Two Taylor alumni place in top 10 of CPA exam - The Echo News
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Two Taylor alumni place in top 10 of CPA exam

Alumni receive statewide recognition

By Braden Ochs | Echo

Avery Boxell ’17 and Sarah Smith ’17, two Taylor alumni, have achieved top 10 Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam cumulative scores in the state of Indiana.

“I have really grasped on to the idea that you may never be the smartest person in the room, but you can always be the most prepared person in the room,” Boxell said. “And this is just what Taylor’s accounting program did for me. Being able to pass all four CPA exams in three months and to get one of the top ten scores in Indiana speaks to the excellence of the accounting program at Taylor University.”

According to David Poucher, associate professor of accounting, to become licensed by a state as a CPA, there are usually four requirements: education, examination, experience and ethics. Each state’s requirements differ, but all states utilize the CPA exam developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Most states require a degree with 150 semester credit hours to be eligible to sit for the exam. For more information about the CPA exam, visit nasba.org/education/becomingacpa/whatistheuniformcpaexam/.

The CPA exam is a 16-hour, computer-based test with four sections: auditing and attestation (AUD), business environment and concepts (BEC), financial accounting and reporting (FAR) and regulation (REG). It is designed to assess the knowledge and skills entry-level CPAs need to practice public accountancy.

Sarah Smith ('17) scored in the top 10 on the Certified Public Accountant exam in Indiana. (Photograph provided by Sarah Smith)

Sarah Smith (’17) scored in the top 10 on the Certified Public Accountant exam in Indiana. (Photograph provided by Sarah Smith)

“(I)t is a great achievement to pass the exam, and an even greater achievement to pass all four parts on the first attempt,” Poucher said. “(Smith and Boxell) not only passed all four parts on their first attempt but scored in the top 10 during 2017 for the state of Indiana.”

According to Poucher, the general passing rates on any individual section of the exam is around 50 percent.

Boxell and Smith are both grateful with their achievement, and they attribute a lot to their professors and hard work throughout college.

“Our primary accounting professor, Professor Poucher, pushed us to be prepared for the CPAs by ensuring we were on track for the 150 credits, having us do CPA research, and providing ample opportunity for help inside and outside the classroom,” Smith said. “By the time I graduated, I knew exactly what I needed to do and was well-prepared to pass.”

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