May 15, 2019

Faculty Updates

Dr. Aaron Crabtree
Director of the School of Accountancy, Associate Professor
 
This year I’m been busy learning and teaching the new tax laws. I accompanied students to Minneapolis in September for an Employer Experience. During the trip, hosts at each firm shared information about jobs and internships, recent initiatives and more.
 
Dr. Arthur Allen
Associate Professor
 
I taught Intermediate and Advanced Accounting. I also published the article “Managerial Compensation and Private Foundation Performance.”
 
Dr. Herita Akamah
Assistant Professor
 
The new lease accounting standard made for an interesting Intermediate Accounting II class in the fall. The students compared the old and new lease accounting standards from a U.S. GAAP and an IFRS perspective. They used knowledge from these comparisons, Tableau and historical data on lease related financial items to explain current corporate practices and speculate on the impact of the new lease accounting standard on future corporate practices. My research projects examine how management incentives, corporate stakeholders and institutional norms affect corporate disclosures. I also led a discussion at a new faculty doctoral consortium in Miami. I continue to serve on the board of Lincoln Literacy Center, where I try to leverage my accounting knowledge to further the cause of bringing literacy – very broadly defined – to the community. As part of this effort, I examined the internal controls and offered recommendations for strengthening them.
 
Dr. Dirk Black
Assistant Professor
 
I joined the faculty this fall. My experience during my first academic year at Nebraska has been welcoming and productive. My current research explores how managers use performance signals versus their first impressions of employee ability in promotion decisions, and how managers use discretion in financial reporting to construct and influence earnings measures. In January 2019, I received an Outstanding Reviewer Award from the Management Accounting Section of the American Accounting Association for service to the Journal of Management Accounting Research. I taught in the MPA program Seminar in Financial Accounting and Business Valuation and Financial Statement Analysis. I also served on the faculty recruiting committee for the college and on Daun Jang’s dissertation committee during this academic year.
 
Deb Cosgrove
Associate Professor of Practice
 
I teach Accounting Information Systems and Advanced Information Systems and serve as both the Beta Alpha Psi and Deloitte Audit Innovation team faculty advisor. Nebraska’s Beta Alpha Psi chapter gained international recognition as a distinguished chapter in 2018, which acknowledges how our chapter exceeded requirements and excelled in the areas of academics, professionalism and leadership. Beta Alpha Psi also recognized me as an Outstanding Faculty Advisor. 
 
Dr. Stuart Dearden
Assistant Professor
 
I joined the faculty this fall and teach the senior and master’s level audit courses. I previously served as an auditor for KPMG, auditing clients in a variety of industries, sizes and regulatory environments. Using my public accounting experience, I enjoy sharing with students issues relevant to auditors. My research focuses on audit quality, auditor bias and audit-office issues. In particular, some of my research examines the joint impact of auditor tenure and a client’s risk profile on auditor bias and the adverse effect late-filing clients have on other clients sharing an audit office. I also serve as an ad hoc reviewer at the Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance and for audit sectional, regional and annual accounting meetings.
 
Dr. Jimmy Downes
Assistant Professor
 
In the classroom, I completed my fifth semester of teaching Intermediate Accounting II to junior-level accounting undergraduates. I continue to work on research focusing on managers’ investment policies and investors’ understanding of economic transactions that require complex accounting. My research specifically focuses on the consequences of multinational tax policy and the accounting for cash flow hedges. In the past year, my research published in the Journal of Accounting and Public Policy and Accounting Horizons. In 2018, I presented at the AAA Financial Accounting Reporting Section Midyear meeting and the European Accounting Association Annual Congress. I also volunteer as a referee for journals and serve as a discussant at national AAA meetings.
 
Dr. Amanda Gonzales
Assistant Professor
 
Teaching Intermediate Accounting, I love inspiring the next generation of accountants by weaving current events and innovation in accounting standards into the classroom. This year I was recognized by the UNL Parents Association with a certificate of recognition for contributions to students. I was also selected to serve on the organizing committee for the 2020 FASB Financial Reporting Issues Conference. One topic I am researching is the financial reporting effects of alternative accounting treatments for pollution reduction programs, an area of interest to both accountants and environmental policy stakeholders.
 
Dr. Steven Hegemann
Assistant Professor of Practice
 
I currently teach Introductory Accounting I and Fraud Examination and incorporate my experience as associate director at Navigant Consulting in New York City in leading forensic accounting investigations. This year, I received a certificate of recognition for contributions to students from the UNL Parents Association, three Outstanding Educator of the Year awards from the Beta Theta Pi fraternity and an Outstanding Professor Award from Delta Sigma Pi professional business fraternity. 
 
Dr. Tony Kang
Deloitte Chair and Associate Professor
 
I currently teach Financial Accounting to MBA students, Financial Statement Analysis and Valuation to MPA students, and a Capital Market Research Seminar to Ph.D. students. My main areas of research are international capital markets and corporate governance issues. More specifically, I am interested in studying capital market effects of various types of forecasts, e.g. analyst forecasts, management guidance and cross-country differences in the way accounting information is produced and used. Additionally, I serve on the MBA committee. Externally, I am an editorial board member of Contemporary Accounting Research and also the chair of the Outstanding Dissertation Award Committee of the International Accounting Section of the American Accounting Association.
 
