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PASSPORT FROM THE PLAINS SOA Graduates Spread the Auburn Spirit Abroad ALSO INSIDE: Outstanding Alumnus Dr. Wayne Alderman, New Faculty, Notable Career Milestones, and More!

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This SOA Connection is filled with instances of alumni, students, and faculty spreading the Auburn spirit throughout the world. Their experiences inspire me, as I hope they do you. We also introduce you to two new SOA faculty. Professor Greg Jenkins is joining us from Virginia Tech and Assistant Professor Ryan Dunn is joining us from University of Missouri. We spotlight our new Harbert College of Business dean, Professor Annette Ranft, joining us from North Carolina State University. I know that you will enjoy getting to know them. As always, we highlight the past year’s SOA activities and the accomplishments of our alumni, students, and faculty. In the recent years, our faculty and students have increased their efforts to see business through a global lens. SOA faculty are pursuing international teaching exchanges, which provide a development opportunity for faculty and a unique learning opportunity for students; faculty are increasingly co-authoring research with colleagues from universities abroad and are more frequently presenting their work at international research conferences; and more of our undergraduates are studying abroad than in years past. In response to Friedman’s observation, we want to make sure “it’s happening” by being purposeful about “doing it.” Your support often facilitates these opportunities.

Dear Alumni and Friends, Over 10 years ago, an alumnus of our program gave me Thomas L. Friedman’s book, The World is Flat. One chapter on adopting a global perspective entitled “If It’s Not Happening, It’s Because You’re Not Doing It” still stands out in my mind. Around that same time, my predecessor established the MAcc International Experience as a way to move our students beyond their comfort zones and provide them with an opportunity to better understand how business and the accounting profession operate outside the US. (To the many of you who took the trip during your program, I hope you agree that it accomplished these purposes!) 2

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Director’s Message


Passport from the Plains


2018 Outstanding Alumnus


Advisory Council


Faculty News


Beta Alpha Psi


2018 Accounting Internships


Whether you are right down the road or across the world, I always enjoy hearing from you.

Auburn Accounting Online


War Eagle!

Campus MAcc


Scholarships and Awards


Jennifer Mueller-Phillips KPMG Professor & Director School of Accountancy

Alumni 36 In Memoriam


The SOA Connection is a publication of Auburn University’s Harbert College of Business (HCOB) produced and distributed to alumni and friends of the School of Accountancy. MANAGING EDITOR Colby Lakas, Director, Accounting Recruiting & Professional Development CONTRIBUTORS Andee Hodo, Assistant Director, Graduate & Online Accounting Programs

Will Ousley, MAcc Class of ‘18

PHOTOGRAPHY T2 Photography,

Joe McAdory, Editor, HCOB Communications and Marketing

LAYOUT DESIGN McQuick Printing Company

Amy Murphy, Director, Graduate & Online Accounting Programs

Katie Jackson, Freelance Writer

Allie Dyleski, Coordinator, Graduate & Online Accounting Programs

Troy Johnson, Director, HCOB Communications and Marketing

PRINTING McQuick Printing Company


SOA Graduates Spread the Auburn Spirit Abroad Global travel isn’t for everyone, but these alums would argue that much is to be gained from experiencing life in a foreign country. No matter the continent or language spoken, these Auburn alumni with SOA roots gained a common appreciation for the world in which we live.

Joe enjoyed Swedish scenery from a boat for one of his Deloitte engagement wrap-up events.

JOE FOSTER—The Expat Life When Joe Foster first graduated from the School of Accountancy in 1993, the Manchester, GA, native began to hear stories from seasoned executives and clients about the benefits of international experiences. Those stories, plus the fact that Foster and his wife, Kristin, wanted to live and work abroad, piqued his interest in international assignments. That opportunity came along in 2005 when Foster’s firm, Deloitte, sent him and his family to Stockholm, Sweden, where they experienced the ups and downs of being expatriates. “Because Deloitte is a global organization, there were a lot of similarities working in Sweden with working in the US, which made the work transition pretty seamless,” Foster said. As his wife and children are all blondes, their appearances also seamlessly meshed with the fair-haired Swedes. However, transitioning to a new country did have challenges, such as coping with a few bouts of homesickness, navigating the Swedish healthcare system, and perhaps hardest of all—mastering a new language. Though they took Swedish language courses, their use of the language was not always perfect. “When I would try to speak to people in Swedish, they would typically wince and switch to English without

skipping a beat,” he said. “Convenient, but a bit embarrassing.” Pronunciations were also a challenge. “In Swedish, goodbye is ‘Hej då’ and good morning is ‘god morgan,’” Foster said. The family thought they were pronouncing both properly until a Swedish-speaking friend pointed out something truly wince-worthy. “It sounded like we were saying, ‘hey dork’ and ‘good moron’ to each person we were greeting.” Despite those stumbles, in their four years in Sweden, the Foster family quickly grew to appreciate many of Sweden’s cultural norms, such as long summer vacations, regular coffee breaks, and flexible working arrangements for parents. “It did not take long for me to truly appreciate their point of view. In fact, each of these are now part of my routine in the US,” said Foster, who came back to Deloitte’s Charlotte office in 2009.

including Singapore, China, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Spain, Austria, and Germany, among others. Those business travels confirmed what Foster had heard about the benefits of an international assignment. “My experiences living abroad enabled me to effectively manage these international teams, especially when there were some challenges that needed to be addressed,” he said. “When you truly commit to working with a diverse group of professionals from around the globe, anything is possible.” Those experiences serve Foster well now that he is stationed back in the US, as he’s shared his overseas expertise with others, including helping a number of professionals in the Carolinas and Sweden secure international assignments in places such as London, Continued on next page

While in Sweden, Foster also spent time at the Deloitte office in Helsinki, Finland, and has traveled to other countries for his job,

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Amsterdam, Sydney, Gothenburg, Helsinki, and Detroit.

Foster traveled back there earlier this year he said, “It felt like going home.”

He’s also reapplying those years of experience as he begins working with a new Swedish client—AB Volvo. Despite his almost 10-year absence from Sweden, when

“If you talk to expats, I am sure many of them will note that their ‘re-entry’ back into the US was more challenging than getting accustomed to the new city abroad,” Foster

said. The reasons for that are many, though he believes the primary reason is this: “Once you’ve lived overseas, your view of society has forever changed—in a positive way.”

KATIE MURNANE—Communication and Innovation Across the “Big Pond” Edinburgh, Scotland. How she got there— and succeeded there—is a prime example of good communication in action. A native of Carmel, IN, Murnane joined EY in its Birmingham office just after graduation. Two years later, she got her first taste of overseas travel on a trip to Europe to visit her brother, John, who had taken a job in Italy. Eager to see more of the world after that trip, Murnane began looking for international opportunities at EY and found their Global New Horizons program, which offers employees below the rank of senior manager the chance to participate in short-term overseas assignments.

Although she was an expat with EY, Katie fit right in with all of the hat-wearing UK citizens at the Royal Ascot horse races. Good communication is important in the world of business, but it’s especially important when you’re working in world business, a lesson Katie Murnane has learned while living and working overseas.

Through that program, Murnane received an opportunity for an assignment in Zurich, Switzerland, which deepened her interest in overseas work. “It was a wonderful experience, and I wasn’t ready to leave after my three months were over,” she said. Upon returning to the US, Murnane let it be known that she would welcome a longer-term assignment, and in the summer

of 2015, she was invited to join an EY team working on the retail banking component of an audit cycle for a large UK bank in Edinburgh. Once in Scotland, Murnane discovered the importance of working well with others, regardless of their backgrounds and experiences, and the need for exceptional communication skills, especially when working with people for whom English is a second language. “I learned very quickly that the message you intend to communicate is not always what is heard,” she said. “Confirming questions and ensuring my team understood what was being said became a way of life.” Such a way of life, in fact, that Murnane said it became a bit of a joke among her team members. “They got to the point where they laughed every time I said, ‘Does that make sense?’” Murnane also discovered—and embraced— the importance of innovation. “About a year ago, I was asked to lead our engagement team’s audit innovation efforts in Scotland, and it has been a journey ever since,” she said.

Murnane, a senior manager with Ernst & Young in Dallas, TX, and 2008 Master of Accountancy graduate, returned state-side in May from a three-year stint working in

Katie traveled throughout Europe with friends and wanted to experience the culture of each place she visited. This included a Vespa tour of Florence. 4

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As she honed her communication skills at work in Scotland, she also fulfilled a personal goal to travel to at least half of all the European countries (“There are more than you think,” she said).

Queen Elizabeth at the Royal Ascot horse races, riding a camel in Morocco, and visiting the childhood home of her maternal grandmother in Slovakia—during her travels.

She made it to 31 countries (54%) and had some amazing experiences—snorkeling in Iceland, surfing in Portugal, visiting Dracula’s castle in Transylvania, seeing

When she returned to the US in May to begin work on a new assignment with a first-year client, Murnane brought all those experiences home, along with a deep

appreciation for the opportunity that EY provided her. “EY’s tagline is ‘Building a better working world,’” she said. After her experience in Scotland, she knows firsthand that it’s not just a tagline. “It’s the way we do business.”

MATT ZINKUS—A Small and Amazing Place Travel has been a constant in the lives of Matt and Jennifer Zinkus since they were children. It’s also been a constant in the lives of their own children, who are growing up with a deep appreciation for the diversity of the world. Zinkus, a partner at KPMG who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the School of Accountancy in 1995 and ’96, respectively, grew up in an Air Force family and lived in several states and Guam during his childhood. Jennifer, an Army daughter, did the same, so when the two met while students at Auburn, they had an immediate connection: a desire to see more of the world. Based out of the KPMG Atlanta office, Zinkus has been working and living overseas for many years. His job has allowed his family to live in Australia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and France.

Matt, wife Jennifer, and children Madeleine & Michael at Monet’s Gardens in Giverny, France.

“Working abroad is amazing, exciting, challenging, scary, and tough, but the best experience in the world,” he said. He credits his Auburn experience with much of the success of his global career. “Without Auburn, I would never have had these experiences. The culture of Auburn and the students and professors are open and worldly. Going to Auburn encouraged me to always keep learning and growing.”

people from other Middle Eastern and African countries where Zinkus traveled for his job—Egypt, Oman, Algeria, Angola, Nigeria, Jordan, Kenya, Iraq, and Qatar, among others.

In Sydney, where daughter Maddie was born and which Zinkus described as “the most beautiful city in the world,” they found that, while Australians are truly laidback and know how to enjoy life, they also have a proper side. “I had to buy cufflink dress shirts because they wore a full suit, tie, and formal shirts every day of the week,” he said.

In Paris, where Zinkus served as the lead audit engagement partner on GE Renewable Energy, GE Power Services, and GE Energy Connection businesses, they were immersed in the beauty and history of the city, as well as the personalities and culture of Parisians. “The French are formal, but also very open and caring and great to work with,” he said.

In Dubai, they discovered the warmth and courtesy of the UAE citizens and of

In the process, the Zinkuses have reared their children, seven-year-old Maddie

and three-year-old Michael, to be global citizens. “Maddie has lived on four continents and speaks two languages— English and French—plus she’s picked up a bit of Arabic,” said Zinkus. “Michael was born on July 14 (Bastille Day), when all of France has a celebration and fireworks. Maddie says it’s all for him.” Matt and his family have learned so much from these experiences, including the importance of keeping an open mind and being respectful of the culture of people they encounter. But the greatest lesson Zinkus said he has learned is this: “Truly, the world is a small and amazing place.” Fall 2018

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While on a short-term assignment for RSM, Ryan managed to squeeze in some quintessential Australian activities, such as quality time with kangaroos.

RYAN BENTLEY —Discovering the Diversity of the Land Down Under When Ryan Bentley landed a secondment in Australia with his firm, RSM, he didn’t expect to find himself in a remote part of the Land Down Under, but he’s really glad that’s where he was placed. Bentley, a 2012 BSBA and 2013 Master of Accountancy graduate, had always been interested in international travel and culture, an interest that grew when he went on a mission trip to Guatemala while he was still a high school student in Hoover, AL. His interest expanded exponentially after he took a trip to Argentina with his MAcc cohort through the School of Accountancy’s

Ryan took “Going Down Under” quite literally, and bungee jumped off of a bridge.

study abroad program, a program that Bentley said was a big reason he picked Auburn for his graduate work. He was not disappointed. “After that trip, I vowed to take every opportunity I had in the future to travel,” he said. Bentley got that opportunity through the RSM secondment, a program that offers employees with at least two years of experience in the firm to work on temporary assignments in other countries. “Once I heard about the opportunity and knew I was qualified to apply, I went for it,” he said. And that’s how he ended up Down Under. Though Bentley, an audit senior associate in Birmingham, expected to work out of Sydney or Melbourne, he instead found himself in a more far-flung location—no, not the Outback, but Australia’s far west coast in the city of Perth. “I had never heard of Perth, but it ended up being the perfect place,” Bentley said. A city about the population size of Nashville, Perth’s location near Southeast Asia makes it a draw for a wide range of nationalities. “That diversity was evident in the audit department at our office. We had people from almost every area of Europe and Asia,” he said. In the process, Bentley also learned a lot about native Australians. “I went into it with the notion that Australians are super


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‘chill’ and would be really laid back,” he said. Instead, he discovered that they are driven businesspeople who “work hard when it’s work time, but certainly know how to relax outside of work,” said Bentley. “I had to learn the different Australian terms for particular things and slightly different accounting rules, but the bulk of the audit work was the same as in the US,” Bentley continued. He also discovered another similarity to the US—speed traps, one of which he encountered while rushing to get on and off a hiking trail in southwestern Australia before sunset. “I was nabbed in a country town and the officer, showing no mercy to a confused foreigner, wrote me a ticket,” he said, “but I made the hike.” When his Perth assignment was completed, Bentley did get a chance to see Sydney and Melbourne as well as other wonders of the southern hemisphere, such as Bali, Indonesia, and New Zealand, which he describes as “the most beautiful place I have ever seen.” Now that he is settled back into life in Birmingham, Bentley continues to be thankful for Auburn’s overseas opportunities. “The international trip during the MAcc program was definitely crucial in sparking my interest in business overseas,” he said. And he’s eager to further that interest, especially making his way back to South America. “I may need to brush up on my Spanish first, though.”

KENNY HAWSEY —Developing Connections in Developing Worlds What takes an Alabama-born boy to some 90 countries in 27 years? For Kenny Hawsey, it’s been work, and a passion for making connections. When Hawsey was growing up in Auburn and Selma as a dedicated Auburn fan, he didn’t necessarily imagine himself a world traveler. But he’s now on his seventh assignment as part of PwC’s Global Energy group, a journey that has allowed him to live in Russia, Azerbaijan, The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and now South Africa, where he serves as PwC’s Global Energy tax leader. When Hawsey graduated from Auburn with both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting (1989 and ’90, respectively), he went to work with PwC in Birmingham around the time the firm was formed through a merger of Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse. Soon thereafter, he and his wife, Kelly, who also worked for PwC, moved to Houston where he worked with PwC’s global oil and gas division. Realizing that working for a global company meant they needed to understand more about the world—“If you’re going to advise a multinational company, you have to have some credibility,” Hawsey said— the two decided it might be fun to take on international assignments. Though the Hawseys envisioned going to places such as Europe and Australia, instead, in 1993, the couple was sent to Russia. “That was not exactly what I had in mind, but I will tell you, I would do it again,” he said, in part because working in both developed and developing countries has allowed him to witness historic changes in world economies, but has also opened his eyes and mind. From Russia, the Hawseys went to Azerbaijan for four years and then on to Dubai for another year. In 2001, they and their three children returned home to Alabama (Birmingham) for eight years before taking a two-year assignment in Saudi Arabia in 2009. They moved back to Houston in 2011 and settled in for another six years there until, in 2017, the family moved to a very different place: South Africa.

Living in Africa has its perks for the Hawsey family, including getting up close and personal with lion cubs on a safari. From his current home base in Johannesburg, Hawsey travels throughout the African continent and the Middle East, a schedule that can be exhausting, but is well worth the packing and unpacking. “It is challenging, but you get used to travel and I do it because I enjoy it,” Hawsey said. He particularly loves the chance it affords him professionally to help people and economies through his clients’ overseas investments. “These are transformational investments that will bring billions and billions of dollars into countries over the next 25 to 30 years,” he said. “You feel like you are making a difference.” But he also appreciates how these experiences have transformed him personally. Not only has Hawsey been able to stand 20 feet away from lions and black rhinos while on family safaris and play some of the world’s most beautiful and challenging golf courses, he’s also gained a deep insight into the richness of other

cultures and the challenges people face in developing countries. In addition, working abroad has given Hawsey a network of friends across the globe, which he said gives him an even greater connection to the world. But he has not lost his connection to Auburn in the process. In fact, he and his family flew home from Saudi Arabia in 2010 to see Auburn win a national championship title and, thanks to technology, they watch Auburn play from afar. Still, Hawsey has a few more places he’d like to see, and he hopes to have at least one more international assignment before he retires. “I want to meet and understand our people and give them the respect they deserve,” he said. He’ll also be forever grateful for the chance he’s had to experience the world. “I will go to my grave with very few stones unturned,” he said, and with this overriding lesson: “The more the world grows, the more the world shrinks.” Fall 2018

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Dr. Wayne Alderman Named SOA Outstanding Alumnus for 2018

The Alderman family (from left: Charles, David, Wayne, Mary, and William) in Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic, during a summer vacation in Europe. Try to summarize Wayne Alderman in one word. Teacher? True. In 39 years as an accounting professor and administrator at Auburn University, Alderman touched countless lives. Researcher? That fits, too. Alderman has published more than 50 articles in the areas of financial accounting, reporting, and auditing. Golfer? He’s been to 25 consecutive Masters Tournaments at Augusta National and a large print of the course’s famous 12th hole adorns the wall in his Lowder Hall office, but he’ll remind you he’s better at watching the game he loves than playing it. Legacy. That’s it. Legacy. Wayne Alderman (BS ’71, MBA ’72) is an Auburn legacy. Sure, he is an Auburn accounting alumnus, but also a former dean of the College of Business, professor, and later dean of 8

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Enrollment Services; the impact Alderman has made at Auburn is immeasurable. Before Alderman, there was no Beta Alpha Psi student honor society—which also serves as an agency for networking with industry professionals and acts as a springboard to job/internship placement. “I was working for Ernst & Ernst after graduation from Auburn and many of my colleagues from other schools had Beta Alpha Psi,” explained Alderman, a Mobile, AL, native who returned to Auburn as professor in 1979 and assumed the role of dean of the College of Business from 1993-2000. “Back then, you had to be fully AACSB accredited, and we were working through that. When I came back to Auburn I said, ‘I don’t want our students to feel like they have missed anything, Beta Alpha Psi was one of the first things that I tried to do when I came back.”

Almost 3,000 Auburn accounting students have joined Beta Alpha Psi—including 191 in 2017-18—as the organization celebrates its 40th year. “Once you get a chapter, such as Beta Alpha Psi, you have to build on it,” he said. “Just like any business, it’s about the people, and we’ve had some great people here. Today, Beta Alpha Psi is a machine.” Before Alderman, there was no Tiger Cage student business plan competition, no Auburn Entrepreneurship Summit, or no Lowder Center for Family Business and Entrepreneurship. He didn’t create the Tiger Cage, but he did establish the Lowder Center for Family Business and Entrepreneurship—an arm of today’s Harbert College that oversees the student competition, as well as the Tiger Cage Accelerator and Incubator—where young

During his speech at the SOA Awards Ceremony, Dr. Alderman related his career to the tenets of the Auburn Creed. student businesses are provided office space and expert direction. “When I became dean, I felt that one of our strengths should be entrepreneurship,” he said. “We had been an entrepreneurial business school because we were young as a business school. I thought the entrepreneurship program was a natural fit for Auburn. We had graduates who were successful entrepreneurs, and we had students who wanted to be in entrepreneurship.”

A long-time colleague and fellow Outstanding Alumnus, Dr. Gary Waters (left) was onhand to congratulate Wayne and wife Mary on the honor. “Sometimes when you’re working on things, you wonder if it’s worth it. Then you look back over your career and say, ‘Yeah, that was a good thing,’” he added. From 2006-17, Alderman’s role as dean of Enrollment Services produced increased average ACT scores (24.3 to 27.4) and high school GPAs (3.43 to 3.80) for incoming freshmen. Not only did Auburn freshman enrollment increase from approximately 3,700 annually to 4,700 annually, but the University was getting better-qualified students.

Though accounting was his love, Alderman urged students to choose majors based on their personal fits. “Don’t go into a major because your mom and dad want you to be in that major,” he would say. “Don’t go into a major because you think you are going to make the most money.” But why should students consider accounting? “Accounting is a great major because it really is the language of business,” he added. “You learn so much about the business world, not just accounting. If you worked for Delta Airlines in accounting, you’ve got to understand a lot about the business. You’re not just doing debits and credits. You’ve got to understand what the assets are and what reports management needs. If you can understand the language of business, then you can flourish in the business world.” Why will Auburn continue to flourish? “People,” Alderman answered.

Dr. Alderman, who has held several leadership roles at Auburn, served as the College of Business dean from 1993 to 2000.

“We’ve had a great faculty for a long period,” he said. “They work well together, but they have high standards and care about our students. That’s very rewarding to me. I used to worry—would Auburn have the kind of accounting faculty we had in the 1980s and 1990s? But we still have a great group of people. That’s how you build things—with people over a long period of time.”

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ADVISORY COUNCIL The SOA Advisory Council represents alumni and friends who give of their time and financial resources to support the School of Accountancy in countless ways. Doug Barfield, CPA Auburn, AL Lamar Barnett, VP, US Internal Audit Aflac, Inc. Columbus, GA Steve Barranco, Member Warren Averett, LLC Montgomery, AL Brad Birdwell, Partner Pivotal Finance Birmingham, AL Janet Brantley, Managing Director Pathstone Federal Street Atlanta, GA Jerry Brewer, Chief Financial Officer Centennial Holding Company Atlanta, GA Wes Brown, Director Kassouf & Co., PC Birmingham, AL

David Chandler, Partner Aldridge, Borden & Company, PC Montgomery, AL Sara Compton, ERP Business Analyst Thompson Tractor Co. Birmingham, AL Lee Corte, Partner Deloitte LLP McLean, VA Chad Downey, Vice President—Treasury and Internal Audit Guardian Pharmacy, LLC Atlanta, GA Brett Dudney, Senior Manager Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP Birmingham, AL The SOA Connection

Allen Dunn, GA/AL Market Managing Partner RSM US LLP Birmingham, AL

Greg Henderson, President & CEO Southeast Alabama Gas District Andalusia, AL

Emily Farrell, Senior Manager PwC Atlanta, GA

Greg Heston, Partner EY Atlanta, GA

Amanda Foster, Partner PwC Atlanta, GA

Russell Hodge, Global Technical Controller General Electric Company Larchmont, NY

Brad Garland, Consultant Brand, Blackwell, & Company, PC Huntsville, AL Clinton Gilmore, Partner Robinson, Grimes & Company, PC Columbus, GA Michelle Granberry, Partner Borland Benefield, PC Auburn, AL

Matt Cessna, Merchant The Home Depot Atlanta, GA


The September 2017 Advisory Council meeting saw some special furry visitors—AU’s Canine Performance Sciences (CPS) program presented to the group and brought their vapor-sniffing puppies.

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Douglas Grant, Partner PwC Birmingham, AL

Ryan Inlow, Partner In Charge Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC Albany, GA Jordan Jones, VP, Finance & Corp Controller Surgical Care Affiliates (SCA) Birmingham, AL Will Jones, Senior Manager Jackson Thornton Opelika, AL Ric Kimball, Principal KPMG Atlanta, GA

Art Guy, Partner (Retired) EY Baltimore, MD

Brad Kimbrough, EVP, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer Regions Bank Birmingham, AL

Scott Hammond, Partner PwC Miami, FL

Richard King, Director of Charitable Giving Alabama Power Company Birmingham, AL

Laura Hanks, Partner MDG Professional Group, PC Huntsville, AL

Kurt Koons, Partner PwC Atlanta, GA

Jason Harpe, Partner Carr Riggs and Ingram LLC Birmingham, AL

Ben Leaver, Director of Finance Robins & Morton Birmingham, AL

Steve Harrison, Partner Deloitte LLP Atlanta, GA

Harrison Lewis, Senior Manager EY Chattanooga, TN

Jonathan Mayer, Senior Manager EY Atlanta, GA

John Boles, Partner Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith, LLC Auburn, AL

Gray McDermott, Shareholder Crow Shields Bailey PC Mobile, AL

Steve Boucher, Partner Jackson Thornton Opelika, AL

Brian McNeely, Partner Reagan Consulting Atlanta, GA Justin Mitchell, Supervisor RSM US LLP Birmingham, AL Jerry Moore, Treasurer & Controller Altec Industries Birmingham, AL Darren Neuschwander, Managing Member Green, Neuschwander & Manning, LLC Daphne, AL Dawn Patrick, Managing Partner Cherry Bekaert Nashville, TN Jay Robbins, Partner AGL CPA Group Atlanta, GA DeWayne Searcy, CIO and VP, Sales Administration Cowin Equipment Company Birmingham, AL Lil Serviss, Manager, Corporate Tax Synovus Columbus, GA Robin Short, Principal Jackson Thornton Dothan, AL Brooke Walker, Manager Chick-fil-A, Inc. Atlanta, GA Karen Wit, VP of External Reporting Equifax, Inc. Atlanta, GA Jeff Wright, Managing Partner Draffin & Tucker, LLP Albany, GA

EMERITUS Keith Barfield, Partner Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith LLC Hoover, AL

Steve Byrne, Partner Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC Atlanta, GA Jeff Call, Partner Bennett Thrasher, LLP Atlanta, GA Jo Chateau, Shareholder Crow Shields Bailey PC Mobile, AL Al Cheatham, EVP & COO Alabama Farmers Cooperative Decatur, AL Matt Clegg, Financial Planner Wilson Investment Group Auburn, AL Larry Gilley, Partner MDG Professional Group, PC Huntsville, AL James Hall, CFO/Treasurer Supreme Beverage Company Birmingham, AL Brent Hicks, Deputy General Auditor BB&T Winston Salem, NC Larry Quimby, Partner (Retired) PwC Athens, AL Ned Sheffield, President & Managing Principal Jackson Thornton Montgomery, AL Ricky Thomas, CFO Cobb Theatres Birmingham, AL Bill Weeks, Vice President—Finance, CFO Intertex World Resources Carrollton, GA Elton Wolf, Retired Managing Partner Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC Statesboro, GA

Steve Barranco (pictured rear center) is one of seven members of the Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy, along with Executive Director Boyd Busby (pictured rear left).

Advisory Council Member Brings Ethics to Life for AU Students Steve Barranco helped bring courtroom drama to campus. There are no murder trials or assault hearings—but abuse of the public trust might come up a time or two. Barranco, a 1989 graduate, is not only an SOA Advisory Council member, but also one of seven members of the Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy. Recently, the board has fostered a new partnership with universities to provide real-world ethics lessons for accounting students. “We had this neat idea—if board meetings are already open to the public, then let’s have them on college campuses,” said Barranco, a member at Warren Averett with 28 years of experience in the profession. “Students might want to see this, and professors too. I raised my hand and said, ‘We are going to Auburn University, for starters!’” Bringing disciplinary hearings to campuses does more than regulate licenses, but it also educates. “Instead of just running through official business while we are hosting a meeting Continued on next page Fall 2018

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ADVISORY COUNCIL on campus, we stop every two or three minutes and say, ‘OK students…here’s what we are about to do. You see that guy sitting across the room? Here’s what he has done and we’re going to turn this into a courtroom with a jury. He’s got his lawyers. We’ve got our lawyers,’” Barranco said. Students and professors have been treated to a number of interesting cases, Barranco said. Weston Smith, a former Chief Financial Officer at HealthSouth caught up in an infamous accounting fraud, appeared before


We proudly welcome the following individuals to the SOA Advisory Council. Their professional experiences and devotion to Auburn will undoubtedly add value as we strive to achieve our mission of being a preeminent School of Accountancy. Lori Arthurs, Sr. Associate Athletics Director/CFO Auburn University Athletics Dept.

Lori joined the Auburn University Athletics Department in 2002 and provides oversight of their business office, information technology, and financial operations. Lori brings more than 20 years of experience in the accounting profession covering athletics, nonprofit, higher education, and the telecommunications industry. Prior to joining Auburn Athletics, she worked in the University’s main business office as a tax specialist and senior accountant and held similar positions in the telecommunications industry. Lori is a two-time graduate of Auburn University, obtaining both a BSBA in accountancy (’92) and Master of Accountancy (’11). She and her husband,


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the board in hopes of having his license reinstated. He was denied. Barranco, who has volunteered on the board for the past six years, recalled another case where a woman who had previously been convicted of attempted murder of an IRS agent lost her CPA license. “You don’t see that very often,” he said. Barranco said that “80%” of today’s accounting students will face a major ethical dilemma within the first two years on the job.

Patrick, have two grown children, Philip and Sarah, both of whom are School of Accountancy alumni.

Jennie Duvall, Tax Director, PwC

Jennie is a director in the Birmingham tax practice with over 11 years of experience in public accounting. She has primarily served large public and private companies in the energy, technology, construction, restaurant, and pharmaceutical industries. Her areas of expertise include partnership and corporate tax consulting and compliance services, as well as income tax accounting consulting services for both public and non-public companies. She has worked with private equity firm owned companies and has experience advising them on IPO readiness. Jennie is a graduate of Auburn University where she received a BSBA in accountancy in 2005 and a Master of Accountancy in 2006.

Rachel Newcomb, Manager, Deloitte

Rachel is in the Houston, TX, audit practice and has expertise in oil and gas exploration and production companies.

“We try to make this educational for students and put a little fear into them,” he explained. “The lesson is, hey, if you do something stupid as a CPA, then there will be repercussions. Not only will you lose your license, but you could also be fined a lot of money. There are people who lie. And if you lie and cheat, there are bad consequences that will follow you for the rest of your life. Those people need to be called on the carpet. These are good things that college students need to see and learn ethical lessons from them.”

Rachel is passionate about Auburn. While at Auburn, she was a member of the College of Business Executive Society and Beta Alpha Psi. Rachel currently serves as the president of the Harbert College of Business Young Alumni—Houston Chapter and is on the Harbert College of Business Young Alumni Council. Rachel graduated from Auburn University with a BSBA in accountancy in 2010 and a Master in Accountancy in 2011. She is a certified public accountant. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys traveling the world, horseback riding, Auburn football, and being with her family and friends.

Kevin Wang, Director of Innovation Warren Averett

Kevin started his professional career as an auditor in Fort Walton Beach, FL, for O’Sullivan Creel which merged with Warren Averett. In 2016, after getting promoted to audit senior manager, Kevin transitioned to Warren Averett’s headquarters in Birmingham. Along with the physical transition, Kevin shifted roles within the firm to become its first director of innovation. In 2017, Kevin was honored as a Rising Star of Technology and Innovation by the Birmingham Business Journal. He graduated from Auburn University in 2009 with a BSBA in accountancy and in 2010 with a Master of Accountancy degree.


DR. TINA LORAAS PROMOTED TO PROFESSOR; TRAVELS TO GERMANY FOR TEACHING EXCHANGE The School of Accountancy proudly announces that Dr. Tina M. Loraas is promoted to the rank of professor, effective Fall 2018. Dr. Loraas holds the Taylor Professorship in the School of Accountancy. Her research interests include technology acceptance, self-regulated learning of technology in professional settings, judgment and decision making, and susceptibility to cognitive biases. Her work has been published in various journals, including the Journal of Information Systems, Issues in Accounting Education, and Behavioral Research in Accounting. She has received a number of departmental and national awards, including the Mark Chain/FSA Innovation in Graduate Teaching Award and the Journal of Information Systems Best Paper Award. She has been named Outstanding Teacher (2014) and MAcc Outstanding Professor (2016 & 2017) within the School of Accountancy. She serves on editorial boards of several premier accounting journals. A member of the Auburn SOA faculty for nearly 15 years, Dr. Loraas holds a BSBA (accounting) and Master of Accountancy from Auburn University and a PhD from Texas A&M University. Prior to returning to graduate school and entering academia full-time in 2004, she worked in public accounting for three years. Throughout her career, Dr. Loraas has taught a variety of information systemsrelated courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Currently, Dr. Loraas teaches Integrated Accounting Applications and Enterprise Accounting Systems to MAcc students and Business Processes and Internal Controls to undergraduate students.


Dr. Tina M. Loraas

e A Full-Circle German Experiencition al, to say the least. In 1991, when

not trad My road to professor at Auburn University was E-4 college, I was mar ried to Kevin, who was an from g ’t all my high school peer s were graduatin wasn any Germ kids. g rg, Germany, with two youn e in the United States Air Force, living in Bitbu ther was n Kevi and , child a for several year s as new to either Kevin or me; I lived in Germany Kevin’s base closed, we moved back to “the after 4, 199 In for two year s right after enlisting. ersity, mine in accounting, his in architecture. States” to pursue our degrees at Auburn Univ rn Family, we were sad to leave a country that Aubu of While we were thrilled to become part of the somehow Germany would also become part that d hope We . past was such a big part of our our future. ol of Accountancy’s Director of Inter national Fast forward to a few year s ago when the Scho e might be an opportunity for us to have a ther Programs, Dr. James H. Long, mentioned that Germany, Pforzheim University. I immediately tern hwes sout in ol scho faculty exchange with a That Auburn SOA faculty member to participate. volunteered (read: begged) to be the first cost for zheim to teach a mini-mester of SAP request came to fruition when I visited Pfor accounting in December 2017. between teaching in the US and Germany. In There are some very interesting distinctions even of one grade, the final exam. I can’t imagine r Germany, typical university cour ses consist majo their of her is that students must take half suggesting that to an Auburn student. Anot were ents stud The mar ketability in a global mar ket. cour ses in English in order to enhance their to keep me at arm’s length. I had to struggle d incredibly self-sufficient and initially preferre . My issue when I open the floor to Auburn students a, through some “dead air,” which is rarely an Chin a, Afric from ents stud students were. I taught favorite part was how delightfully diverse the best I n I try to explain why I was so enamored, the Whe . class e. Pakistan, and Germany in that one sam the tly exac yet and rent simultaneously so diffe can come up with is that the students were I hope that my visit was just the beginning. I am about to work with Pforzheim to create another exchange, this time including Auburn students. My “dream” visit would include me and 8-10 Auburn students visiting Pforzheim for a summer mini-mester where our students combined with Pforzheim students take cour ses co-taught by me and some of the incredible faculty at Pforzheim University. I am so lucky to be part of the Auburn University School of Accountancy where I am supported and encouraged to pursue these types of opportunities.

Tina and husband Kevin enjoy one of the German Christmas markets. Fall 2018

The SOA Connection



CORNETT & MILLER PROMOTED TO SENIOR LECTURER Effective Fall 2018, Mrs. Lisa Miller and Mrs. Jennifer Cornett are both promoted to senior lecturer. The School of Accountancy is very proud to see the hard work of these faculty members rewarded in this manner. Mrs. Miller joined the SOA in 1989 as a part-time instructor, and has taught in a full-time capacity the past 14 years. She was promoted to lecturer in 2011, and has consistently taught the Principles of Lisa Miller Jennifer Cornett Financial Accounting course to thousands of students across Mrs. Cornett joined the SOA in 2004 the Harbert College of Business throughas an instructor, and served as the SOA out her career. Her expertise lent itself to Coordinator of Student Services from her teaching Becker CPA Review sessions 2005-2013. During this time, she taught from 2008-2011; she also has served on financial accounting courses and advised the Auburn University Faculty Senate since Beta Alpha Psi and Financial Leadership 2015. She holds a BSBA (accounting) Society, which also included managing the and Master of Accountancy from Auburn University. internship program and employer relations.

Since her promotion to lecturer in 2013, Mrs. Cornett has maintained the role of Scholarship Coordinator she assumed in 2008, as well as teaching responsibility for large sections of Principles of Financial Accounting, Principles of Managerial Accounting, and Fundamentals of Accounting. She holds a BSBA (accounting) from Kennesaw State University, and Master of Accountancy (taxation) from The University of Alabama. In 2015, Mrs. Miller and Mrs. Cornett co-developed the Accounting Boot Camp Sessions that have proven incredibly effective for students who need a comprehensive review of the accounting cycle before starting their Intermediate Accounting I course. These efforts resulted in their receipt of the 2017 School of Accountancy Outstanding Service Award. Both faculty members are licensed CPAs in Alabama.

HCOB McCartney Teaching Award & SOA 2018 Outstanding Teacher

HCOB 2018 Lowder Teaching Award

SOA 2018 Outstanding Researcher

Dr. James H. Long

Dr. Jonathan Stanley

Dr. Kerry Inger

Associate Professor


The SOA Connection

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Associate Professor

Assistant Professor

Harbert College of Business Welcomes 8th Dean Following a national search, Auburn University selected Dr. Annette Ranft as the eighth dean of the Harbert College of Business. A noted scholar of strategic management, Dr. Ranft joined the Harbert College on August 1 after serving as dean and Steven P. Zelnak Jr. chair at North Carolina State University’s Poole College of Management since July 2016. She succeeds Dr. Bill Hardgrave, who became Auburn University’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs in January after more than seven years as dean. Dr. Annette Ranft

In Ranft, the Harbert College welcomes a dean who was named to The Wall Street Journal’s 2012 list of top female business school administrators—one of 11 “shining stars” identified by the national news outlet. Dr. Ranft has served in leadership roles for more than half of her 20-plusyear career in higher education. Before accepting the deanship at NC State, she served as associate and senior associate dean at the University of Tennessee’s Haslam College of Business and as chair of the Department of Management at Florida State University. She also held faculty positions at Wake Forest University’s Calloway School of Business and West Virginia University’s College of Business and Economics. A native North Carolinian, Dr. Ranft earned a DBA at North Carolina’s KenanFlagler Business School and an MS in management from Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business. After earning a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Appalachian State University, she worked as a systems consultant for AT&T and as an account manager at EDS.

Two New Audit Faculty Join SOA The School of Accountancy welcomes Dr. J. Gregory (Greg) Jenkins as a professor, beginning Fall Semester 2018. Dr. Jenkins specializes Dr. Greg Jenkins in auditing, with research focused on various aspects of auditing, including auditor independence, audit team forensic procedures, and the impact of fatigue on audit effectiveness.

Polytechnic Institute & State University. Prior to joining Auburn, Dr. Jenkins spent 13 years on faculty at Virginia Tech, as well as seven years at North Carolina State University. He worked in public accounting for several years prior to academia, including three spent at EY in Charlotte, NC. He is a CPA in North Carolina and Virginia. Dr. Jenkins and his wife Elaine have three children, the oldest of whom is a freshman at Belmont University studying theatre performance. His younger daughter, entering 10th grade, excels at volleyball; his son, entering 6th grade, excels at managing two older sisters.

The School of Accountancy welcomes Ryan T. Dunn Fall Semester 2018 as an assistant professor. Dr. Dunn specializes in auditing and financial reporting research using archival data.

Dr. Jenkins has published multiple textbooks and over 30 articles in peerreviewed journals, including the field’s elite journals. His publication, “Auditors’ Use of Brainstorming in the Consideration of Fraud: Reports from the Field,” published in The Accounting Review, received the American Accounting Association’s (AAA) Deloitte Wildman Medal, an award given for work published within the last five years that is judged to make the most significant contribution to the advancement of public accounting. More recently, this paper received the Notable Contributions to the Auditing Literature Award from the AAA’s Auditing section in recognition of its impact on auditing research.

He currently teaches the Auditing & Assurance Services course. Dr. Dunn brings tremendous energy to the classroom as he educates our students on the principles of auditing standards, ethics, controls, evidence, sampling, and audit reports.

Throughout his academic career, he has maintained a strong connection to practice through his firm relationships and by serving as chair of the Annual Virginia Accounting & Auditing Conference, a multi-city CPE conference co-sponsored by Virginia Tech and the Virginia Society of CPAs.

Dr. Dunn holds a BS in accounting and Master of Professional Accountancy from Murray State University in Kentucky and a PhD from the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO. In his PhD program, Dr. Dunn taught numerous classes receiving outstanding teaching evaluations, as well as numerous awards and honors.

He will teach the Advanced Auditing course beginning Spring Semester 2019. Dr. Jenkins’ years of experience in the classroom and currency in the profession will undoubtedly bring the auditing subject matter to life for Auburn MAcc students.

Prior to pursuing his PhD, Dr. Dunn worked in public accounting for five years, reaching the rank of manager. He is a CPA in the state of Kentucky.

Dr. Jenkins holds a BSBA and MS in accounting from Appalachian State University and a PhD from Virginia

Dr. Ryan Dunn

Dr. Dunn moved to Auburn over the summer with his family. His wife, Annie, is originally from East Alabama, so they are thrilled to be “home” with their one-yearold son, Rhett. Fall 2018

The SOA Connection




Dr. Kerry Inger


Assistant Professor

FACULTY ACCOMPLISHMENTS Recent Faculty Publications Holt, T. 2018. An Examination of Nonprofessional Investor Perceptions of Internal and External Auditor Assurance. Behavioral Research in Accounting (forthcoming). Holt, T. and T. Loraas. 2018. Using Qualtrics Panels to Source External Auditors: A Replication Study. Journal of Information Systems (forthcoming). Inger, K. and B. Vansant. 2018. Market Valuation Consequences of Avoiding Taxes while also being Socially Responsible. Journal of Management Accounting Research (forthcoming).

The Mortar Board honor society recognizes college seniors for distinguished ability and achievement in scholarship, leadership, and service. Mortar Board’s Excellence in Teaching Award annually recognizes extraordinary professors who have proven to be particularly dedicated to the intellectual success of undergraduates. Over the years, selected professors have represented a diversity of academic departments.


The Final Lecture was created to give students the opportunity to participate in a teaching award given on behalf of the student body, recognizing faculty who have made extraordinary contributions to Auburn University through classroom teaching and service to the University. It is meant to allow students, particularly graduating upperclassmen, an opportunity to hear one “Final Lecture” from one of their favorite faculty members. 16

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Church, B. K., J. G. Jenkins, and J. D. Stanley. 2018. Auditor Independence in the United States: Cornerstone of the Profession or Thorn in Our Side? Accounting Horizons (forthcoming). Jones, J., J. H. Long, and J. Stanley. 2018. Pane in the Glass: A Review of the Accounting Cycle. Issues in Accounting Education (forthcoming).

National Faculty Recognition Kerry Inger’s recent Journal of the American Taxation Association publication was quoted in the WSJ article “When Corporate Gobbledygook Is Good for Investors,” published on April 12, 2018. Greg Jenkins’ The Accounting Review publication “Auditors’ Use of Brainstorming in the Consideration of Fraud: Reports from the Field,” was awarded the Notable Contributions to the Auditing Literature Award in 2018. The paper previously earned the American Accounting Association/ Deloitte Wildman Medal for research making the most significant contribution to the advancement of public accounting. Kim Key is the incoming President of the American Taxation Association of the American Accounting Association.

Faculty Abroad School of Accountancy faculty members enjoy participating in world-wide conferences when the opportunity presents itself. The global knowledge and chance to network with academics from other countries enhances research impact and student instruction. Below is a glimpse into this year's faculty travels. Dr. Kim Key attended the 3rd International Conference on Taxpayer Rights in May 2018 in Amsterdam. The annual conference connects government officials, scholars, and practitioners from around the world to explore how taxpayer rights serve as the foundation for effective tax administration.

Dr. Key (left) is pictured at the meeting with Minnie Paegar-Kallon, the head of the national Taxpayer Advocate Service in Liberia, Africa.

Dr. Mollie Mathis presented her dissertation at the 2018 Journal of Accounting, Auditing, and Finance Conference in Jeju, South Korea. On her sightseeing day, she climbed Mount Hallasan, a volcanic mountain, which is the highest peak in South Korea. Dr. Mathis felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment following her 11-mile hike of Mount Hallasan.

Dr. Travis Holt presented his paper, “An Examination of Nonprofessional Investor Perceptions of Internal and External Auditor Assurance,” at the International Symposium on Audit Research in Maastricht, The Netherlands. Dr. Holt is pictured in front of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

School of Accountancy Bids Farewell to Two Instructors The 2018-19 school year brings new faces to the SOA faculty and Harbert College, while we also wish two long-time instructors Jon Waggoner well in their next endeavors. Mr. Jon Waggoner and Mr. Larry Quimby look forward to the next phase of life as they depart the classroom. Earlier this year, Auburn’s Board of Trustees approved Waggoner as the successor to Secretary Grant Davis upon his June 30 retirement. Waggoner has served in many roles during his nearly 15-year tenure at Auburn University; most recently, he was university counsel, interim associate vice president of Auxiliary Services, and taught Advanced Business Law to accounting seniors. Waggoner has also co-advised the War Eagle Girls and Plainsmen since 2006. Larry Quimby joined the SOA faculty in 2011, following a 33-year career in tax at PwC. During his time at the firm, he served as the national director of insurance taxation from 1992-98 and the Philadelphia office’s leader of the Industry Tax Practice from 2004-2006. Mr. Quimby brought his partner-level expertise to the classroom, teaching Tax Research and Special Topics in Taxation to MAcc students. Since he will no longer be teaching, Larry is excited to have more time to spend with his family (including a grandchild) and freedom to play more golf. ■ Larry Quimby

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The SOA Connection




SOA Faculty Member Takes Financial Literacy Outreach to Next Level

Dr. Sarah Stanwick Under the direction of Associate Professor Sarah Stanwick, approximately 1,000 6th graders from two area schools, Drake Middle School and Opelika Middle School, participated in the seventh annual Tiger$ense Financial Literacy Fair on March 2, 2018. This marked the first year the event was hosted on the Auburn University campus (in the Student Center’s ballroom); previously, the event was held on-site at the beneficiary schools. Although she designed the stations and activities, Dr. Stanwick did not act alone; nearly 300 Harbert College of Business students helped in some way. These volunteers either set-up or ran stations the middle school students visited, which ranged in topics from check writing to a panel discussion on college life. The event is projected to grow in 2019, as Dr. Stanwick plans to invite an additional school to attend, and has set her sights on a larger venue like Beard-Eaves Coliseum. Dr. Stanwick believes that the support of individual and corporate sponsors will enable the event to reach its maximum potential. 18

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Our chapter would not be successful without the support of our group of employer sponsors. Below, find a listing of these firms and companies who allow our students to have access to so many internship and full-time opportunities. Thank you! Abbott, Livings, Smith & Higgins, PC Aflac, Inc. Aldridge, Borden & Company, PC Anglin Reichmann Snellgrove & Armstrong PC Aprio, LLP Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith LLC BDO USA, LLP Becker CPA Review Bennett Thrasher, LLP Borland Benefield, PC Carr Riggs and Ingram LLC Chick-fil-A, Inc. CohnReznick LLP Deloitte LLP Dent Moses, LLP Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP Dougherty McKinnon & Luby, LLC Draffin & Tucker, LLP EY Frazier & Deeter, LLC Hall Albright Garrison & Barnes, PC HLB Gross Collins, PC Jackson Thornton Johnson Lambert LLP Kassouf & Co., PC Koch Industries, Inc. KPMG LLP Large & Gilbert, Inc. LBMC Machen McChesney Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC Moore Colson Myers and Stauffer LC Pearce, Bevill, Leesburg, Moore, PC PwC Robert Half Robinson, Grimes & Company, PC Rodl & Partner RSM US LLP Saltmarsh, Cleaveland & Gund Smith, Dukes & Buckalew LLP Surgical Care Affiliates (SCA) Surgent CPA Review* Taylor CPA & Associates, PC The Siegfried Group, LLP Tidwell Group Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Warren Averett, LLC Wilkins Miller LLC Windham Brannon, PC


years epsilon omicron Est. 1978

2018 BAP officers served in a variety of roles (from a t-shirt-clad “bellhop” hauling employer supplies to managing student check-in) at the Spring 2018 Meet the Firms event. The Epsilon Omicron chapter of Beta Alpha Psi celebrates 40 years on Auburn’s campus this year! We are grateful that, in 1978, this year’s Outstanding Alumnus Dr. Wayne Alderman had the foresight to recognize that BAP would advance the School of Accountancy in countless ways.

Since our chartering, our chapter has been recognized by the national BAP office as “Superior” for 23 of our total 40 years, and the past eight consecutive years. Our 2017-18 membership reached nearly 200 students, and members participated in various professional and service events throughout the year in the Auburn community.

To celebrate the chapter’s 40th birthday, a spring field day was hosted for current and past members who were still on campus. The field day activities included classics such as a potato sack race, but also incorporated a new favorite, the pizza box relay.

*Indicates new BAP sponsor since the last SOA Connection issue.

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The SOA Connection




Outstanding Teacher Dr. Jeff Jones

Outstanding Officer Jake Callahan

Dr. Jeff Jones accepts his award from BAP President Juan Rodriguez at the spring awards ceremony. Dr. Jones teaches Intermediate Accounting I & II to undergraduates, and sees most of our high-talent students become BAP members.

Former Recording Secretary Jake Callahan accepts his award, a framed print of Lowder Hall, from BAP Faculty Advisor Colby Lakas.

Amy B. Murphy Service Award Recipients Alex Couch, Colby Goode, Carter Jacobs, Caspian Roberts, Paige Lee, and Max Sivalls

Recipients (listed above left to right) were recognized as a result of their service contributions in excess of the requirements for members and candidates. 20

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Student Government Association Outstanding Student in the Harbert College of Business Sarah Patrick

Sarah (on right) served as the BAP VP of Service in 2017, and was selected as the most outstanding student in the HCOB for 2018 due to her involvement in BAP and other AU activities.

BAP MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: ALLAN GULLEY Allan Gulley isn’t afraid to take on new challenges. The senior in accounting balances academics with extra-curricular work as a project manager at the Auburn University RFID (radio frequency identification) Lab and as the Vice President of Finance at FarmHouse Fraternity, while also being an active member of Harbert College’s Executive Society and Beta Alpha Psi. “One of the reasons that I chose accounting is that everyone said that it was the most difficult major in the College, and I like challenging myself,” the Montgomery native said. Whereas many accounting students eye tax or audit internships at major accounting firms, Gulley’s experience at Auburn’s RFID Lab aligns with a small, but growing aspect of the accounting world—advisory with a mix of technology. “There are a few professionals that attend the Beta Alpha Psi events that are with the advisory, or risk assessment, side of accounting firms,” he said. “I was fortunate enough to talk with several professionals

Allan capitalized on his diverse set of interests to place 10th nationally out of 1,000 teams in a TD Ameritrade investment challenge. He is pictured with teammates Mitchell Dunn (left) and Ellis Kennedy (center). from EY and Deloitte. I was very intrigued by what they do because while there is an accounting foundation, there is also an additional focus on information systems and emerging technologies and how those are relevant consulting areas from a client service perspective.” At the RFID Lab, Gulley’s duties include directing the four work-streams of Project Zipper—a national data exchange project partnered with dozens of major brands and retailers. To sum, Gulley works as a liaison between the retail partners and the lab’s data analysis team. Part of his duties include data aggregation, data analysis, consultative reporting, and blockchain integration. “We are currently developing a broader research strategy around supply chain serialization and fusion of frontier and existing technologies that will have international implications,” Gulley said, not getting into specifics. “It’s on the horizon and it could apply to all of our partners, especially in the aerospace and retail industries.”

problem-solving. When you are trying to encourage enterprise-level adoption for new technologies, there are so many problems that you can run into. We are actively assisting industry partners in developing their application strategy for this new technology, evaluating their existing systems, and trying to figure out where traditional systems have gone wrong.” Entering his senior year, Gulley looks forward to gaining more experience at the Auburn RFID Lab and finding the right career fit through Beta Alpha Psi. “Beta Alpha Psi has given me a lot of exposure to different firms and the cultures that they have,” he added. “At first, I assumed that the client service professionals would be coming and talking about the same thing…‘here’s what tax is like,’ or ‘here’s what audit will be like if you come and do this for us.’ But I was surprised at the number of firms who came in and gave presentations on topics that expanded past their own firms and were relevant to the entire business world. We are given exposure to a variety of companies and insight into how businesses run.”

“A lot of accounting is 21

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2018 ACCOUNTING INTERNSHIPS Aldridge, Borden & Company, PC Montgomery, AL Altec Inc. Birmingham, AL Anglin, Reichmann, Snellgrove & Armstrong Huntsville, AL

Jordan Lolley participated in a Trees Atlanta service project during his summer Aprio internship.

Claire Schortmann, a Deloitte Boston intern, cheered on hometown hockey team (the Boston Bruins) during her time there. Deloitte Atlanta, GA Birmingham, AL Boston, MA

Aprio Atlanta, GA Bank of America Houston, TX

Crowe Horwath Nashville, TN

BDO Atlanta, GA

Dominion Energy Richmond, VA

BKM Sowan Horan Dallas, TX

Express Scripts Louis, MO

Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith Auburn, AL Birmingham, AL

EY Atlanta, GA Birmingham, AL Boston, MA Dallas, TX Nashville, TN

Borland Benefield Auburn, AL Carr, Riggs & Ingram Atlanta, GA Destin, FL Enterprise, AL

Florida Blue Jacksonville, FL

CliftonLarsonAllen Charlotte, NC CohnReznick Atlanta, GA


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Grant, Sanders & Taylor, PC Gulf Shores, AL EY spring tax interns (from left: Lexie Olszewski, Sarah Patrick, and Flannery Wynn Kern) pose for a photo in their Birmingham office.

Grant Thornton Atlanta, GA

Amy Guglielmi (on left) and Anna Wright managed to enjoy the sights of Nashville during their busy season PwC internships.

Ashley Ray worked in the Fort Worth Zoo’s accounting department, but occasionally sneaked away to enjoy her job’s wild scenery. Hall Albright Garrison & Barnes Huntsville, AL

Lanigan and Associates Tallahasse, FL

Hanwha L&C Auburn, AL

LBMC Nashville, TN

Koch Industries Atlanta, GA

Machen McChesney Auburn, AL

HLB Gross Collins Atlanta, GA

Missouri Athletic Club St. Louis, MO

Jackson Thornton Auburn, AL Montgomery, AL Opelika, AL

Moore Colson Atlanta, GA

Fort Worth Zoo Fort Worth, TX Kassouf & Co Birmingham, AL KPMG Atlanta, GA Nashville, TN KYH, LLC Auburn, AL

Mr. Cooper Dallas, TX Pearce, Bevill, Leesburg, Moore, PC Birmingham, AL Pivotal Finance Auburn, AL PwC Atlanta, GA Birmingham, AL Houston, TX Nashville, TN New York, NY San Francisco, CA

Lindsay Freeman (on left) enjoyed interacting with Auburn alum Shelley Darden (’11, ’12) throughout her Koch Industries internship.

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The SOA Connection


Savannah Masucci wore more Under Armour than business casual attire during her internship.

Regions Bank Birmingham, AL Charlotte, NC Rheem Manufacturing Co. Montgomery, AL Rödl & Partner Atlanta, GA Birmingham, AL RSM Birmingham, AL Saltmarsh, Cleaveland & Gund Pensacola, FL Tampa, FL Stellar Management New York, NY


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Syneos Health Raleigh, NC Tidwell Group Atlanta, GA Birmingham, AL Turner Broadcasting Atlanta, GA Under Armour, Inc. Baltimore, MD Warren Averett Atlanta, GA Birmingham, AL Huntsville, AL Montgomery, AL

Madison Foster (on right) worked under HCOB Advisory Council Member Kim Read (’93, ’94) during her Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida internship.

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The SOA Connection


AUBURN INTERN PARTICIPATES IN GLOBAL ROTATION What can an overseas internship rotation do for an accounting student’s career aspirations? Just ask Birmingham native Lauren Burks, who spent a month-long rotation in Stockholm last winter working in audit for KPMG. “This experience made me a stronger candidate because it required me to adjust,” said Burks, who arrived in Sweden unfamiliar with the local customs, language, or people. “In any job, there will be challenges and unexpected circumstances, and now I know how to take those times and work efficiently to solve the problems at hand.” Burks, who recently earned her undergraduate degree in accounting and is currently enrolled in Auburn’s Master of Accountancy program, discussed differences and similarities US and overseas procedures. “Anywhere you go—an audit is an audit,” she said. “Two of the clients I worked on were American corporations that have a subsidiary in Sweden, so I used GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles used in financial reporting). I followed

Lauren (on left) is pictured in the KPMG Stockholm office with a fellow US intern from Philadelphia. the same basic procedures and used the same computer program, although an audit in the United States is a little more detailed. The only differences were the number and date formatting, different computer keyboards, and Swedish lunch and fika (coffee) breaks. Swedes love their coffee and make a big ordeal about taking a break throughout the day and the afternoon to talk, recharge, and network.” Aside from the Swedish coffee breaks and enjoying watching children run down the street in snowsuits, Burks sees many advantages for students to pursue

international internship rotations. “The corporate world is becoming smaller and smaller, and so many companies are international,” she added. “Auburn does such an incredible job of incorporating the internship into the curriculum and letting students get a glimpse of what busy season demands. It is very different to study for accounting— especially auditing—in theory and then see it firsthand. The internship itself was a learning experience and I loved seeing something different every day.”

