Scoring Big in His Career

PROVO, Utah – Dec 01, 2021 – Brian Spilker landed his dream job when he accepted an assistant professor position in the School of Accountancy (SOA) at the BYU Marriott School of Business in 1993. A basketball enthusiast, he likes to joke that “other than playing point guard for the Utah Jazz, I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing for a career.”

As a professor of accounting, Spilker has come full circle in his journey with the SOA. His love for accounting stems from an introductory accounting course he took during his time as a student at BYU Marriott more than 30 years ago. Spilker didn’t know what to expect from the class, but the subject immediately clicked in his mind. The MAcc student teaching the class, who was especially enthusiastic about the subject of tax, left a favorable impression on Spilker and contributed to his interest in tax. In fact, that student eventually recruited Spilker to work at CPA firm Arthur Young & Company, now EY, upon graduation from BYU.

One of the main reasons Spilker loves tax is because his tax-related knowledge provides him with easy opportunities to serve others. “Oftentimes, people have no idea what to do when they receive a notice from the IRS or are faced with preparing and filing their tax returns,” he explains. “Helping others navigate the complexity of their tax situation is both fun and fulfilling—most of the time,” he adds with a smile.

About a month before graduating with his MAcc in 1987, Spilker talked with a friend who suggested that Spilker pursue a PhD after graduation. “I loved the lifestyle and responsibilities of my SOA professors,” Spilker says. “These professors juggled several different responsibilities: teaching classes and doing research while mixing in consulting activities. I decided being a professor could be a lot of fun.” Spilker started his PhD program in 1989 after working in public accounting for two years.

Spilker received his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 1993 and started teaching at BYU Marriott that same year. Now after nearly three decades at the SOA, Spilker happily acknowledges he is living the dream he envisioned as a graduate student. “My time at BYU Marriott has lived up to all my expectations,” he says. “I’ve enjoyed every component of my career: teaching, research, service, and related activities. Because I’m involved in so many different activities, I’m always working on something that keeps my motivation and interest level high.”

One reason Spilker loves teaching at BYU Marriott is due to the attitudes of collaboration and service among faculty members. “Our faculty members pursue what is best for the group rather than what is best for them individually,” he says. “Frequently, I see faculty working together to help each other or making personal sacrifices to make things better for others.”

When he’s not teaching, Spilker enjoys spending time with his wife and children, all of whom are either BYU alumni or current BYU students. He also recently became a grandpa for the first time. Spilker is an avid BYU basketball and Utah Jazz fan and used to run marathons, despite having a double bypass heart surgery. “Running saved my life, because I would have found out about my heart problems too late if I weren’t running,” he says.

Spilker feels immensely grateful that his life ultimately led him back to BYU Marriott. “I look forward to staying here for the remainder of my career, where I can continue living the dream job I started 28 years ago,” he says.

Brian Spilker
Brian Spilker. Photo by BYU Photo.
One of Spilker's favorite hobbies used to be running marathons. Photo courtesy of Brian Spilker.
One of Spilker's favorite hobbies used to be running marathons. Photo courtesy of Brian Spilker.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Sarah Calvert