Accounting Prof Helps Students Learn How to Talk Business

Dr. Bin Li

Dr. Bin Li

Accounting is often called the language of business.

And Dr. Bin Li, assistant professor of accounting, encourages any student who wants a career in business to learn it.

Li joined the Naveen Jindal School of Management’s accounting faculty last year after earning his doctorate from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He teaches “Introduction to Financial Accounting,” which gives undergraduates their first look at income statements, balance sheets and cash flow reports.

“As the language of business, accounting allows various departments within a firm to effectively communicate with each other, as well as with external parties,” Li said. “It standardizes the communication so that both internal and external parties can use accounting information to evaluate business activities and make decisions.”

Li was one of four new assistant or associate accounting professors hired last year. The strong demand for accountants has fueled a growing need for accounting courses – and professors – in the Jindal School in recent years.

Enrollment in undergraduate accounting programs has climbed 27 percent since 2010, with 975 expected undergraduate accounting majors in the fall. The job outlook is great, with annual starting salaries of about $50,000, said John Barden, a clinical professor and director of undergraduate accounting programs.

Dr. Bin Li

TITLE: Assistant professor, accounting

RESEARCH INTERESTS: Corporate finance, valuation, disclosures, capital market

PREVIOUSLY:  PhD student, The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University

Li, who was born in Zhejiang Province, China, encourages students considering accounting majors to research the many accounting career paths. He advises them to learn how job applicants will be evaluated and create plans to be well prepared. For example, students who want to become public auditors should prepare for the Certified Public Accountant exams, he said.

The assistant professor said he wants students to leave his courses with an understanding of how to interpret financial information and reports from different perspectives including managers, investors and other business stakeholders.

Li’s research interests lie in the usefulness of accounting information in firms’ and investors’ decisions, especially investing and financing decisions.

“I want to have a better understanding of how accounting information helps people make decisions in the business world,” Li said.

Li said he learned the “importance of critical thinking and hard work” from his parents, who are both high school teachers.

“I love my career, because doing research and teaching students are the most enjoyable things for me,” said Li. 

Li, who also likes jogging, movies and reading, said he came to UT Dallas for its “high concentration of talented faculty members, researchers, and students.”

Dr. Hasan Pirkul, Jindal School dean and Caruth Chair of Management, said that he is pleased that Li joined the school’s growing accounting program.

“Accounting is an essential profession that offers a wide range of opportunities,” Pirkul said. “We are proud to be able to expand our faculty to train the next generation of accountants.”

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

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