Associate Professor, Department of Accounting
When it comes to the environment, you are more likely to think about green space and pollution than environmental accounting. Yet environmental issues can have a significant impact on organizations and their financial outlooks. “Companies need to provide or disclose information about environmental issues that can affect their financial positions in the future,” explains Jin Dong Park, associate professor of accounting. “In recent years, the government has been more interested in this area with more regulations and more societal pressure about the environment.”
Together with a colleague in the Department of Accounting, Park is reviewing information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) websites to identify data that companies disclose about environmental issues. Situated between the major regulatory agencies in Washington, D.C., and the nation’s financial markets in New York, Towson offers the perfect location for his work.
The main goal of his work is to test whether the current accounting standards are still efficient. For instance, companies are not necessarily disclosing much information to investors about how global warming, air pollution or industrial accidents may impact their businesses.
“There are implications for government regulators to improve disclosure or reporting standards,” says Park, who regularly attends national accounting or financial conferences. “There are certain financial ramifications as a result of these environmental issues.”
As an adviser to students in Towson’s First-Year Experience and to Towson’s student accounting organization, Park has involved his students in their accounting career and leadership development. “Our accounting majors are very motivated,” he says. “They want to pass the certified public accountant exam and gain leadership and communication skills they may be lacking.”