2021 Best Undergraduate Professors: Matthew Sooy, Ivey Business School

Matthew Sooy

Ivey Business School, Western University

“An amazing person, super kind to all of his students and understanding.” – Shangbing Jiang

Matthew Sooy, 44, is Assistant Professor of Accounting at Ivey Business School, Western University in Canada where he has been since 2016.

He has a PhD from the University of Kentucky and an MBA from Emory University. He currently teaches Accounting & Financial Fundamentals, and Management Accounting & Control.

Dr. Sooy uses behavioral economic methods to research how financial regulations influence managers’ compliance. Other recent research has focused on hierarchy and social status and their influence on managers’ financial decisions. His research has appeared in Issues in Accounting Education and Accounting, Organizations, and Society. He is the winner of several research awards and grants including the AAA ABO Outstanding Emerging Scholar Award in 2016. He’s also appeared on several national news organizations in Canada.

In the classroom, he is the winner of the David Burgoyne Teaching Award, the Undergraduate Last Lecture, and Case Centre’s Outstanding Case Award Winner.

“Not only was Professor Sooy good at explaining the content in class but he was also always willing to help students after hours in his lengthy office hours,” Julia Semple writes in her nomination. “Dr. Sooy was also extremely helpful with reducing stress by providing good context for exams and giving us motivational speeches or even ways to handle a bad grade.”


I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when…   I “knew” I wanted to be a business school professor when I took (and loved) a PhD seminar during my MBA program.  Thank you, Kristy!

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it?  I investigate accounting ethics and financial market bubbles.  I’m most excited by recent behavioural results demonstrating circularities between investors’ valuations and market prices in laboratory markets, an important trigger for market bubbles.

If I weren’t a business school professor, I’d be… I’m also a father, a husband and I love playing/coaching hockey when time allows.  We are more than our jobs.

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor?  I ask my students for their time, effort, and attention – arguably the three greatest resources they have.  I try to honor this ask with competence and a sincere concern for their well-being and goals.  I hope that my classrooms enlighten and empower all of my students.  

One word that describes my first time teaching:  Imperfect!

Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor:  The learning doesn’t stop when the spreadsheet is finished

Professor I most admire and why:  My colleague, Mary Gillett.  She has been a model colleague to so many of us here, and has also managed to raise a wonderful family.  I may never be able to repay her support but I will do my best to pay it forward.


What do you enjoy most about teaching business students?  I am fortunate to know so many bright and hard-working people who both dream big and dare to pursue their dreams.

What is most challenging?  Teaching hundreds of different people to give structure to problems using excel! 

In one word, describe your favorite type of student: Thoughtful

In one word, describe your least favorite type of student: Inconsiderate

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… You are not your marks!  The long game is in learning!


What are your hobbies?  I play and coach hockey when time permits.  Accounting is hard, hockey is simple.

How will you spend your summer?  I have some research projects that I’m very excited to look after.   

Favorite place(s) to vacation:  Anywhere with family

Favorite book(s):  Einstein’s Dreams, by Alan Lightman

What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much?   Bring back Schitt’s Creek!!

What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why?  I’ve enjoyed Gregory Alan Isakov lately, an artist with roots in Kentucky.  Check him out.


If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this…   Less technology, more humanity.  No matter what mode that education takes, learning is a very personal and very human experience.  It’s often best experienced with others.

In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at… Our students are willing to work hard.  Help them see how your work is ‘good work’ that will help them to advance their dreams and benefit greater society.

I’m grateful for… all of it.  This is my dream job.  I’ve benefited from so many people.  I try to say ‘thank you’ as much as I can.  All success is team success.


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