About a dozen local accounting firms and organizations filled the Jaguar Student Activities Center Ballroom on Wed., Sept. 1, to network with students during the return of Accounting Night.
The annual event is hosted by the Knox School of Accountancy in the Hull College of Business as a way for accounting students to network with potential accounting industry employers and learn about career options and opportunities in the field.
Beth Morrison, partner with Cherry Bekaert LLP in Augusta, said she was pleased with the ability to network with accounting students again, citing several openings at her firm that need to be filled for the upcoming tax season.
The keynote speaker, Walton L. “Buzzy” Johnson, reminisced about his days as a CPA prior to becoming the senior director of the Masters Tournament in 1989, retiring from that post in 2020.
An accounting background provides a good foundation for business education, Johnson said, “for whatever you want to do in business.”
“It gave me a vocabulary and a knowledge of the inside of businesses that very few people get to share. It allowed me to have the competence to be thrown into almost any situation,” he said. “It taught me how to deal with people.”
Johnson is a graduate of the Academy of Richmond County and holds a BBA from the University of Georgia. He started his accounting career in the 1970s with Augusta firm SME CPAs, then known as Serotta Maddocks.
“It is a little bit of old school night here,” Johnson said, elaborating that he knew many of the people who started the firms in the room.
Participants of Accounting Night included Becker: CPA Review; Cherry Bekaert LLP; Cleveland Group, CPAs; Elliott Davis; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Fuller, Frost & Associates; Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts; Georgia Society of CPAs, Augusta Chapter; Hancock Askew & Co.; Hull Property Group; Mayo Strategic Advisors; SME CPAs; and TaxSlayer.
The Abram J. Serotta Award, given for outstanding service to students and education while serving as an advocate for the accounting profession, was awarded to Augusta-based CPA and Hull College of Business alumna Tabitha Hollimon, owner of Virtual Tax & Consulting.
Another noteworthy moment during the program was the announcement of the pending retirement in spring 2022 of Michael Dugan, Ph.D., the Peter S. Knox III Distinguished Chair of Accounting, after 40 years of teaching.