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Statements of Excellence in Accountancy

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Sample Personal Statement for the MS in Accountancy, Vietnamese Applicant

I ask for admission to study towards the MS Degree in Accountancy at XXXX University of XXXX for the simple reason that after an exhaustive investigation of available online programs, I have come to the conclusion that your Master’s Program in Accountancy is the best of its kind in the world, with both the greatest depth and breadth available in your curriculum. I also very much appreciate what I see as your unequalled finesse and function of your online presentation. I now have the experience—in a variety of areas interrelated with accountancy--that will help to propel me to excellence in your program. Now 42, I came to the United States from my native Vietnam at the age of 17. Especially since graduating from college, I have acquired constant professional experience with increasing responsibility in a broad variety of business areas; and it is this diversity of interest and experience that I see as probably my greatest strength. My core experience is in accounting and my greatest talents lie in the areas of everything that is related to bookkeeping.

There is one great weakness to my application, my GPA. I ask for special exception in this regard because the D’s and F’s that destroyed my GPA were in my first year of studies, when I still had a limited grasp of English, given the fact that I only arrived in America from my native Vietnam at the tail end of my high school education, only the last 2 years. When I went to college, I was very much still struggling. But my grades consistently improved.

I feel strongly that I have developed greater and greater acumen over my years working in professional sectors of the business world and that I have great management potential, especially with respect to managing questions of diversity, harmony, and conflict resolution. I could not be more committed to the most rigorous of accountancy educations available and I assure you that I can and will make my Master’s studies my number one priority.  Your program will teach me how to become a leader in my organization and a world-class financial communicator with the highest level of ethical consciousness and professional standards.

I have worked as a loan processor, a real estate appraiser trainee, and a premium auditor. To me change is a positive, not a negative and I think of it as professional growth, broadening my horizons, and strengthening my grasp of accounting through an exploration of related areas and real-world applications.  I have sometimes wondered if the fact that my country of origin, Vietnam, which has historically been primarily a fishing society, has anything to do with the fact that I have found a corporate home where I feel very happy and appreciated: Outdoor Pro Shop, Inc. - we sell mostly fishing tackle. Prior to my arrival, finances were handled manually by the president of the company.  He hired an accounting firm but he was hesitant to give up control. I had to follow his manual system for a while before he developed enough confidence to give me total control. When he finally did, I quickly moved to convert from an archaic manual system to a complete implementation of every aspect of Quickbooks.  I also take on payroll and some tax filings, which helps reduce our expenses. 

My boss is now free on the weekend to work on projects he is passionate about.  He has more time to plan business strategy and work on private labels.  We are growing rapidly.  I have already made great contribution to the growth of our company and this pleases me greatly; thus, I have no plan to leave anytime soon, I simply want to continue to learn so that I can continue to contribute more and more to the profitability of our business organization. I thank you for considering my application to your rigorous and competitive program.

Is Your Accountant a Fashion Designer? Bobby Davis Studying Industrial Design at Western Washington University allows him the opportunity to realize his art in every medium, especially those allowing consumers and mankind to benefit.

Amy Vetter, Xero Global Vice President, Education & Head of Accounting


Amy Vetter has been an accountant since the early 1990s. She is responsible for developing and executing Xero’s global education strategy, including Xero University (XeroU).

“Globalization is the most important issue facing the accounting profession.” She says. “With new technology and the cloud, accountants and bookkeepers can get clients from anywhere.

“I see how many early adopters are now networking with firms from around the world, every day. They’re acquiring practices from other countries to work with clients in any region of the world.

“It’s now possible to serve clients in Hong Kong from Australia and vice versa, and cloud-based accounting practices are now able to attract small business clients from anywhere on the planet. Once you build efficient processes you can really define your vertical niche, and service clients anywhere from there.

“Small businesses are looking for domain expertise and are willing to work with someone in another geography if they provide value. Having a deep knowledge of a specific industry is the first step, and once you have the right cloud platform in place, you can mobilize a practice to grow beyond its borders.”

Accountancy is changing. Will further study help you stay abreast of all these changes and the new skills you need to realize your dreams in this industry? If so, don’t forget to whistle when you need a compelling personal statement!

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Great Accomplishments in Accountancy

It should come as no surprise that a profession known for integrity and character has had more than its share of special people and significant accomplishments.

The goals of the profession: establishing a climate of fairness for investors, helping businesses avoid risk and prosper, and aiding people in responsible financial planning, among others, naturally attract principled men and women.

