Date Published: May 17, 2016
Reaching the CPA Top Ten
The uniform CPA exam is known in the world of business for being one of the most difficult
professional certification exams. Comprised of four separate sections, altogether
the exam takes a cumulative 14 hours with three of the sections having less than a
50 percent passing rate. Estimates indicate only about 20 percent of candidates will
pass all four sections on the first try.
Patrick Archer, BA '14, however, not only beat those odds, he also managed to receive
the ninth highest score in Arizona with an average 89.5 on all four parts. The Arizona
Society of CPAs hosted a reception honoring Archer and the other top ten scorers in
A Foundational Business Education
"I owe a lot to Dr. Robert Walsh for approaching me and guiding me into the accounting
profession," said Archer. "He has a wealth of knowledge. I would joke with other students
that counselor meetings with Dr. Walsh take five minutes in his office, but leave
you with insights to ponder for a week afterwards."
During a whirlwind road trip in the summer of 2015 Patrick and his wife traveled from
Ohio to Arizona. Archer spent any available downtime studying for the exam. Once settled
in Phoenix, Archer sat for all four sections over the remaining summer months.
"The business school at University of Dallas gave me the best foundation a business
student could ask for when it comes to preparing for the CPA exam," said Archer. "A
critical skill in business is having a fundamental understanding of your craft rather
than focusing on technical skills. I have seen technically-trained professionals struggle
in certain circumstances because they have not been taught to step back from an issue
to understand it broadly before assessing the particulars."