I will start applying for Ph.D programs in Accounting, but still having troubles in making a list..
I am a bit terrified thanks to a business week magazine article which is about the huge increase in applications for Ph.D programs within these years due to financial recession. Geezz, like i don't have enough problems by graduating at the worst possible time within the century, being an international student and need to finance myself all the time!
So, to summarize the things up, my top school is Stanford then UC Davis, Haas and Berkeley are following. I kind of focused on California area, but it shouldn't really matter where i will spend my 4-5 years if the school is really promising for future references.
Any recommends are very welcomed, i think word of mouth is much better than googling on this case!
As was discussed many times in the PhD in business forum (where your thread should be), the school list is the base for your research, but once you have a list of 20-25 (or 75-100, doesn't matter) schools your focus should be on the professors and their research areas.
As far as the business cycle goes, if you ever thought it was easy getting into Stanford or Berkeley you've got it all wrong. For the overwhelming majority of applicants, it doesn't matter whether there are 200 or 400 applications this year for PhD in accounting at Stanford because there will be 4-5 admits. My uneducated guess is that those 200 additional applicants are not in the top 20% of the applicant pool.