Tag: CPA

Students in the CELect Entrepreneurship Course, held at the T-REx startup accelerator, are sharing their team projects with the Olin Blog. Student team Andrew Smith, Daniel Kalvaitis, Jeffrey Lantz,  and Trent Pavic describe the experience of consulting for their client, Segue Partners.

Every semester, a few undergraduate and graduate students are chosen to participate in the Center for Experiential Learning’s Entrepreneurial Consulting Team (CELect) program. Participants are paired with St. Louis-area startups and tasked with solving a critical business problem.

Our team was selected for this program, and though we’re only a few weeks in, the journey so far has been intense.

WashU’s esteemed entrepreneurship professors prepared us with an intensive, full-day class. After that, it was our responsibility to meet with our client, determine the scope, plan how to meet deadlines, and deliver the most value possible. Professors provided guidance on aligning the team’s work with the client’s vision. But as with a real startup, we are the ones that need to make everything happen.

The following week, our team met with our client’s founder and core team members to discuss their objectives. Our client, Segue Partners, specializes in tackling the unique accounting and financial consulting needs of private funds and venture capital portfolio companies.

After an intense two-hour meeting, our team was tasked with sizing the market and planning next steps for a concept aimed at providing an innovative solution to back-end accounting services for startups and small businesses in the St. Louis area.

An integral aspect of such a project is to understand the market that exists and the needs of potential customers. To get us started, our team was given some initial contacts to interview. This will come as no surprise to those of us familiar with the St. Louis area, but everyone was incredibly welcoming. One contact often led to another…and another…and another.

In fact, the St. Louis entrepreneurial community is so welcoming that even after several dozen interview requests, not a single person has declined to speak with us. Not one.

Several weeks in and nearly a hundred interviews later, we’re starting to get a clear picture of the needs of potential clients. In addition to interviews, our team is studying competitors, modeling assumptions, aggregating data into actionable insights, and formulating a strategy for the potential launch. Leveraging other lessons that we’ve learned in classes at WashU, we’re almost ready to determine final recommendations.

This has been a tremendously rewarding experience for each member of the team. We’re grateful to the CELect program and WashU for giving us the opportunity to engage with the fascinating world of startups in the area, and for allowing us to give back to the St. Louis community.

Guest bloggers: Andrew Smith, BSBA ’18; Daniel Kalvaitis, BSBA ’18; Jeffrey Lantz, MBA ’18; and Trent Pavic, PMBA’18.

Olin’s undergrad and graduate accounting programs are among the best in the US according to a new ranking on the website Accounting.com. The website has been a leader in job and career information for nearly 20 years, and according to Andrea West, “We recently decided it was important to expand that offering to information about earning an education in accounting.”

Olin’s accounting programs are among the top 10 in the new ranking:



Best Bachelor’s in Accounting Programs

# 10

Best Master’s in Accounting Programs

The criteria for selection included academic rigor, commitment to student success, student satisfaction and more.

Rebecca (Becky) Kernodle, BSBA & MACC’14, is one of the 60 winners of the National Elijah Watt Sells Award for 2014. This is the second time in the 92-year history of the Sells Awards, and the second consecutive year, that one of our graduates has been a Sells Award winner. Bridget Han, MACC’13, was one of the winners in 2013.

The Award is presented to CPA exam candidates who have obtained an average score of 95.50 or better on all four sections, who passed all four parts on their first attempt, and who completed the exam in 2014. Over 91,000 individuals took the exam in 2014.

Becky’s average score was 96.25 on the four sections. Her grades were 99 on Audit, 97 on Financial Accounting and Reporting, 96 on Business and Economic Concepts, and 93 on Regulation (Tax, Business Law, and Ethics). Becky is with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Denver.

Congratulations, Becky!!

Image: vintage adding machine, Kristin Breneman, Creative Commons, Flickr

One of Olin’s recent MACC graduates, Bridget Han, has been named a National Sells Award winner.   She is one of 40 people receiving this prestigious award for exceptional scores on the CPA exam in 2013.

Bridget Shiyu Han

Bridget Shiyu Han

Approximately 94,000 people took the CPA exam last year, and Bridget’s average score was 96.75 on the four sections.  An average of 95.5 was required to be a Sells awardee.  “Olin’s diverse curriculum and hands-on learning well prepared for me for the CPA exams,” says Bridget.

During her time at Olin, Bridget served as one of the student leaders that helped  establish a chapter of Beta Alpha Psi and helped revitalize the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) for Olin’s accounting-oriented students.

Bridget is currently working at Ernst & Young in St. Louis.We are very proud of Bridget’s distinguished achievement! Job well-done!

Image: vintage adding machine, Kristin Breneman, Creative Commons, Flickr

Guest Post by David Pearson, Adjunct Professor of Accounting

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy ( NASBA), has released its annual statistical report on the CPA examination.

In 2012, Wash U graduates who took the exam for the first time had the tenth highest passing rate (82.6%) among the 781 schools with 10 or more candidates, up from eleventh in 2011 (77.1%).

NASBA divides the schools into three categories (large, medium, and small) depending upon the number of first-time candidates from the school. We are in the medium category (21 to 60 first-time candidates). We placed second in that category in 2012 (Vanderbilt was first), up from third in 2011 behind Wharton and Vanderbilt.

Our passing percentages by section for new and repeat candidates combined are:

Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)         86.7%

Auditing                                                                        80.6

Financial Accounting and Reporting                     80.0

Regulation (ethics, business law, and tax)            65.9

If you would like further information, please let me know at dpearson@wustl.edu