Haresh Sapra, Associate Professor of Accounting in the GSB

    Haresh Sapra, Associate Professor of Accounting in the GSB

    By Jessamine Chan
    Graduate School of Business


    Haresh Sapra, Associate Professor of Accounting in the Graduate School of Business, is now a three-time recipient of the Emory Williams Award.

    Sapra teaches Accounting and Financial Analysis II, which covers the accounting, tax, and economic implications of mergers and acquisitions, and a Ph.D.-level course on economic models and disclosure issues in accounting.

    “I’m surprised to win this award again, because I have made my mergers and acquisitions course more difficult each year,” says Sapra. “To win the award despite the challenging nature of the course is very gratifying.”

    Passion for the material and clarity in the classroom guide Sapra’s teaching approach. “I stop almost every five minutes to take student questions,” says Sapra. “It’s important to create a relaxed environment in the classroom so that students feel comfortable enough to voice any confusion.”

    For Sapra, the key to making the subject matter exciting for students is to link the course material to real-world examples, such as the recent proposal by Proctor & Gamble to purchase Gillette.

    “Every year, I prepare for my course in real-time with a new set of lecture notes,” says Sapra. “Preparing my own material helps me to bring in fresh perspectives every year.”

    The GSB’s multidisciplinary approach is especially appealing to Sapra because he is able to talk about economics and finance within the context of an accounting course.

    “When you are buying a company, you have to understand the accounting rules because it drives the value of the deal,” explains Sapra. “You also have to understand the tax structure of the deal because that also drives the value of the deal. Since both the accounting rules and the tax structure have valuation consequences, you must combine them to get the whole picture. Hopefully by the end of the quarter, students can see how these different slices come together.”

    The Emory Williams Award is given annually to a junior faculty member at the GSB in recognition of accessibility, enthusiasm and innovation in teaching. Nominations for this award were submitted by students from the school’s full-time and part-time M.B.A. programs.

    Emory Williams, a former chairman and chief executive officer of the Sears Bank & Trust Co. and the Chicago Milwaukee Corp., established the award in 1984.

    Sapra earned a B.B.A. in accounting from the University of Houston in 1991, an M.S. in accounting from the University of Houston in 1995, and a Ph.D. in business administration from the University of Minnesota in 2000. He also is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Illinois.