Tao-nan Li went to America in 1914 to study accounting and finance at the University of Illinois and was graduated in 1917.
Also he took a postgraduate course at New York University in 1917-1918.
Li Tao-nan returned to China in 1918 and for two years taught accounting at Nankai University, Tianjin, China. Than he became sub-manager of the Sino-Italian Bank, Shanghai in 1920-1922. He also occupied position of dean and professor of accounting and finance at Shanghai College of Commerce, Southeastern University (now Central University) during 1922-1925.
Mr. Li was associated with the China Land and Investment Company, 1922-1929 and he worked as sub-manager of the Manufacturers Bank of China, November in 1929-1932 and manager of the Canton Branch of the Bank of Communications, since 1934.