Caleb Harris ‘13 of Jackson, Mo., has been named a recipient of the 2013 Elijah Watt Sells Award, given by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). The institute gives the awards to candidates who have obtained a cumulative average score above 95.50 across all four sections of the CPA examination, completed testing during the 2013 calendar year and passed all four sections of the examination on the first attempt. More than 94,154 individuals sat for the CPA examination in 2013. Only 55 candidates met the criteria for this award.
“The CPA Examination is designed to protect the public interest and help ensure that only qualified individuals earn a CPA license,” said Michael Decker, AICPA Director of Examinations, in a press release on the AICPA website. “On behalf of the AICPA, I would like to congratulate the winners of the 2013 Elijah Watt Sells Award for their impressive achievement.”
According to the AICPA website, the award was established in 1923 to recognize outstanding performances on the CPA examination and was named in honor of Elijah Watt Sells, who was one of the country’s first CPAs and played an active role in promoting professional education in the accounting profession.
Harris graduated from Southwest Baptist University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Economics/Finance. He is currently employed as a audit associate at BKD, LLP in Springfield. BKD, LLP is the 12th-largest CPA firm in the U.S. Harris was also named the 2012-2013 Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA) Student of the Year. He was the October 2012 MSCPA Student of the Month, a four-time MSCPA scholarship winner and a Don Breimeier award recipient.
“SBU Accounting is so proud of Caleb and this remarkable accomplishment,” said Wayne Clark, chair of the SBU Department of Accounting. “We are blessed to have had Caleb in SBU Accounting and his record will serve as a challenge to our accounting majors for years to come.”
Harris credits his SBU professors and rigorous education with helping to prepare him for success.
“All of my professors took the time and made the effort to teach at a personal level, which greatly enhanced my learning experience,” Harris said. “I learned at a depth that enabled me to retain a large amount of knowledge even long after classes were over. This made studying for the CPA exam less of a chore than it otherwise would have been. My professors regularly assigned CPA review questions as components of their courses. Mr. Clark’s exams were extensive, comprehensive and challenging, typically taking several hours to complete, which was phenomenal preparation for the CPA examination.”
“Caleb was an outstanding student at SBU,” said Dr. C. Pat Taylor, university president. “Not only was he brilliant in the classroom, but he was heavily involved in campus activities, including serving as an Ambassador for the university. I am not at all surprised to hear about Caleb’s success in his chosen field of accounting.”
For more information about the SBU Department of Accounting, please contact Clark at (417) 328-1951 or wclark@SBUniv.edu.