When Sam Tiras first started teaching, he didn’t even have a passport. Now, he travels several times a year to conduct research and present at workshops across the globe.
“It’s not a domestic world anymore; you’re competing globally. You have to understand the information that’s given to you internationally. I don’t change what I teach to teach international standards, but I certainly make sure my students are aware,” said Tiras.
An associate professor of accounting, Tiras teaches accounting and financial statement analysis to Evening MBA and MS Accounting students at Kelley Indianapolis.
“There’s really no such thing as a local business anymore. Our students work with global companies. From an accounting point of view, you can’t be a partner at a major CPA firm without doing at least one or two international rotations.”
Tiras’ passion for international accounting first started with a trip to China and Singapore while he was teaching in the MBA program at the University at Buffalo. While working at Louisiana State University, he traveled with students to Brazil and has gone back nearly a dozen times since then to work with doctoral students and researchers. In fact, much of his research begins in Brazil.
“You have to start somewhere. The advantage of starting my research in Brazil is that they’re just developing when it comes to International Financial Recording Standards (IFRS). Before IFRS, their financial statements were based on just the tax system,” said Tiras. “While the implications of IFRS in Brazil may not itself generalize to here in the U.S. or Europe, this research gives us a core view of the issues. From this starting point, we can expand the scope beyond the basic level and expand to other countries.”
Tiras is working with other researchers to look at the implications of adopting International Financial Reporting Standards: accounting standards the United States has not adopted, but many countries have.
“It’s important to understand where we might go – the reporting environment in the US has been shifting that way with many of the key issues facing US investors,” he said.
Much of Tiras’ research focuses on international sustainability: a push by organizations to be more socially and environmentally conscious and reduce their footprints. His current research looks at whether companies that align their activities with their reported sustainability have more predictable future performance. He presented this at two international accounting research conferences over the summer, one in the Netherlands and one in Germany.
“I’m passionate about my research. It integrates into everything I do,” Tiras explained.
This blog was updated in 2019 to reflect a change in Tiras’ title.