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Accounting Professor Focuses on ‘Language of Business’

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When Anthony Chen enters a classroom as a new assistant professor of accounting at Cal State Fullerton, he is carrying on a family tradition. His father was a business professor.

“My father encouraged me to explore the field of accounting, as it is considered the language of business,” he explained. “My father’s influence didn’t stop there; he also encouraged me to pursue a career in academia.”

Chen served as a research assistant at Florida State University, where he completed his doctorate in accounting earlier this year. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting at Old Dominion University.

What inspired you to go into your field? What was the defining moment?

I chose to pursue a career in accounting because I developed an interest in the business world from a young age. After taking a few courses, I could see that the skills and knowledge one gains from an accounting background are far-reaching and extend well beyond one’s professional career.

What are your research interests and why?

The pursuit of knowledge is not only empowering, but there is joy in its attainment. My research interests vary widely, but my recent focus has been on earnings management, earnings quality and corporate governance.

I chose these areas because they are personally fulfilling to me, and help to provide answers to many of the problems facing today’s business world.

How do you engage students in your classes and/or research?

To engage my students in my classes, I teach accounting as a method of thinking, solving problems and communicating information. Accounting logic can be applied to many decision settings and helps to optimize the outcomes one desires. I also strive to incorporate accounting research and theory into the class whenever possible. I find that students find the class more interesting when they understand the complications facing the accounting profession, and how accounting relates to all business disciplines.

What changes do you envision in your field five years from now?

Over the next five years, accountants’ roles in the business world and the demand for accountants will continue to grow. The business environment is continually evolving as we become more and more of a knowledge-based, global economy. As a result, the need for graduates with accounting backgrounds and analytical, communication, technological and leadership skills cannot be overstated.

See the complete list of new tenure-track faculty joining CSUF this fall.