Megan Wise

NWFSC Alumna, Class of 2006

NWFSC Alumna ShinesAlumni Megan Wise

Figure out the percentage. Out of 90,000 people, 37 succeed. The answer is miniscule - in fact, it figures out to be .04 percent - but Megan Wise has that percentage to show for some pretty great successes in her life.

Megan, a Northwest Florida native and NWFSC alumna, was one of those 37 people out of the 90,000 who sat for the Uniform CPA Examination and qualified for the 2011 Elijah Watt Sells Award. The 37 candidates who received the 2011 award had to meet some stringent criteria including: obtaining a cumulative average score across all four sections of the exam above 95.5; completing all testing during the previous calendar year; and passing all four sections of the examination on the first attempt.

"The examination is so broad and so intense that it is broken up into four sections, which I took about a month apart," said Megan. "The four sections - Auditing and Attestation, Financial Accounting and Reporting, Regulations, and Business Environment and Concepts - took five months for me to complete. I would study and take one section at a time and then move on to the next," she continued.

The Choctawhatchee High School graduate and daughter of Tim and Renee' Goodwin of Fort Walton Beach, is a CPA working for Warren Averett, LLC in the firm's Fort Walton Beach office. "As a CPA, I work on a variety of things; my concentration is mostly in the Tax Department, but I also help with Accounting Services, which includes payroll returns and compiled financial statements," Wise noted. When asked how the firm felt about her accomplishment, she admitted, "They were pretty excited."

Megan's initial plans after receiving her AA degree from NWFSC were focused in the medical field, primarily nursing or pharmacy. But meeting her future husband, Caleb Wise, another Northwest Florida native, changed not only her heart, but also her career plans. "Even with a 4.0 grade point average, I wasn't accepted into the nursing school to which I applied, and at that point I realized God had other plans for me," she said. "There was no pharmacy school close by, so I thought I would follow in my sister's footsteps and look into accounting." Megan indeed "looked into" the field and received her BSBA in Accounting from the University of West Florida in August of 2009. In September 2009, she went to work for O'Sullivan Creel, LLP which recently merged with two other accounting firms to form Warren Averett, LLC.

Megan's parting comments exemplify her humble attitude about this monumental achievement. "I was so honored to be one of the recipients of the Sells Award and receive this recognition. I love my job and the people I work with and am so blessed to work in a field I enjoy at a well-respected firm."

The Elijah Watt Sells Award is named for one of the country's first CPAs and a leader in advancing professional education. Sells, who passed away in 1924, was active in establishing the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and was founder of New York University's School of Commerce, Accounts and Finance.

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