Accounting Associate Professor Ivy Zhang shares answers to five questions that reveal the issues she's studying, following, teaching, and reading about today. Plus a peek into the life she imagines, were she not teaching at the Carlson School.
Q: What is/are your current area(s) of research? What business challenges are you helping to solve?
I have been working on several projects examining the use of accounting information in CEO compensation and performance assessment. These projects tackle important issues related to CEO incentive contracts and controversial accounting procedures such as fair value accounting. Evidence from my research sheds light on factors affecting the usefulness of accounting information for CEO performance evaluation and the impact of CEO compensation contracts on their reporting choices.
Q: What current business issues or stories in the news are you following and why?
A: I have been following the recent regulatory development on corporate tax inversion, a practice that companies adopt to shift their legal domicile to a low tax country so they can avoid paying high U.S. taxes. Corporate tax avoidance is an important accounting-related corporate strategy. One of the most recent examples of tax inversion takes place right here in Minnesota: Medtronic's acquisition of Covidien in 2015. I expect potential regulations to have far-reaching consequences.
Q: What is your favorite class to teach?
A: I really enjoy teaching Intermediate Accounting. I love sharing my thoughts and experience with young Accounting and Finance majors who are eager to gain a good understanding of accounting.
Q: If you weren’t a business school professor, what would you be doing?
A: I would probably have become a doctor. It makes me feel good when I can help people in need.
Q: What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?
A: My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor.