Twice each year, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)—the organization responsible for establishing accounting policy and rules for all U.S. companies—hires six students from across the nation into its prestigious postgraduate technical assistant (PTA) program. Last spring, two students from the Daniels College of Business School of Accountancy were named to the summer 2015 and winter 2016 classes. And, again this spring, two new students were named to the summer 2016 and winter 2017 classes.
“Only the best schools are invited to nominate candidates and each school may nominate only one candidate for each of the start dates,” says Sharon Lassar, director of the School of Accountancy at the University of Denver (DU). “This is evidence that our program is highly regarded in the nation and we’re graduating outstanding students.”
DU students include Rachel Meek, Mallory Bennett, Alexis Tanoue and Andrew McClaskey.
The students become PTAs for a one-year term and get involved in the FASB’s accounting standards-setting process. Assistants learn more about the role of auditors and users of financial information. Candidates must be nominated by their accounting department, approved by their college’s dean and enrolled in a graduate program in accounting. They also must exhibit an outstanding academic record and possess other qualifications as well.
Rachel Meek (MAcc, BSAcc 2016) will start at the FASB in January 2017. She graduated summa cum laude from the master of accountancy and bachelor of science in accounting programs in March 2016. During her time at DU, she was involved in Beta Alpha Psi, an international accounting and finance fraternity, and as a teaching assistant for graduate level accounting classes for several quarters. In addition, she interned for both KPMG and S&P Capital IQ.
“I am thankful for my experience in Daniels and the School of Accountancy, in particular the dual focus on technical accounting knowledge and soft skills,” Meek says. “I am looking forward to being part of this program at the FASB because I will be able to contribute to the accounting standard setting process.”
Mallory Bennett (MAcc, BSAcc 2016) will start at the FASB in July. She graduated summa cum laude with University Honors from the dual bachelor and masters of accountancy program in March 2016. She served as President of Beta Alpha Psi and was involved in DU’s Pioneer Leadership Program. She interned with KPMG in 2015.
“I am humbled and very excited to have the opportunity to accept a position at the FASB and have a hand in the accounting standards setting process,” Bennett says. “I look forward to the incredible learning experience and challenge that lies ahead in Connecticut!”
Alexis Tanoue (MAcc, BSAcc 2015) will complete the postgraduate assistantship program in July and Andrew McClaskey (MAcc, BSAcc 2015) is in the middle of the program now.
Tanoue graduated summa cum laude from the dual bachelor and masters of accountancy program in March 2015 after working as a teaching assistant for several quarters. She was active in Beta Alpha Psi and its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and was a peer counselor for the College’s Accounting Scholars Development Program. Tanoue interned with EY in 2014.
“The PTA program has provided me with a unique experience to think critically about concepts I learned in the classroom and contribute to the development of new accounting standards,” Tanoue says. “It is an honor to have had the opportunity to help draft standards that future students will learn and prepares will implement.”
McClaskey graduated magna cum laude from the dual bachelor and masters of accountancy in the fall of 2015. He was the president of Beta Alpha Psi, a School of Accountancy teaching assistant, and a member of the national Business Valuations Challenge team. McClaskey interned with KPMG in 2014 and was selected from over 1,000 interns to participate in a global rotation in New Zealand.
“Being at the FASB allows me to see a unique aspect of the accounting profession and work with some of the most talented professionals. As a PTA, I actively work with Board members, stakeholders, and other FASB staff in various stages of the standard-setting process,” McClaskey says. “I am grateful for the support from the School of Accountancy that made this opportunity possible.”
“These students exemplify what the School of Accountancy is about,” Lassar says. “We know they and our other graduates are well prepared and will be an asset to any accounting firm.”
Through the years, the School of Accountancy has placed several other graduates at the FASB. Prior to the most recent four, seven School of Accountancy alumni have served as PTAs between 1989 and 2014.