Lauren, who had to invest in a much heavier coat for her time in Sweden, was able to explore Stockholm in her spare time. Fall 2018

The SOA Connection



18 Years of Online Education The online accounting programs have experienced continued growth since their inception in 2000. With undergraduate degrees in disciplines ranging from accounting to drama, the online student population is diverse and well-rounded. With the growth of the programs over the last 18 years, student profiles continue to change. From individuals leaving the finance industry in droves in the late 2000s to younger students simultaneously entering the workforce and pursuing a MAcc, students flock to Auburn to receive a quality education. On average, currently enrolled online students have two degrees and previous universities attended include the University of Georgia, University of North Carolina– Chapel Hill, and Indiana University–Bloomington, to name a few. With 47 online bachelor's in accounting graduates since 2014 and 280 online Master of Accountancy graduates since 2000, the goal of the online programs offered through the School of Accountancy is to advance the field of accounting and prepare tomorrow’s accounting leaders. For more information about the online accounting programs offered by Auburn University, please contact Mrs. Andee Hodo, Assistant Director of Graduate and Online Programs at andee. or 334-844-6207.


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Whether students are trying to earn additional hours for CPA certification, enhance their accounting knowledge to succeed in their current position, change career paths, or gain qualifications to teach at the collegiate-level, they must find a way to balance school, work, and family commitments. Over 91% of students enrolled in the online accounting programs are employed when they enroll; the remainder pursue the degree full-time. These students come from a variety of industries, positions, and geographic locations and help lead to diversity of thought and discussion in their courses.



Deciding to go back to school 5, 10 or even 25 years after graduating with a bachelor’s degree takes commitment and sacrifice. Many of the students enrolled in one of the five online accounting programs offered by Auburn University often comment on the support of their family and employers who encourage them to pursue additional education.

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The SOA Connection



#6 in Best Online Graduate Business Programs

Auburn's online Master of Accountancy is ranked in the Top 10 of Best Online Graduate Business Programs for the fourth consecutive year. Since this ranking was first published in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report, the Harbert College of Business online graduate business programs have received a Top 10 ranking.

Online MAcc Students are pictured during the MAcc Leadership Summit in April 2018.

Online Programs Offered: • Accounting Bridge—Designed for candidates seeking the prerequisites for the online Master of Accountancy or Graduate Certificate in Accountancy. • Undergraduate Certificate in Accountancy—Allows students to complete accounting coursework needed to sit for the CPA Exam. • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Accountancy)—Designed for candidates seeking a second degree and aspiring to become CPA Exam-eligible. • Graduate Certificate in Accountancy—Provides a path to the Master of Accountancy without the GMAT. Upon completion, students may enroll in the Master of Accountancy with only four courses remaining. • Master of Accountancy—Provides students the additional technical skills, research and communication skills, and preparation to pass the CPA Exam. It is identical to the campus Master of Accountancy program.

2018 Outstanding Online MAcc Student

Mark Adams

Mark is Manager of Government Compliance for Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, MS. 28

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2018 Outstanding Online Teaching Award

Dr. Kerry Inger

Dr. Inger teaches Federal Tax Research. This was her first year teaching at the graduate level. Fall 2018

The SOA Connection


MAcc Leadership Summit The annual MAcc Leadership Summit consists of two and a half days of programming for graduating Master of Accountancy students. From a welcome social, to a leadership day, and ending with the Accounting & Auditing Summit, the MAcc Leadership Summit represents the culmination of the MAcc degree and is a graduation requirement for both campus and online students.

Aubie was a surprise


Russell Griffin from Executive Adventures set expectations for

Both campus and online Master of Accountancy students participated in business-focused leadership tasks during the annual MAcc Leadership Summit.

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The SOA Connection



MAcc Program’s CPA Structure Has Yielded Success Since 2005

Class of 2018 All CPAs vividly remember their experience studying and sitting for the CPA Exam. Whether it was taking all four parts in two days using pencil and paper or the new computerized format that tests more heavily on higher-order cognitive skills, passing the CPA Exam is a defining moment in the life of accounting students. While the exam has origins dating back to 1917, it wasn’t until 1952 that all states began using the exam for CPA licensing. As many Auburn alumni remember, for 51 years, the CPA Exam was pencil and paper, only offered twice per year, and required candidates to sit for all four sections of the exam at one time. In the mid-90s, exam candidates were finally allowed to use calculators during the test. It wasn’t until 2004, however, that the exam switched to a computer-based format and allowed candidates to sit for each section individually. The Master of Accountancy program at Auburn was impacted significantly with the

new changes introduced in 2004. Under the guidance of Director of Graduate and Online Programs, Ms. Amy B. Murphy, the MAcc curriculum was adapted to incorporate Becker CPA Review and the CPA Exam into the spring semester of the program. This change was revolutionary and enabled MAcc students to not only graduate with a master’s degree, but also successfully pass all four sections of the CPA Exam before starting their full-time positions.

Graham Davis, MAcc Class of 2018 Like the rest of the MAcc Class of 2018, I just finished the daunting four-month stretch of studying and sitting for all four parts of the CPA Exam. This was a huge undertaking while also juggling classes, my graduate assistant position, and some semblance of a life outside of school. Having a class of 60 people to keep me encouraged, motivated, laughing, and sane took what started as a dreaded four months and made it not so bad after all! To help even further, the School of Accountancy has structured the undergraduate and graduate programs in a way that sets its students up for success on the CPA Exam. Through the combination of what I learned in the classroom, the support of the SOA faculty, and the use of Becker CPA Review, I felt as if I was given everything I needed to succeed on the CPA Exam.

“Every year, I would review the CPA Exam pass rates of the top schools in the US and longed to see Auburn listed among them. With the change to a computerized exam in 2004, I knew the time was right to incorporate Becker and the CPA Exam into the MAcc curriculum. This change began with the MAcc Class of 2005, and we’ve never looked back,” stated Murphy. Since 2005, most MAcc students begin the program in the summer semester and take a reduced course load in the spring while managing their coursework, graduate assistantship responsibilities, Becker, and the CPA Exam. Over the past 14 years, MAcc students have benefited greatly from this unique program design and have posted amazing pass rates on the CPA Exam. Since 2005, Auburn MAcc students have achieved an 85% pass rate across all four sections of the CPA Exam for first-time candidates compared to the

Knowing I am leaving campus with both a Master of Accountancy degree and all four parts of the CPA Exam completed gives me the confidence I need as I begin my career.

national average of 48% for both repeat and first-time candidates.

Auburn MAcc Program Class of 2018 CPA Exam Pass Rates EXAM SECTION Financial (FAR)

Audit (AUD) Regulation (REG) Business (BEC)

AUBURN MAcc PROGRAM* First-Time Candidates


Repeat and First-Time Candidates

81% 42% 81% 49% 79% 56% 98% 60%

* Source: Students’ Official CPA Exam Score Reports on first attempt. ** Source: The National Percent Passing rates for the 1st and 2nd Quarters of 2018 were obtained from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). Auburn MAcc students sat for FAR and AUD during the first quarter of 2018 and REG and BEC during the second quarter.


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Fall 2018

MAcc Students Enjoy Integrated Global Experience Will and the other MAcc students enjoyed a zip lining adventure while in Chile.

Contributed by Will Ousley, MAcc Class of 2018 The MAcc Class of 2018 had the incredible privilege of traveling to Buenos Aires, Argentina, as well as Santiago, Chile, at the culmination of the fall semester. Our group was already close-knit before departing on our overseas excursion; little did we know that the trip would bring us even closer. Prior to our international travel, we held fundraisers for an underprivileged school in Chile to raise money for new air conditioning units and landscaping. Our cohort raised $8,900, which was higher than any amount raised by previous MAcc classes! We are competitive in the best possible way. The faculty chaperones for the trip were Dr. James Long, Dr. Jeff Jones, Dr. Duane Brandon, Dr. Kerry Inger, and Mrs. Andee Hodo. They were effective leaders for our cohort and hugely impacted our experience. We departed for the Atlanta airport from Auburn the afternoon of Friday, December 8, filled with so much excitement, but the weather had other plans. Upon arriving at the Atlanta airport, we had to wait a few hours for our flight to depart at 9 PM EST. After several delays, we finally boarded the plane, thinking we’d take off within the hour. However, we were informed that, due to snow in the area and a crew facing overtime, our flight was canceled. After spending hours in the airport and on the plane, we had to make arrangements to get back to Auburn. After our initial false start, we finally left Auburn again on Monday, December 11. This time it was real—we took off on a 14-hour flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The students completed a service project at the Violeta Parra School, and used a bulletin board with pictures from Auburn to explain their background. During a tour of Valparaiso, Chile, the students stopped to admire the street art common throughout the city.

The group visited the Kingston Family Vineyards in the Casablanca region of Chile.

During their initial trip to the airport, the MAcc students had a celebrity sighting (Courtney Cox, third from left) and had the courage to approach the Alabama native. Upon our jet-lagged arrival in Buenos Aires, we immediately had the opportunity to do a culturally enriching city tour. Unfortunately, because our trip was cut short, we only had about two hours in the city before boarding another plane for the remainder of our trip in Santiago, Chile. Once we arrived in Santiago, we checked in our hotel for the night. For the remainder of the trip, we were able to explore the city, visit area businesses, and have some free time. The business visits were very unique experiences that allowed us to learn how different industries operate in South America. We were able to see Microsoft, AmCham, and even met with Auburn alumnus and CEO of CarSol Fruit, Sebastian Carmona.

service-learning project. Our project was at Violeta Parra School where we painted murals, landscaped, and witnessed the installation of the air conditioning units our fundraising helped purchase. We were then able to play sports and participate in other activities with the students, including attending their end-of-the-year school parties. Spending time with these Chilean students had a meaningful impact on our entire MAcc class. The MAcc international trip was one of the highlights of my year in the program. It was truly a unique and unforgettable experience to have before studying for the CPA exam in the spring. I am so grateful to Auburn for the opportunity to travel abroad; it provided memories I will treasure forever.

My favorite part of the trip was our Fall 2018

The SOA Connection



Alabama Society of CPAs Accounting Achievement Award


Flannery Wynn Kern

Each year, the firms listed below make graduate school possible for outstanding students. These firms finance graduate assistantship (GA) positions, which provide a 12-month stipend totaling $9,696. In addition to the stipend funded by the firms, the students receive a full-tuition waiver.  Given the tuition waiver, the full value of the assistantship is $49,512 for out-of-state students and $24,600 for in-state students.  We sincerely appreciate the generosity of these firms for helping the School of Accountancy attract great students to the Master of Accountancy Program.

Ernst & Young, LLP Graduate Assistantship Flannery Wynn Kern


Hoover, AL

Becker CPA Review Course Award Clara Benitez Jacob Bybee Lauren Grantham Ashley Hall Alex Jager Askari Rushing Graham Vice Callie Yuan

Mobile, AL Andalusia, AL Woodland, GA Smiths Station, AL Birmingham, AL Washington, DC Hartselle, AL Auburn, AL

Federation of Schools of Accountancy Student Achievement Award Taylor Adams

Andrew Harlow

Plant City, FL

Grainger, IN

Aflac, Inc. Accounting Scholarship

Franklin, TN Florence, AL

Dothan, AL

ASCPA/Kassouf & Company Endowed Scholarship Haley Bradford

Birmingham, AL

Ken and Missy Baggett Endowed Accounting Scholarship Michelle Bona

SCHOLARSHIPS: Miller Inman Carrie Holt

Aprio Accounting Scholarship Gabe Williams

Roger CPA Review Course Award Hoover, AL

Terry Hensler, a senior manager at Aprio, presented their scholarship to Gabe Williams.

