Betsy Willis

Senior Lecturer at Baylor University

betsy willis

"When I had the opportunity to develop an online course, I thought it would be an amazing way to reach even more students and help them gain an understanding of basic financial statements."

Degrees Held:

  • Master of Taxation – Baylor University, 1987
  • BBA Accounting – Baylor University, 1971

In which online degree program do you teach?


Career Highlights:

I have taught at Baylor since 1976, and loved every minute of my teaching! I have maintained a tax and accounting practice since about 1980; this provides lots of practical stories related to various client issues I've encountered – I always find interesting things that I enjoy sharing with my classes. I have worked on 12 editions of a financial accounting textbook, which was first published in 1988. One of the biggest challenges of my teaching career was when I started teaching online classes! I have thoroughly enjoyed that aspect of my job.

  • Which classes do you teach online?

    Business Foundations, Financial Accounting

  • What do students learn in these classes? What is the expected outcome?

    My desire is that my students feel totally comfortable picking up an annual report or a set of financial statements and understand what they are reading! I want them to learn the basics of accounting, how numbers get to the financials and what they mean, but mostly I want them to be able to use the financial information on those statements along with the related notes to the financials, to make good decisions about a company.

  • Why did you start teaching?

    I absolutely love teaching financial accounting! When I had the opportunity to develop an online course, I thought it would be an amazing way to reach even more students and help them gain an understanding of basic financial statements.

  • What advice would you give to prospective online students?

    Don't get behind! If you don't understand what's going on in the first two or three chapters, the rest of the course will be a struggle for you! Accounting is one of those courses where you have to plan to do a little each day (hopefully) so you don't have too much to try and cover on the day before an exam. And always ask lots of questions (there are no dumb questions in my class!).

  • What qualities make someone particularly successful in the business world?

    Be inquisitive, think about how financial information relates a business to the world around you, and never stop learning more about businesses! Also, treat each client (student or co-worker) as if he is the most important one. You can learn something from everyone you meet!

  • What do you think is the biggest challenge that people in business face today?

    With the advent of computers, massive amounts of data, and information that you can get almost instantaneously, it's important to remember that businesses are made up of people, who are more important than the data on the financials. Never forget to treat people fairly and with consideration. Remember The Golden Rule!

  • What is the one book you think everyone should read?

    The Bible. Also, "All I Really Need to Know I Learned In Kindergarten." by Robert Fulghum

  • Tell us something your students might not know about you:

    I am an avid gardener and I grow lots of roses! I enjoy time with my four precious grandchildren. I also love to cook and experiment with new recipes.

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