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January 20, 2012

Tanyi Brings International Perspective to School of Accountancy

When Paul Tanyi came to the U. S. seven years ago from Cameroon, he planned to get his MBA and return home to run his family business. His passion for teaching deviated him from that plan and he is now assistant professor in the School of Accountancy at the UNL College of Business Administration.

“I have always had a knack for numbers and I think in terms of numbers. I worked in public accounting for a year and taught as a graduate student for almost three years. The professor I worked for encouraged me to get my Ph.D. and become a teacher,” he said.

While an MBA student at Illinois State University, he took an accounting class and found his calling. Though his MBA concentration was in finance, he decided to get a master’s degree in accounting also.

“I told my parents about not returning to the family business right after I completed the master’s program. They were receptive to the idea, because I wanted to pursue a Ph.D. I am the first person in my family to attain that level of education,” Tanyi said.

He earned his Ph.D. from Florida International University. He decided to go there, as it was one of the top schools in auditing research.

Education was always a priority in his family. At age 19, Tanyi attended The University of Buea in Cameroon. Since it was the only university in Cameroon where classes are taught in English, it was very competitive. He earned his undergraduate degree in banking and finance.

“Dr. Tanyi brings a unique international perspective to the School of Accountancy. This is a critical component for accounting education with the pending implementation of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in the U.S.” said Paul Shoemaker, director of the School of Accountancy.

His current paper under review by in the Accounting Review examines U.S. investors’ reaction to the potential adoption of IFRS in the U.S. About 120 countries around the world allow or require their companies to use this standard.

Currently, the U.S. is one of the few countries in the world that requires its companies to report their financial statements using only the U.S. General Accepted Accounting Standards (GAAP). The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) are considering the adoption of IFRS as an accounting standard.

“Critics of the potential adoption of IFRS will negatively affect the quality of financial statements in the U.S. However, proponents of the adoption of IFRS argue that this adoption will benefit U.S. investors as the financial statements of the U.S. companies will be more comparable to those of their foreign competitors and this will facilitate their investment decisions,” Tanyi explained.

Tanyi and his co-author Steve Lin at Florida International University identified announcements made by the SEC and FASB related to the potential adoption of the IFRS and measured the market reaction. They presented their research at the American Accounting Association meeting in San Francisco in 2010.

At UNL, he is currently examining how the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 influenced the effect of audit committees on financial reporting quality.