Evergreen Park, IL

Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith, PC Accounting Scholarship Claire Hand

Vestavia Hills, AL

EY Graduate Assistant Flannery Wynn Kern (Birmingham Tax) is pictured with Recruiter Megan Carter (on left).

PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP Graduate Assistantship Kelleen Sullivan

Fairhope, AL

Partner David Chandler presented the Aldridge Borden scholarship to Kristen Cox.

Aldridge, Borden & Company, PC Accounting Scholarship Kristen Cox

ASCPA Educational Foundation Scholarship Flannery Wynn Kern PwC Graduate Assistant Kelleen Sullivan (Birmingham Audit) stands with Partner Terry Sparks.


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Fall 2018

Helena, AL

Pat Compton (on right), widow of the late Bernard Blankenship, presented the memorial scholarship to Bailey Griffin (center) with the assistance of her daughter, Allison Singleton.

R. Bernard Blankenship Scholarship in Accountancy Bailey Griffin

Hoover, AL

Jere and Sara Beasley Endowed Scholarship Olivia Todd

Abilene, TX

Moss Point, MS

Jeff Wright, managing partner of Draffin & Tucker, presented their scholarship to Maggie Costa.

Frazier & Deeter’s scholarship was presented to Mitchell Dunn by Jessica Weissinger, a senior manager with the firm.

Dick & Terry Ingwersen presented their scholarship to Jake Fink and Natalie Lorimer.

Draffin & Tucker, LLP Accounting Scholarship

CohnReznick, LLP Accounting Scholarship

Dick and Terry Ingwersen Accounting Scholarship

Maggie Costa

Lillian, AL

Bennett Thrasher, PC Accounting Scholarship Emily Taylor

John Michael Fogarty

Dallas, TX

Deloitte, LLP Accounting Scholarship Gulf Shores, AL

Tri Nix Isabel Sandoval Dixon Simmons

Lanett, AL Birmingham, AL Homewood, AL

Jacob Fink Natalie Lorimer

Frazier & Deeter, LLC Accounting Scholarship Mitchell Dunn

Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC Accounting Scholarship Sam Allen

Mobile, AL Chelsea, AL

Brentwood, TN

Auburn, AL

John P. Jones Endowed Scholarship in Accountancy Delaney Counter Josh Fullenwider Perri Ann Morris Sarah Grace Tatom EY Senior Manager Jonathan Mayer presented the award to Bentley King (on left) and Jack Kratzenberg (on right).

Ernst & Young, LLP Accounting Scholarship Bentley King Jack Kratzenberg

Birmingham, AL Atlanta, GA

Ernst & Young, LLP/ R. Travis Kirkpatrick Memorial Endowment Taylor Adams Ben Bode

Plant City, FL Montgomery, AL

Greg Burgess Memorial Scholarship in Accountancy Lauren Neighbors

Hampton Cove, AL

Madison, AL Hoover, AL Huntsville, AL Huntsville, AL

KPMG, LLP Accounting Scholarship Hall Albright’s scholarship was presented by Laurel Brown to Grace Mitchell (on left).

Chase Burton Sarah Wisneski

Hall, Albright, Garrison & Associates, PC Accounting Scholarship

Philip Marshall McElroy Memorial Scholarship

Grace Mitchell

Francie George Decatur, AL

Laverne Taylor Flanagan Accounting Scholarship Alexandra White

Allison Watson

Memphis, TN

Metcalf Davis Endowed Accounting Scholarship Frannie Smith

Mountain Brook, AL

Grant Thornton, LLP Accounting Scholarship

Birmingham, AL Columbia, IL

The Woodlands, TX

Thomas W. and Patricia M. Tripp Endowed Accounting Scholarship Sally Raney

Atlanta, GA

Daphne, AL

Fall 2018

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School of Accountancy Advisory Council Scholarship Alene Nelson

Auburn, AL

School of Accountancy Faculty and Staff Scholarship

Senior Manager Will Jones presented the Jackson Thornton scholarship to Cullen Armstrong (on right).

Jackson Thornton Accounting Scholarship Cullen Armstrong

Dothan, AL

C.G. Mills Endowment for Instructional Excellence in Accountancy Ben Seneker Kelleen Sullivan

Johnson City, TN Fairhope, AL

Montgomery, AL

Pearce, Bevill, Leesburg, Moore, PC Accounting Scholarship Chandler Donegan

Machen McChesney, LLP Accounting Scholarship Bonnie Zhao

Parker, CO Ponte Vedra Beach, FL Brentwood, TN Dothan, AL Midland, TX

Auburn, AL

PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP Accounting Scholarship

William J. Nettles Endowed Memorial Scholarship Allan Gulley

The Machen McChesney scholarship was presented to Bonnie Zhao (on left) by Andrea Luckie.

Sarah Czaicki Lindsay Freeman Austin Ledbetter Jordan Lolley Max Sivalls

Rebekah Horton Callie Kyzar Jack Melgaard Scott Sturdivant

Birmingham, AL Birmingham, AL Brentwood, TN Alexander City, AL

Jerry Lewis Savage Memorial Accounting Scholarship Karoline Thornton

New Brockton, AL

RSM Partner Scott Stewart presented their scholarship to Rebekah Haas.

RSM US, LLP Endowed Accounting Scholarship Ruth Dismukes Rebekah Haas

Hoover, AL

Vestavia Hills, AL Fort Rucker, AL

Doris Tanquary Memorial Accounting Scholarship Lindsey Meadows Lauren Spiwak

Knoxville, TN Sugar Land, TX

Warren Averett, LLC Accounting Scholarship

Wes Brown, a director at Kassouf & Co., with recipient Emma Slay.

L. Paul Kassouf & Company, PC Endowed Scholarship Emma Slay


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Trussville, AL

Fall 2018

Willard Peebles and Brooke Peebles Walker, family of the late Melba Peebles, presented the memorial scholarship to Savannah Masucci (center left) and Mary McMullen (center right).

Chloe Barger Madison Foster Will McMurry Danielle Walker

Melba C. Peebles Accounting Scholarship

Elton & Janet Wolf Endowed Scholarship in Accounting

Savannah Masucci Whitehouse Station, NJ Mary McMullen Monroe, LA

Dean Carraway

Birmingham, AL Athens, AL Trussville, AL Ashland, AL

St. Johns, FL


Like most Auburn folks, Ben loves an Aubie photo op! When Ben Seneker found out he was nominated by the School of Accountancy for the prestigious $10,000 2018-2019 Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) scholarship, he was pleasantly surprised. When he heard in June that he was the Auburn University student selected to receive it, he was ecstatic. A senior in the School of Accountancy, Seneker is the sixth consecutive Auburn accountancy student to receive a PCAOB scholarship, which is awarded annually to accounting students across the US. The scholarship stems from the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which requires that monetary penalties imposed by the PCAOB in its disciplinary proceedings be used to fund a merit scholarship program for students in accredited accounting degree programs. Each participating educational institution nominates a scholarship recipient from students enrolled in its accounting degree programs. Seneker, who has a 4.0 GPA and has made the Dean’s List every semester since arriving at Auburn, is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society and winner of its Outstanding Second Year award. He is also the past recipient of three merit-based Auburn scholarships and the Grant Thornton LLP Scholarship. While at Auburn, Ben has been active in other campus groups and activities as well, including playing in the AU band his freshman and sophomore years, and serving as treasurer of

Beta Upsilon Chi social fraternity. In addition, Seneker was a PwC Challenge participant, interned with Aflac, Inc. in Columbus, GA, and currently serves as a peer instructor in the Harbert College’s Office of Professional and Career Development. Though Seneker grew up in Johnson City, TN, with no familial Auburn connections, he’d heard from friends that he should at least tour the campus. On that tour, he immediately fell in love with Auburn’s atmosphere and sense of family. “I felt like Auburn was a place that I could make home,” he said. “It was a leap of faith, but after my first semester, I knew I made the right decision.” He also discovered a faculty that truly supports its students. Case in point: being nominated for this scholarship, for which he is deeply grateful. “This award means a lot because it will free up time from work during my senior year so I can concentrate on maintaining my academics.” Seneker will complete an audit internship in spring 2019 with EY in Charlotte, NC, then hopes to enter the Auburn Master of Accountancy program to pursue his CPA.

Ben, who hails from East Tennessee, is a huge fan of hiking the nearby mountains in his free time. Fall 2018

The SOA Connection




HARRY MARKOPOLOS AT THE A&A SUMMIT big-money clients when he “ran across someone named Bernie L. Madoff whose returns were spectacular, but used an option strategy that I knew didn’t work.” “I’m saying to myself, ‘This guy is a crook, and worse, he’s taking my clients’ money,’” Markopolos continued. “So I went after him,” a reaction that came naturally to Markopolos, the son of Greek restauranteurs who dealt with rampant fraud and theft in their businesses by taking matters into their own hands. (Markopolos’s father and uncle once sat in an IHOP restaurant on a stakeout, complete with binoculars, to catch an employee who was stealing from them.)

“Math is truth,” said Harry Markopolos, the man who, in five minutes of doing the math, knew that Bernard L. Madoff was a crook. It only took Markopolos nine more years to prove it. Markopolos shared stories of “doing the math” and his life as a fraud examiner as well as advice on entering the field of forensic accounting—all flavored with a healthy dose of his wry sense of humor— during the 2018 Accounting and Auditing

Summit, held April 27 at the Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center. Markopolos was the keynote speaker for the Summit, a day-long event hosted by the School of Accountancy and sponsored in part by Aflac, and designed to educate students and practitioners alike, this year with a focus on understanding fraud. In his 2010 book No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller, Markopolos tells how, in 1991, he was working with some

Markopolos first went to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2000, then again in 2001 and 2005, with information on Madoff, but he was ignored all three times. Markopolos didn’t give up, though, and thanks in part to the documents and evidence he provided the SEC and FBI, Madoff was finally charged in 2008 and convicted in 2009. Now an independent forensic accounting and financial fraud investigator, Markopolos continues to help unveil fraud at the highest levels of industry, a job he calls “hunting big game” and “not for the faint of heart.” “Being a fraud examiner is a full-contact sport,” he told those gathered at the event. “But I think it’s a lot more exciting than any

Thank you to our 2018 Accountin For 2019 event sponsorship information, please co


The SOA Connection

Fall 2018

other form of accounting.” Still, “exciting” doesn’t necessarily mean fast-paced.

abundance of job opportunities for anyone interested in forensic accounting.

“Solving white collar crime is slow,” Markopolos said. “It’s not like on television; it’s not an hour-long process. At first the case won’t be obvious, though what I found is I can spot the fraud easily. It’s the proving part that takes months and months. But the more cases you do, the better you get at it. And if you can do math and do the accounting, you can find the truth.”

“I have two cases that are either book- or movie-worthy, but I don’t want to say too much because if I tell everyone how I solved a case, I’m educating a new generation of fraudsters,” he said. “Why would I want to do that? I wouldn’t!”

These days, Markopolos continues to fight financial fraud on the highest levels of the business world, dealing only with cases that number in the billions of dollars; he finds fraud everywhere, which means there is an

Even without educating them, however, Markopolos said there is no shortage of bad guys in the financial world, so there is a need for more forensic accountants at all levels of the economy. “It’s a fascinating business and I hope I can convince someone in the room to go to work with the FBI,” he said. “They love accountants, and they give

you two guns, body armor, and a helmet. What could go wrong?”

The 2019 Accounting and Auditing Summit will be held on Friday, April 26, 2019, at the Auburn University Hotel and Dixon Conference Center. Information about the event can be found at as it becomes available. Please contact Andee Hodo at Andee.Hodo@ to join the mailing list to receive future notifications about the event, including the speaker line-up.

ng & Auditing Summit Sponsors! ontact Andee Hodo at


Fall 2018

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Beta Alpha Psi members volunteered at the Kids Zone area of the tailgate, which includes an inflatable rock wall/slide, lawn games, and coloring activities for our younger attendees.

