Articles

CBIZ MHM Gift Creates a Teaching Fellowship in the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy

By Keith Morelli

Bill Tapp, Heather Lively and Uday Murthy

TAMPA (Dec. 2, 2016) -- CBIZ MHM, a Top 10 accounting and professional business services provider, has given a gift to the University of South Florida's Muma College of Business that will keep on giving for years to come.

The firm, which has more than 100 offices and 4,000 associates in 33 states across the nation, has contributed funding for a five-year teaching fellowship in the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy. The announcement was made Thursday at a gathering at the firm's office in Tampa, where half of CBIZ MHM employees are USF graduates. About 130 people attended the announcement.

The Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy is considered one of the best "large programs" in first-time CPA exam-pass rates and ranked No. 20 on the College Choice listings of the best accounting programs in the nation. Faculty members also are known for their cutting-edge research, which has made a significant mark on the accounting profession.

A recent Brigham Young University research survey ranked the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy No. 1 in experimental accounting information systems research, No. 21 in audit research and No. 29 in tax research.

"While much of the success of the Muma College of Business at USF lies with the quality of the faculty and enthusiasm of the students, a key ingredient is the relationships we have with the outside business community," said Muma College of Business Dean Moez Limayem. "It's a network that is growing and strengthening every day and this gift is an example of a process in which we all benefit."

This already robust program, he said, will get even stronger with this gift.

"I'm thrilled over this gift, which will make winners out of everyone, the students, our program and the outside accounting profession," he said. "We at the university will strengthen our already-impressive accounting curriculum and CBIZ MHM and other employers will reap the rewards by hiring our capable graduates to keep their businesses strong."

Faculty teaching fellowships help the college recognize and reward young faculty members who are making significant contributions to the accounting program. Teaching fellowships can also provide an incentive in recruiting new faculty members from other universities.

For years, CBIZ MHM has supported USF's Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy. The firm has hired students, provided firm members to serve on various boards, sponsored conferences and provided speakers for the classroom and student gatherings.

"Over the years, CBIZ MHM have been involved in leadership roles with both the Accounting Circle and the advisory council for USF's School of Accountancy," said Bill Tapp, senior managing director of the Tampa Bay practice and graduate of USF with a major in accounting. "Partnering with the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy to establish the CBIZ MHM Teaching Fellowship Fund is a logical extension in our support for USF and the School of Accountancy.

"We are proud to strengthen our commitment to an educational institution that has provided so many valuable team members to our practice here in Tampa Bay."

The work of those graduates, in part, has resulted in the firm, which provides accounting, tax, and advisory services to individuals and corporations, being named as one of America's best employers in the consulting and account industry by Forbes magazine in 2015. It also has been recognized by the Tampa Bay Business Journal, Florida Trend and the Tampa Bay Times as being among the best places to work year after year.

Heather Lively has been named the first CBIZ MHM teaching fellow. She is an instructor in the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy, teaching financial accounting and audit courses. She has several years' experience as an auditor in Tampa.

In only her second year on the faculty, she was named a finalist for the Advisory Council Outstanding Teaching Award.

Lively has had several articles published, including seven in The CPA Journal, and has presented on audit topics at four accounting conferences. She is a CPA and holds a master's of accountancy and bachelor's degrees from USF. The stipend from CBIZ MHM, which supplements her teaching salary, "provides more resources that will enhance my teaching, research and impact," she said, "on both the students and the accounting profession."

Part of the gift also will fund an ongoing CBIZ MHM sponsorship of the annual Accounting Circle Continuing Professional Education Conference.

"I am proud and honored to be the first holder of the CBIZ MHM Teaching Fellowship in the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy," she said. "I look forward to further enhancing our relationship with the professionals at CBIZ MHM who are so eager to invest in the development of outstanding accounting graduates at USF."

"Fellowships such as the CBIZ MHM Teaching Fellowship allow us to recognize and retain talented faculty," said Uday Murthy, director of the school. "As someone who is routinely recognized for her excellence in the classroom, Heather Lively is most deserving of this recognition.

"We value our partnership with CBIZ MHM and look forward to further enhancing our already excellent relationships with the professionals there."