Alumna Ashlee Phillips not only passed the rigorous CPA exam on her first try, she was the top scorer in the state.
“The pass rates on the exam, especially for people taking it for the first time, is low,” David O’Bryan, Pittsburg State accounting professor, said. “More than half of those who take it fail. It’s a very difficult test.”

Ashlee Phillips

Ashlee Phillips

So it’s easy to see why Phillips was nervous about taking the exam last summer.
“I did have some nerves about it,” she said.
“I knew few people pass it on the first try, but I still wanted to do well.”
And do well, she did. Not only did Phillips pass the exam on her first attempt, she was the top scorer in Kansas during the July/August 2014 testing window.
“I was quite surprised when I learned I had the top score,” she said. “We were never notified of that fact. My dad is a CPA, and he gets the Kansas Association of CPAs newsletter. The newsletter listed those who passed the exam, and it mentioned me as the top scorer.”
Phillips said she enjoys the accounting profession and hopes to one day become an accounting professor.
“My success in the CPA exam has a lot to do with the way the accounting faculty at PSU prepared me for it,” she said. “Once I was in the room taking the exam, it didn’t feel like a huge leap. I was well-prepared, and I’m incredibly grateful for the education I received at Pitt State.”