and reporting (esp. teaching)

Selected Publications and Working Papers

“The Long-Run Performance of Decentralized Agencies in Quebec: A Multidimensional Assessment” with Claude Laurin and Marie-Eve Quenneville of the Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC), forthcoming as chapter 8 in “Comparative Research on Public Sector Organization”, edited by Per Lægreid and Koen Verhoest, Governance and Public Management series, series editors Win van de Donk and Gerard Timsit, Palgrave.

“Value Creation in Public Enterprises: An Empirical Analysis of Coordinated Organizational Changes in the VA Hospital System” with John Harry Evans and Nandu Nagarajan, University of Pittsburgh and Jeff Whittle, VA Medical Center, Milwaukee, 2007. The Accounting Review, 82 (2): 483-502.

“La comptabilité intermédiaire”, with N. Chlala, Ménard, L., Gagnon-Valotaire, D. Kieso, D. E., Weygandt, J. J., Warfield, T. D., Callimaci, A., Giroux, G., McGraw, E. Racette, E. and Robert, A. Les Éditions du Renouveau Pédagogique, Montréal, 2004. (This intermediate financial accounting textbook won the Ministry of Education, Leisure and Sports’ award for best textbook, 2005-2006.)

"Do You Get What You Measure? Research Opportunities Based on the Veterans Health Administration Experience" with John Harry Evans and Nandu Nagarajan.  Accounting Horizons, June 2014.

"Are Fair Value Options Created Equal? A Study of SFAS 159 and Earnings Volatility" with Robert Couch and Wei Wu. June 2014.

"An Option for Lemons? The Fair Value Option for Liabilities During the Financial Crisis" with Robert Couch and Wei Wu. October 2014.