May 26, 2017 Accounting alumni among the top performers on CPA exam

Continuing a legacy of accounting excellence at Fisher, two accounting alumni have been honored as among the top performers nationwide on the Certified Public Accountants exam.

Kampf, Peter
Peter Kampf (BSBA '15)

Peter Kampf (BSBA ’15) and Kathleen Koehl (MAcc ’16) were among 58 candidates selected to receive the Elijah Watt Sells award for their performance on the 2016 exam.

Presented by the American Institute of CPAs, the award is presented annually to individuals who obtain a cumulative average score above 95.5 across all four sections of the Uniform CPA Examination and pass all four sections of the examination on their first attempt. More than 102,300 individuals sat for the 2016.

Koehl, Kathleen
Kathleen Koehl (MAcc ’16)

“This award reflects Peter and Kat’s hard work and their dedication to the practice of accounting,” said Brian Mittendorf, chair of the Department of Accounting and MIS at Fisher. “This tremendous accomplishment is a testament not only to the high-quality and high-caliber programs at Fisher, but also to the college’s recruiting and admissions staff, which identify the very best students such as Peter and Kat.”

Koehl was also recognized with the Illinois CPA Society’s Gold Medal Award, which is presented to the state’s top performer on the CPA exam each year. Koehl is employed by RSM US, LLP in Chicago as a tax associate.

Kampf is a staff accountant at Cohen & Company in Cleveland.

Three Quick Questions

  • What does winning the Elijah Watt Sells Award mean to you?

    Kathleen: It’s honestly very surprising — I didn’t even know the award existed when I was sitting for the CPA exam. It certainly makes all the long hours of studying seem worth it!

    Peter: Honestly, winning this award was not my goal when taking the CPA exam. I wanted to study hard and be confident I would pass all four parts of the exam on the first attempt. With that being said, I feel honored to have won the Elijah Watts Sells Award. It is special for me to be able to represent both my firm as well as Fisher and highlight how they can help their employees and students succeed. On a more personal level, it feels great to know that hard work pays off and that a lot can be achieved if you dedicate yourself to it.

  • What are your thoughts on being among the 58 (out of more than 102,000) individuals who sat for the CPA exam to earn the award?

    Kathleen: It’s a very humbling experience. Although I won this award, I’m still brand new to the profession of accounting and have so much to learn. The CPA may be over, but my career is just beginning. 

    Peter: Well, that is one crazy statistic. Part of me feels very proud and humbled; most of me feels like a complete nerd.

  • How has Fisher helped develop you as an accounting professional?

    Kathleen: The most significant take-away from my time at Fisher was the importance of asking questions. It’s one thing to take the law as written and apply it, but in my limited experience, the best professionals question why things are as they are. Having an inquisitive mind helps you find the optimal solution for your clients, and it benefits your own professional development.

    Peter: Fisher has undoubtedly given me the tools necessary to succeed as an accounting professional. All of my classes specializing in accounting aided me in taking the CPA exam and are still applicable to the work I do on a day-to-day basis. More importantly, the various other business classes I took at Fisher molded me into someone who not only can bust out some mean debits and credits but is also not afraid to speak up or give a presentation.