Anu Varadharajan is a self-professed “tax geek” who enjoys the creative aspects of interpreting tax laws to determine the most advantageous outcome for the client. With taxes involved at every juncture of life – birth, marriage, buying a home, and estate planning – she sees an accountant’s role as a trusted advisor, not just a tax preparer. With nearly a decade of professional experience at Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers specializing in both domestic and international corporate taxation, she brings a sharp, real-world focus to the classroom.
As both an Enrolled Agent for the IRS and a Chartered Certified Accountant, Varadharajan can practice accounting on “both sides of the pond.”
Varadharajan teaches tax classes – including corporate, individual and legal entities – in the graduate program. In these classes, students start with a firm foundation in the technical aspects of accounting, then learn hands-on, practical skills to apply the rules within the legal framework governing taxation. She worries that too many people find “tax people” boring, and works to change her students’ thinking by responding to diverse learning styles and by bringing real-world challenges into the classroom. Her students come to class thinking in numbers, but through her hands-on instruction and use of the Socratic method, she pushes students to understand the law with respect to taxes and to synthesize their learning.With guest speakers who are practitioners in the field, her classes are timely and relevant, keeping up with the changes in taxation and giving students a window into future careers.
Practical, Hands-On Teaching
In her previous position at the University of Illinois, Professor Varadharajan consistently appeared on the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent. Her students come to class thinking in numbers, but through her hands-on instruction and use of the Socratic method, she pushes students to understand the law with respect to taxes and to synthesize their learning.
Having grown up in Singapore and worked for global accounting firms EY and PwC, Professor Varadharajan is aware of the demands of the profession in today’s cross-cultural workplace, and she draws on her international perspective to inform her teaching.
Professor Varadharajan’s favorite moments occur at the end of every semester, when students demonstrate the delayed happiness that comes from realizing all their hard work and learning has moved them closer to their career goals. One year, she was especially proud when one of her students was accepted into every law school she applied to (and chose Harvard).
Education & Affiliations
Simon Business School, University of Rochester, M.B.A.
National University of Singapore, B.A. in Business Administration
ACCA (Association for Certified Chartered Accountants)
Running her organic skincare business.
Riding her motorcycle.