Faculty Profile: Bohan Song

Bohan joined the Alberta School of Business last month as an assistant professor in the Department of Accounting and Business Analytics.

Bohan joined the Alberta School of Business last month as an assistant professor in the Department of Accounting and Business Analytics. He comes to us from the A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he earned his PhD in Finance and Financial Accounting in 2022. He also served as a visiting assistant professor of accounting at Tulane for the past year.

Bohan’s research focuses on financial accounting, auditing and insurance.


How did you first become interested in pursuing finance and accounting? What drew you to this area?

Accounting and finance are two closely related areas. After I completed my college study in Public Finance and obtained my Master of Accounting degree, I got interested in understanding how investors and other participants in the capital markets make their decisions using accounting information and at the same time, what factors influence companies providing such information. By pursuing a PhD, I can explore these interesting questions and contribute to our understanding of the role of financial and non-financial information in the capital markets.

Tell us a bit more about your current research interests.

My current research interests lie at the intersection of financial reporting, auditing and insurance economics. My dissertation examines how auditors’ characteristics affect the audit of complex accounting estimates. This research question is important because the audit of complex accounting estimates, like fair value measurements and asset impairments, has been identified as a challenging task because of the inherent uncertainty and subjectivity underlying these estimates. Regulators like the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board have reported persistent audit deficiencies in these areas. Thus, more research in this area is warranted. 

bohan_song_5x4-resize.jpgI am also interested in insurance accounting, which differs from accounting for other companies in two critical aspects. First, insurance companies are usually subject to different accounting standards. For example, in the U.S., insurers follow the Statutory Accounting Principles, which are more conservative and require more disaggregated disclosures than U.S. GAAP and IFRS. Second, the insurance industry is subject to regulatory oversights both heterogeneous across different regions and dynamic over time. These features make the insurance setting a fertile ground to examine theories and empirical questions that cannot be tested in other settings.

What made you want to join the Alberta School of Business? What excites you most about working here?

The Alberta School of Business has very rich research resources and the most supportive and collaborative environment, which are essential and attractive for a junior faculty member like me. During my job talk, I obtained great feedback and suggestions on my research and every faculty and staff member here was nice and professional. I really wanted to work with these great people! Additionally, Edmonton is such a lovely city to live in.

What can your students expect from you as a teacher? What is your teaching style or philosophy?

My goal as an instructor is not only to deliver knowledge to students but also to facilitate students’ learning by helping them build long-lasting self-motivation. To do so, I like to create an engaging and inclusive environment in the classroom and encourage each student to participate in class discussions.

My teaching is also designed to help students acquire knowledge and skills not only from the textbook but also by solving real-world business problems.

As you adjust from life in New Orleans to life in Edmonton, what do you most look forward to about living here? What has been the biggest adjustment so far?

I look forward to my first winter here. I grew up in Tieling, a small city in Northern China. The weather there is very similar to Edmonton. However, since my college, I have lived in southern China and the U.S. for 10 years, and I missed the white snow during winter time. 

I realized how environmentally-friendly and sustainable the city is after living here for a month. I always forgot to bring my own recycling bags when going to grocery stores in the first week and then I realized that people here do not use plastic bags. There are also a lot of other initiatives in this city aiming to protect the environment and reduce pollution and waste. This is great because each of us can contribute to environmental sustainability in our daily lives. Now I have enough recycling bags and always remind myself to bring them. 

What’s one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?

My cooking skills. I like cooking and I enjoy sharing delicious food with my family and friends. Edmonton has a lot of great restaurants. I am currently exploring these places and I’m sure that some of them will give me great ideas and inspirations to create my recipes!