Thomas Purcell III, PhD, JD, CPA

Thoma Purcell


Accounting and Business Intelligence and Analytics

Dr. Tom Purcell is a professor of accounting and Chair of the Department of Accounting at Creighton University Heider College of Business.  He teaches classes in both tax and accounting at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  Dr. Purcell is passionate about Jesuit education and believes being a small part of advancing and fostering the centuries old Jesuit mission is a treasured part of his life.  One of his many contributions to advancing the mission is his commitment to writing a reflection regularly for the Daily Reflection page on the Creighton’s collaborative ministry website page.

He says, “from an early age I aspired to be an attorney and I felt specifically attracted to tax law and accounting.  I taught at Creighton while attending law school and my initial groups of students became lifelong acquaintances and friends.  I remain inspired by the Creighton experience chiefly because of the synthesis of Jesuit charisms and everyday life.  My presence at Creighton is in response to a vocational call to share my abilities with students and to guide them during their formative years.”

Dr. Purcell’s ongoing research interests include the ethical responsibilities of CPAs and tax policy.

Dr. Purcell received his BSBA in accounting and his JD from Creighton University.  He received his MA in accounting from the University of Missouri and his PhD in accounting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  He has been an active Nebraska CPA since 1979. 

He currently serves the AICPA as Past Chair of the Tax Practice Responsibilities Committee and as a member of the SSTS Revision Task Force.  Previously Tom served the AICPA as Chair of the Tax Executive Committee of the AICPA, the highest committee on taxation within the Institute, as Chair of the Model Tax Curriculum Task Force, and on the AICPA Council, the Strategic Planning Committee, the Pre-certification Education Executive Committee, the Tax Legislation and Policy Committee, the Tax Accounting Committee, the Tax Policy Committee, and on numerous other tax task forces.  Tom has served on the Board of Trustees of the Foundation of the Nebraska Society of CPAs, and is a past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NSCPAs, as well as a past Chair and member of several NSCPA committees.  Tom is the only academic practitioner to have chaired the Tax Executive Committee and the NSCPA. 

Dr. Purcell currently is serving as Vice Chairman of the Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy.  He also serves as Chair of the Nebraska Elementary and Secondary School Finance Authority.  He served as Treasurer and on the Board of Directors of the Buford Foundation for over 35 years, and has served on the Board of Directors for the New Cassel Retirement Center, the St. Augustine Indian Mission Board and as President of the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities in Omaha.  He has facilitated strategic planning activities for numerous non-profit organizations. Tom is the moderator of Creighton University’s Alpha Sigma Nu chapter and for more than 20 years was the faculty advisor for Creighton’s Beta Alpha Psi chapter.  He also served as the faculty advisor for Creighton’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity for over ten years and is a past Regional Director and member of the National Board of Directors of Beta Alpha Psi. 

In addition to academia, Dr. Purcell enjoys spending quality family time with his wife of 46 years and their children and grandsons.   When he isn’t engaging in family activities, advancing Creighton’s interests, or serving the profession and community, Tom exercises, gardens, sings, does household carpentry, and reads and collects signed first edition books.

View a full listing of Dr. Purcell’s publications and honors.