SPOKANE, Wash. – Kiely Strohmaier, a 2011 Gonzaga University Masters of Accountancy alumna, recently received the Elijah Watt Sells Award for earning one of the top scores in the nation on the Uniform CPA Examination. Strohmaier finished among the top 37 of more than 90,000 candidates who took the test to become a certified public accountant.
While simply passing the exam is a major accomplishment, earning a score within the top 100 or top 50 is difficult to imagine for many test-takers. Strohmaier, who currently serves as a staff accountant for CliftonLarsonAllen in Moses Lake, Wash., received the award in May (2012).
The annual award from the American Institute of CPAs recognizes the 37 candidates who earned top scores on all four sections. The 2011 awards were presented to candidates who obtained a cumulative average score above 95.5 percent in all four sections of the exam on their first attempt and completed the test in the previous calendar year.
“This came as a huge surprise,” Strohmaier said. “When you are taking the exams, you really have no idea where you stand or how you are doing.”
After finishing her undergraduate degree at the University of Washington, Strohmaier headed east to take part in Gonzaga’s Masters of Accountancy program.
“We are very pleased to see Kiely be recognized for her impressive achievement in winning the Elijah Watt Sells Award,” said Gary Weber, director of the program. “She was an outstanding student in our program and we look forward to her continued success as her career progresses.”
Strohmaier applauded Gonzaga’s personal, close-knit community. Specifically interested in tax issues and case studies in agriculture, Strohmaier said she appreciated the willingness of Gonzaga faculty to provide her with extra information and resources.
“I’m really thankful for everybody at Gonzaga who supported us and helped us learn what we need to know to start careers and pass the CPA,” Strohmaier said. “Gonzaga did a great job. The MAcc program is strong and getting stronger all the time.”