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The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Business hosted 50 of its accounting students and 76 area professionals at the 46th Annual Certified Public Accountants (CPA) Night.

Professor and co-department chair Joann Cross said the evening is designed to highlight the high-achieving accounting students’ academic accomplishments and their technical accounting knowledge. The event was held Nov. 1 at the University’s Alumni Welcome and Conference Center.

“Our program has a longstanding tradition of preparing students to enter the workforce and succeed,” she said. “The CPA event allows students to hone their leadership skills as they organize and run this major event. The secondary benefit is they get to interact with the professional community they are about to enter.”

Celebrating excellence

Each year the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy ranks colleges and universities with the highest percentage of candidates passing all subjects taken in the CPA exam. UW Oshkosh students currently rank second in the state and 18th in the nation in passing the uniform CPA examination on their first try among large programs. This trend of UWO accounting students passing the CPA exam on their first try has equaled or exceeded the pass rate for the state of Wisconsin and the nation for the past five years .


Yongho Park,a senior from Gwangju, South Korea, is studying accounting and mathematics. He was happy to take the opportunity to build connections at the event not only with area professionals but also with his fellow classmates.

“It was amazing to see that almost half of the professionals at the event were alumni from Milwaukee and the Fox Cities. It is clear that the connections I make while in college and at networking events like this benefit my future,” Park said.

As president and CEO of the Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants (WICPA), Dennis Tomorsky is often the face of the accounting profession in Wisconsin. As the featured speaker of the night, he delivered a message of taking measured risks in choosing a career path and being open to following your instincts when it comes to opportunities given and taken.

“The CPAs of the future will need to be more forward-looking, strategic and visionary,” he said. “It is important to recognize that your careers might not always follow a linear path. Your ability to embrace opportunities, challenges and change with equal grace will make you valuable to your future employers.”

Lending support

The evening concluded with a silent auction. Students from Beta Alpha Psi, a national honorary scholastic and professional accounting fraternity, raised nearly $1,750. Park who serves as the current Beta Alpha Psi president is grateful for everyone’s generosity.

“The money we raised tonight will benefit two great causes,” Park said. “A portion of the funds will benefit the Special Olympics organization. The remaining funds will give select accounting students the opportunity to attend the upcoming Beta Alpha Psi Leadership Conference.”

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