The Postgraduate Technical Assistant (PTA) Program at the Financial & Governmental Accounting Standards Boards (FASB and GASB) is a prestigious opportunity afforded to the most successful accounting graduate students nationwide.

This year, two MAcc students have been selected to serve as PTAs — Cassandra Cameron (MAcc ’19) and Mackenzie Hitchcock (MAcc ’19).

The PTA programs are “excellent springboards to a long career in accounting,” said Tzachi Zach, academic director of the MAcc program. Assistants are exposed to a multitude of topics, develop specific expertise and are introduced to important accounting professionals.

Current PTA Gloria LaCourse (MAcc ’18) said she was eager to begin her career at the standards-setting board.

Gloria LaCourse
Gloria LaCourse (MAcc '18)

“At the GASB, we work closely with and learn from some of the most intelligent minds in the accounting world. Standards-setting involves constant research and critical thinking — I knew an experience at the GASB would allow me to gain in-depth knowledge of how accounting truly works.”

Cameron and Hitchcock are the sixth and seventh MAcc students selected to be part of the PTA program in the past five years. In all, 21 Fisher students have served as PTAs.

During the year-long program, PTAs are assigned various projects in different stages of the standards-setting process. They analyze written submissions, review published research, prepare memorandums for board members, draft due process documents and evaluate proposals. They also have the opportunity to participate in board meetings related to these projects.


Kate Garrett
Kate Garrett (BSBA '18, MAcc '18)

Zach said he believes the uptick in students being selected for the PTA program is due to the rigorous academic preparation at Fisher, and the college’s strong relationship with the Financial Accounting Foundation.

Said Kate Garrett (BSBA ’18, MAcc ’18), who currently serves as a PTA at GASB: “The MAcc program prepared me for this position by instilling curiosity and a questioning mind. Many of the topics I work on at the GASB are highly conceptual. The MAcc program taught me not only how to interpret and apply accounting guidance, but also how to challenge why things are done."

Fisher PTAs - Financial Accounting Standards Board

  • 2019: Mackenzie Hitchcock (MAcc ’19)
  • 2017: Niteesha Kulshrestha (BSBA ’15, MAcc ’16)
  • 2016: Maria Khrakovsky (MAcc ’15)
  • 2014: Tyler Kennedy (MAcc ’14)
  • 2013: Stephen Winick (MAcc ’13)
  • 2009: Helen Debbeler (MAcc ’09)
  • 2008: Michael Bookmyer (MAcc ’08)
  • 2008: Curt Hurd (MAcc ’08) FASB
  • 2007: John Drum (MAcc ’07)
  • 2006: Robert Sledge (MAcc ’06)
  • 1991: Steven Merriett (BSBA ’91)
  • 1989: Melinda Whittington (BSBA ’89)
  • 1988: Brian Ballou (BSBA ’88)
  • 1987: Stuart Fagin (BSBA ’86)
  • 1985: Eric Deardorf (BSBA ’85)
  • 1983: Judith Liederbray Vejlupek (BSBA ’83)

Fisher PTAs - Governmental Accounting Standards Board

  • 2019: Cassandra Cameron (MAcc ’19)
  • 2018: Gloria LaCourse (MAcc ’18)
  • 2018: Katherine Garrett (BSBA ’18, MAcc ’18)
  • 2016: Emily Balkonis (MAcc ’15)
  • 1986: Kevin Lawrie (BSBA ’86)
Tzachi Zach Professor
Faculty Profile for Tzachi Zach