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Alumnus Scores Among Arizona's Top Ten CPAs


 Date Published: May 17, 2016

Reaching the CPA Top Ten

Top CPA Scorers in ArizonaThe 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 late April.

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."

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