FALL 2017 TAILGATE The School of Accountancy hosted its 6th annual tailgate during the 2017 football season for our alumni & friends. It was great to reconnect with former classmates and their guests! Here, we highlight just a handful of our visitors that we enjoyed seeing on the Lowder Hall lawn. We look forward to our 7th event during the Arkansas game this season.

2017 Outstanding Alumnus Art Guy (’79) paused from the festivities to pose with wife Lynn and Russell Wanke.

The tailgate offered Pamela Bartlett (’90) and husband Greg the chance to visit their son Hunter, who is a current AU engineering student.

Kendall Currie’s (’06) family (wife Lindsay; daughters Maddie Grace, Makenzie, and Ashton Kate; and son Grayson) was picture perfect for an Auburn game day!

Amy Murphy caught up with brothers Scott (on left) and Barry Traylor (’88) during the event.

SOA faculty and former faculty member DeWayne Searcy (on left) enjoy the opportunity to reconnect with former students at the tailgate. 38

The SOA Connection

Fall 2018


Dollar Amount  of  3%Gifts   Co 1% 1%


No matter the size of your gift, it matters! The Harbert College of Business set a $100M goal in the Because This is Auburn campaign. Due to support at all levels, we not only met this goal, we exceeded it by $30M. As you can see from the following break-down of gift amounts, it was critical for participation from all levels of donors for the goal to be realized. Donation Amount


% of Total Campaign Gifts

Campaign Total









































Grand Total




Dollar Amount of Gifts Comprising $130M Campaign


<$100 $100-$499 $500-$999 $1,000-$4,999 $5,000-$9,999 $10,000-$49,999 $50,000-$99,999 $100,000-$499,999 $500,000-$999,999 $1,000,000+



To find out if your company has a matching gift policy, please visit: www.matchinggifts. com/auburn.

Planned Giving

Young Alumni Program The Shareholders’ Club

The Shareholders’ Club recognizes the highest level of leadership in annual giving to the Harbert College of Business Gift Fund.  Your gifts through the Club provide significant resources that impact students and allow the dean to continue to meet the college’s highest priorities. The Shareholders’ Club gives the College the flexibility to capitalize on emerging and timely opportunities for today’s students, while endowed funds provide for students of tomorrow.

Women in Business Program

The mission of the Harbert College of Business Women in Business Program is to offer an environment that advances women as professionals and leaders, promotes excellence through education, builds supportive relationships through networking and mentoring, and contributes to attracting and retaining a diverse student body and strong alumna network. We exist to provide opportunity for both students and alumna to foster life-long commitment and investment in building, promoting, and celebrating Harbert Women.

Atlanta | Birmingham | Charlotte Houston | Nashville | New York | Tampa The Harbert College of Business Young Alumni program was launched in 2014 with pilot chapters in Atlanta and Birmingham. Since the program’s inception, chapters have grown to seven total metro areas. The purpose of the Young Alumni Program is to engage young alumni in the college, provide professional development resources, and create a networking platform for Auburn University business professionals...all while having a little bit of fun! The program’s signature activity is a quarterly happy hour and speaker series.

Corporate Matching Gifts

Corporate matching gift programs are an excellent source of corporate support for Auburn. As an employee benefit, companies can increase the impact of their employees’ gifts to Auburn by matching employees’ contributions. Most corporations provide a 1:1 match; while some elect to provide a greater matching amount to further encourage and leverage their employees’ philanthropy.


When it comes to providing extraordinary educational experiences for our students, there are many giving options to choose from besides simply writing a check. Planned gifts, also known as bequests or estate gifts, are another way to support Auburn’s future through a gift today while at the same time meeting your own philanthropic and financial goals.

Tiger Giving Day 2019

Tiger Giving Day is Auburn University’s 24-hour fundraising event. The next Tiger Giving Day will take place on February 21, 2019. Be sure to save the date!

How to Make a Gift

Make checks payable to the Auburn University Foundation and mail to: Harbert College of Business, 405 West Magnolia Ave., Suite 203, Auburn, AL 36849, ATTN: Lisa Cole. Give online by visiting Click “Give Now” in the top left-hand corner.

Who to Contact for More Information Melanie Roehm ’13, ’15 Office of Advancement Development Associate P: 334-844-1386 

Fall 2018

The SOA Connection



WHERE ARE OUR The Harbert College of Business School of Accountancy’s influence reaches far beyond the Heart of Dixie! Out of our 7,500+ alumni, over half choose to remain in the state of Alabama, but the rest are culturing other states and countries in the true meaning of “War Eagle.” In the spirit of our international magazine theme, we have military and civilian alums who reside in locations such as Argentina, Belgium, Spain, Australia, the UK, Hong Kong, and Canada. This map depicts our knowledge of the whereabouts of our US-based alumni. The SOA pride knows no boundaries!


































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84 25



1 1








































173 CAROLINA 101








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CAREER MILESTONES Claire (Ethridge) McLean Promoted to Executive Director at EY Claire McLean (’01, ’03) works in the Assurance Services practice of Ernst & Young LLP (EY). She has over 14 years of client service experience primarily in the financial services industry serving super-regional banks as well as community banks. Claire is also as a leader in EY’s Quality Network. Further, she’s part of EY’s Financial Services Office Assurance Revenue Recognition Support Infrastructure as a champion. Claire, her husband Wes (Auburn ’01), and their two children live in Atlanta, GA.

Cardwell & King Promoted to Member at Warren Averett Grant Cardwell (’06, ’07) joined Warren Averett in 2007 and works in the firm’s Asset Management Division as one of the leaders in the High Net Worth Client Service Team. His primary responsibilities include building relationships with clients, listening to clients’ needs and implementing strategies to help them achieve their goals, and consulting with clients on tax planning strategies and income maximization. He resides in Birmingham with his wife, Jill, and their daughter. Reed King (’04, ’05) joined Warren Averett in 2005 and manages the high net worth income taxation and tax planning divisions. He is also the firm’s real estate coordinator and tax best practice leader. Reed resides in Birmingham’s Bluff Park area and loves spending time with his wife, Emily, and their two daughters, Audrey and Clara. 42

The SOA Connection

Fall 2018

Three Auburn Alums Promoted to Partner at Machen McChesney Louis Hawkins (’88) joined Machen McChesney in 1990 and has been Firm administrator since 2006. In this role, Louis is responsible for overseeing the financial management, human resources, facilities, and operations of the firm. His areas of accounting expertise include individual tax and governmental auditing. He lives in Auburn and enjoys the outdoor life: hunting, hiking, running, and coaching youth mountain biking. Jessica Pagan (’01, ’03) has worked with Machen McChesney since 2003. She specializes in financial statement reviews, business and individual tax, and construction accounting. She participates in core processes, mentoring, and training at the firm. Jessica and her husband have three children. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and outdoor activities. Nick Wheeler (’98) has worked at Machen McChesney since 2005. Prior to joining the firm, he was employed by Novelli, Ennis & Co. for six years. Nick provides small business and individual tax compliance, tax planning, estate and trust, accounting, and consulting services to the firm’s clients. Nick and his wife live in Auburn with their two daughters.

Daniel Bauman Selected for Prestigious International Assignment Daniel Bauman (’14, ’15), was fortunate to obtain his international assignment through an Auburn alumni connection with Matt Zinkus (also featured in this SOA Connection issue). KPMG Zurich won the audit of one of the largest companies in Switzerland starting with the 2018 audit. Because the client is listed in the US and elects to report under US GAAP only, there was an increased need for experienced associates with knowledge of US GAAP. Matt connected Daniel with the partner in the US Audit and Reporting Group in Zurich as a result of Daniel’s work on large industrial manufacturing issuers and his experience in accounting for long term service agreements. Daniel will be in Zurich at least the next two years. For the first year, he will primarily be working on the audit of the acquisition and purchase price allocation of the multi-billion-dollar purchase of a component of a US industrial company.

Hannah Wilson’s India Rotation

Hannah played tourist on weekends and had a chance to visit the Taj Mahal. Hannah Wilson (’14, ’15) completed a six-week rotation in summer 2018 in Deloitte’s Hyderabad, India, office. During her rotation, she managed a team of US-India tax professionals on a large international real estate engagement. With the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017, she also acted as a resource for the International Tax group to help implement the new tax law on multiple compliance engagements. On the weekends, Hannah was able to sightsee with other Deloitte US professionals in Hyderabad, Delhi, and Agra. Following her rotation, she returned to Atlanta to continue working in the International Tax group and is already looking forward to her next global adventure.

Gib Thrash Travels Globe as International Auditor with Nestlé Gib Thrash (’16) is an international auditor for Nestlé based in Vevey, Switzerland. After graduating from Auburn, he moved to Switzerland to join the global internal audit function, and currently travels to all Nestlé group sites reviewing the effectiveness of the company’s internal controls and efficiency of operations. In his first year on the job, he has had projects in a number of countries and operations, including Switzerland, Austria, Chile, Brazil, South Africa, Denmark, Sweden, and China. Gib’s travels to Chile allowed him to visit the Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world.


ROBERT RANDOLPH “BOB” CRISS SR. July 19, 1937 – May 13, 2018

Robert Randolph “Bob” Criss Sr., SOA Associate Professor Emeritus (ret. June 1993), died on May 13, 2018, at his home in Evans, GA, after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was born July 19, 1937, in Coffeeville, MS, to Francis Wortham and Julie McRae Criss. He graduated in 1955 from John Rundle High School in Grenada, MS, and attended the University of Mississippi, where he received a degree in accounting. After graduation from Ole Miss, he went to work for a national accounting firm for two years. He attended the University of Mississippi School of Law and then entered a partnership in Grenada with his brother Jim—Criss & Criss, Attorneys, and a second partnership with brothers Jim, John, and Francis as Criss & Criss, Certified Public Accountants. He met and fell in love with Bertha

Jean Turner, and after only seven dates, they married. In 1965, his first son was born, and a year later, a second son came along. It would be a decade later when a daughter was born into the family. To have more time to raise his family, Criss accepted a position with Auburn University in 1966, where he taught accounting and law. For 25 years, his specialty was teaching Income Tax and Business Law. During his 52 years in Auburn, he was also involved in real estate development. He and his wife moved to Evans, GA, to be near his daughter in 2016. His wife resides in a nursing facility in Evans. Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Bertha Jean Criss; three children, Robert Randolph Criss Jr, (Antoinette) of Tampa, FL; Patrick Lawrence Criss of Jacksonville, FL; and Melissa Leigh Criss Wilkes (Chad) of Evans; four grandchildren, Anabelle Leigh Wilkes and Lillian Dean Wilkes of Evans, and Cillian Justin Criss and Aidan Justin Criss of Jacksonville; a brother, Francis Wortham Criss Jr. of Tupelo, MS; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents and two brothers, John Philip Criss and Jim McRae Criss. Fall 2018

The SOA Connection



1161 W. Samford Avenue Building # 8 Auburn, AL 36849-0001

Auburn University is an equal opportunity employer/educational institution.

The fourth annual School of Accountancy Accounting & Audit Summit will feature stories and lessons on investigating fraud. WHEN: Friday, April 26, 2019 WHERE: The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center REGISTRATION FEE: $275 includes breakfast, lunch, and a refreshment break Registrations received before February 1 are eligible for a $50 discount. For more information, please visit

2019 Accounting & Auditing Summit: Friday, April 26, 2019 | The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center

Profile for Malcolm Edgecombe

Auburn University SOA  

Auburn University SOA