Blog Archive

Friday, July 14, 2017

Congratulations to RSM’s 2016 Elijah Watt Sells award winners!

Congratulations to 2016's Elijah Watt Sells award winners! Pictured from left to right: Tony Depiano, Kat Koehl, Dena Konneker, Rosemary Mantle, and Olivia Spooner. 

Five RSM associates were recently awarded the 2016 Elijah Watt Sells Award by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) for outstanding performance on the Uniform CPA Examination.

These associates are part of a select group who passed all four sections of the exam on the first try within the same year and with a cumulative average score above 95.5 on all four sections. More than 102,000 candidates sat for the exam in 2016 and only 58 were honored with the award.

Join us in congratulating:

Tony DePiano, Boston

Tony graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2015 with a degree in accounting. Before joining RSM full-time in Oct. 2015, he completed a 2013 externship and a 2014 internship with RSM.

Tony's advice for others taking the CPA exam: “just crush it.” He also believes that the secret of getting ahead is getting started.

Kat Koehl, Chicago

Kat joined RSM in September 2016 after making a career change from marketing and going back to the Ohio State University to get her master's in accounting.

Kat was naturally excited and surprised when she found out she won the award. "I wasn't aware of the award at first, I just knew I wanted to get the exams out of the way while the knowledge was still fresh in my head," she explained. "I worked hard and took the studying very seriously and it worked out."

Dena Konneker, Raleigh

Dena graduated from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill with a Master of Science in accounting in 2016. She joined RSM as an associate in November 2016 and finished the last section of the exam in December 2016.

Dena recommends studying at the pace you're most comfortable when studying for the exam since everyone learns differently and has different goals.

Rosemary Mantle, Atlanta

Rosemary completed her undergraduate degree in accounting at the University of Central Florida and earned her Masters of Accountancy in May 2016 at the University of Georgia. She interned with RSM in the summer of 2015, before joining us full-time in November 2016.

Rosemary's advice to future test takers: know your own study habits and strengths, make a study plan that works for you and stick to it. "The CPA exam was one of the hardest experiences I've undertaken but the rewards have already made it worth the effort," she said.

Olivia Spooner, Boston

Olivia graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Vermont with bachelor's degrees in accounting, finance and economics and a master's degree in accountancy. Olivia interned for RSM in summer 2015 and joined the firm as an associate full-time in October 2016.

Olivia recommends taking the CPA exam as early in your career as possible.

The Elijah Watt Sells Award program was established in 1923 by the AICPA to recognize outstanding performance on the CPA Examination. Elijah Watt Sells, who passed away in 1924, was one of the country's first CPAs, was active in establishing the AICPA and was a leader in advancing professional education within the profession.

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