Kathryn Maresh J.D
Assistant Professor of Practice and Executive in Residence
 
This year, I have been integrating the tax law changes into course curriculum, and students have applied the information learned by completing tax return projects. Additionally, students in my graduate classes researched and wrote memos addressing specific issues and planning opportunities in light of the tax law changes. Student learning has been enhanced by CPA firm participation in the research projects and student presentations in class. Additionally, I spoke as a guest speaker for the Professional and Life Skills course and the UNL Young Professionals at Nebraska group regarding practical tips and guidance under the new tax provisions. For the second year, I was faculty advisor for our Deloitte FanTAXtic Competition team. The team won the regional competition at Chicago and performed well at the January national competition at Deloitte University in Texas.
 
Jina Morris
MPA Coordinator, Assistant Professor of Practice
 
As the advisor for the MPA program, I get to work with our graduate students and enjoy preparing them for their careers. Managerial Accounting at the undergraduate sophomore level is the main course I lead and instruct each term. I was honored to receive my third certificate of recognition for contributions to students from the UNL Parents Association.
 
Dr. Thomas Omer
Professor and Delmar Lienemann Sr. Chair of Accounting, Ph.D. Coordinator
 
I teach Accounting and Data Analytics (ACCT 850), its lab and Tax Planning (ACCT 813). For the School of Accountancy, I serve as our recruiting chair, personnel chair, Ph.D. program director and graduate director. Additionally, I serve on the college’s committees for promotion and tenure, research and professorship review, and Ph.D. programs. My research continues to focus on issues related to corporate taxation, capital and organizational structure choices, factors influencing audit and non-audit fees and earnings quality. I serve as an editor for five journals including Contemporary Accounting Research, Auditing: A Journal of Theory and Practice, Journal of Accounting Auditing and Finance, The International Journal of Accounting, and Journal of International Accounting Research. I recently published articles in The Accounting Review, Contemporary Accounting Research, Journal of International Accounting Research, Auditing: A Journal of Theory and Practice, Management Science and Journal of Accounting and Public Policy.
 
Dr. Kelli Saunders
Assistant Professor
 
It’s a great time to be an audit professor! Recent updates to the PCAOB auditing standards have produced the most significant changes to the independent auditor’s report in over 70 years. We enjoyed exploring this and other topics in fall seminar in auditing and were fortunate to have representatives from the Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy, Deloitte and BKD visit class and share their expertise. This year, undergraduate students enrolled in Fraud Examination and Internal Audit visited nonprofit organizations in our community and tried to identify low-cost solutions that might strengthen controls and anti-fraud measures already in place and enhance the ability of the organizations to achieve their missions. My current research projects are also primarily focused on auditors and are related to audit quality, internal audit and financial reporting. Dr. Todd Thornock and I worked together to organize the Audit Experimental Brown Bag, offering the opportunity for experimental audit researchers to present virtual workshops and receive feedback on current projects, with enthusiastic participation from researchers across the U.S. and Canada.
 
Dr. Marjorie Shelley
Professor
 
My recent courses include Accounting and Data Analytics, Seminar in Managerial Accounting, and Financial Accounting for MBAs. My recent publications are in Management Science and Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory. My research work in progress relates to the effect on financial reporting quality of appointing a lead independent director to the board of directors. My recent service includes the college’s General Committee and the School of Accountancy’s Personnel Committee and Ph.D. Committee.
 
Dr. Todd Thornock
Assistant Professor
 
My role as a tenure-track faculty is like a triangle. On the teaching side, I taught accounting for the first time to the Nebraska Business Honors Academy students. It was invigorating to teach the basics of accounting to these engaged and eager learners. On the research side, I was accepted for publication in academics journals, such as Management Accounting Research and Journal of Management Accounting Research, and in practitioner outlets, like Strategic Finance. In addition, I also have various research projects under review and other projects in early phases. I love learning more about how accounting affects individual judgment and behavior! On the service side, I enjoyed working with our Ph.D. students to mentor them as future accounting professors. I also appreciated the opportunity to interface with my colleagues in the college and the university in my committee obligations.
 
Jill Trucke
Assistant Professor of Practice
 
This year, I taught Accounting for Business Decisions for business minors, Using Accounting Information for non-accounting majors, Advanced Accounting Information Systems and an accounting course for the Raikes School students. I utilized a new textbook in ACCT 409 this semester which focused on data analytics and visualizations.
 
In the fall, I took five students to visit accounting firms in Minneapolis. I also coordinated the Professional Development Days for accounting majors on two Friday afternoons. On the first Friday, we hosted accounting professionals who were spread out through the Hawks Hall Atrium with each one covering a different topic. Students selected a topic to visit and then every 10 minutes all students rotate to a new topic. We continued this pattern so students can visit at least six topics. On the second Friday, we presented information about résumés and the MPA program, and hosted an internship panel. I am currently preparing for the third annual high school Accounting Summit, May 29-31, which offers rising high school seniors with an overview of the many career opportunities in the accounting profession and a brief introduction of business.
 
Dr. Biyu Wu
Assistant Professor
 
I teach Managerial Accounting and serve on the professor of practice faculty search committee and the grade appeals committee. My main research interests include initial public offerings (IPOs), financial reporting quality, securities regulation and auditing. One of my current working papers investigates whether IPO companies misclassify expenses prior to going public and the implications of such classification shifting for IPO price formation and post-IPO stock performance. In another working paper, coauthors and I examine the effect of Big Four auditors on management’s use of optimistic language in audited financial statement disclosures. I am also working on a few other research projects related to litigation risk of IPOs, earnings management and audit quality.