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USF accounting grad among top performers on 2015 CPA exam

Bei Ye

A USF accounting grad is among 75 certified public accountant candidates nationwide honored for their scores on the CPA exam.

Bei Ye, who graduated in 2014 from the undergraduate program at the USF Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy, was one of the recipients of the 2015 Elijah Watt Sells award. The award honors CPA candidates who pass all four sections of the CPA exam on the first try with an average score above 95.5 percent. Ye is now working as a tax associate for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Phoenix, Arizona.

According to the American Institute of CPAs, a total of 93,742 individuals sat for the examination in 2015, with only 75 qualifying for the award.

Ye, who also holds a master's degree in accounting, named Instructor Katie Davis as her favorite teacher at USF and said the fundamental accounting concepts she learned in her undergraduate courses helped prepare her for the CPA exam.

"She taught my Intermediate I course, and she really laid a solid foundation for my accounting studies later on," she said.

Ye also said taking a Becker FastPass course, at the encouragement of Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy Director Uday Murthy, allowed her to put all of her energy into preparing for the exam over the summer.

"We are very proud of Bei Ye," Murthy said. "Being recognized as an Elijah Watt Sells award winner is indeed a very significant accomplishment. Not only is it a testament to Bei's academic ability and hard work, but it also speaks to the quality of the accounting program in the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy."

Ye's advice to students hoping to do well on the CPA exam is to pack the sections of the exam close together to maximize their focus.

"Just get it done while you're still a student," she said. "When you drag it out longer, you get tired."