These accountants, educators, regulators, and auditors were chosen for you. Reasonable minds could argue for different candidates. There were many names that were extremely difficult to eliminate. Without a doubt, though, the men and women on this list, arranged alphabetically, have made a profound impact: Arthur Andersen left his job as controller of the Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co. in 1913 to help establish the eponymous firm that was one of the Big Five in accounting until its demise in 2002, following the Enron collapse. He was also head of the accounting department at Northwestern University.

George Anderson served as chairman of the AICPA’s Special Committee on Standards of Professional Conduct in the 1980s, AICPA chairman in 1980–81, a principal in the firm Anderson ZurMuehlen. The special committee’s report led to the AICPA membership’s endorsement of the Plan to Restructure Professional Standards during the same decade. Thomas Coleman Andrews served as AICPA president in 1950–51. He became the first CPA to hold the position of commissioner of Internal Revenue beginning in 1953, ran for president of the United States in 1956 as an independent candidate; he received 107,929 votes, less than two-tenths of 1% of the popular vote, as Dwight Eisenhower defeated Adlai Stevenson in the election.

Robert Anthony, the Harvard Business School educator, was U.S. assistant secretary of Defense, Controller from 1965 to 1968. He wrote at over twenty-seven books, including Management Accounting: Text and Cases (1956), the first text and casebook on the subject. He was president of the American Accounting Association (AAA) between 1973 and 1974. In 1972, Marshall Armstrong became the first chairman of FASB, beginning his job from a desk at the AICPA offices. FASB had more than one-hundred staff members when he left as chairman five years later. While AICPA president between 1970 and 1971, he appointed the Wheat Committee, which recommended forming FASB, and the Trueblood Committee, which called for a reporting framework that would be more useful to investors.

In 1947, George Bailey, the longtime Ernst & Ernst partner started George Bailey & Co., which later became part of Touche Ross. The 1947–48 AICPA president is known for developing closer relations between the accounting and legal professions. He also improved accounting education at the university level.

Andrew Barr, the SEC’s chief accountant from 1956 to 1972 received the highest honor the federal government can give a career employee, the President’s Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service, in 1960. A speech he gave at the end of the 1950s helped trigger a revision in the AICPA’s rules of conduct, barring members from having financial interests in or being employed by audit clients. Elmer Beamer, the Haskins & Sells executive, chaired the AICPA Committee on Education and Experience Requirements for CPAs. A report published in 1969 by the committee concluded that a five-year collegiate program was necessary to acquire the knowledge needed to begin a career in public accounting.

William Beaver, the Stanford University graduate school professor, wrote a widely read book, Financial Reporting: An Accounting Revolution. He also was a trustee of the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) from 1993 to 1996, as well as president of the AAA in 1987 and 1988. Norton Bedford, the University of Illinois professor, devoted his career to developing the conceptual base for accounting thought. Bedford chaired the AAA’s Committee on the Future Structure, Content, and Scope of Accounting Education, known as the Bedford Committee, whose 1986 report recommended changes to more adequately prepare students for accounting careers.

Dennis Beresford, Chairman of FASB for 10 years beginning in 1987, worked to maintain the independence and integrity of the board under pressure from outside interests. Beresford led the board’s early efforts at internationalization, and later joined the University of Georgia’s faculty. He also was national director of accounting standards at Ernst & Young. Herman Bevis, the Price Waterhouse CEO from 1961 to 1969, was known for his devotion to the firm’s integrity and quality. After retirement, Bevis spent five years as executive director of the Banking and Securities Industries Committee, seeking to solve paperwork problems in the industry. He advocated the removal of stock certificates held by individual shareholders.

Russell Fujioka, President of Xero US
Russ Fujioka is responsible for the expansion and growth of Xero’s U.S. markets and has more than 25 years’ experience providing strategic and operational leadership to cloud, SaaS (Software as a Service) and technology providers. Fujioka has focused on sales, digital marketing and operational management of high growth businesses and spent a good chunk of his career working in tech companies that are flipping entire industries. Embracing change is the most important issue accountants are having to grapple with, he says. “How do you embrace change? The world of the financial web is precipitating a rapid change in the accounting and bookkeeping world: the immediacy and access to information is changed forever. “As with everything in the digital world,” he adds, “Time has compressed: that time allows for the profession to become more useful. Accountants can use their financial acumen to deliver more customer insights to their businesses.”