It was a record-setting annual Accounting Night on Wed., Aug. 31, with dozens of students networking with 20 local accounting firms and organizations in the Jaguar Student Activities Center.
The annual event, hosted by the Knox School of Accountancy in the Hull College of Business, is a way for accounting students to network with potential accounting industry employers and learn about career options and opportunities in the field.
The keynote speaker, Hull alumna Stefanie Holmes, relayed her personal journey into accounting, tax law, and recent ownership of Summerville Tax & Accounting, LLC.
“My biggest challenges also became my biggest accomplishments,” she said. “I became the first person in my family to become a CPA. I also became the first person in my family to graduate law school. Both of these became challenging as I was working full time while attaining each. I attended law school each night for four years rather than the three year day program.”
She earned her BBA in Accounting from Augusta University in 2005.
“Ironically, I didn’t choose accounting as my major. Accounting chose me,” she said. The introduction to accounting class changed her life. The concepts clicked immediately. “Ultimately, the joke was on me. I loved math.”
She obtained her CPA license in 2011 and her JD with an additional taxation certificate from North Carolina Central University School of Law in 2013. “I did enjoy law school and found there are similarities in the two professions.”
Prior to moving back to Augusta six years ago and buying Summerville Tax, she was a federal tax associate for KPMG in Durham, NC, and an auditor for T. Wayne Owens & Associates in Atlanta.
“Stress never leaves, it just changes form, so learn how to deal with it,” she said. “You have to work to live, don’t live to work. Love what you do, but remember what it is all for.”
Participants of Accounting Night included ADP, Advanced Technology Leaders Inc., AFLAC, Cherry Bekaert, LLP, Elliott Davis, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts, Hancock Askew & Co., LLP, Hull Property Group, John Deere, Mayo Strategic Advisors, Norfolk Southern Railway, Queensborough National Bank & Trust Co., Richardson Professional Solutions, Salazar CPA, SME CPAs, SouthState Bank, Summerville Tax & Accounting, LLC, TaxSlayer, and The Cleveland Group CPAs.
Beth Morrison, partner with Cherry Bekaert LLP in Augusta, received the 2022 Abram J. Serotta Award.
Morrison is a CPA and has been a partner with Cherry Bekaert since 1988. She focuses on tax services in Augusta with the 1,300-person accounting firm based in Raleigh, NC.
She graduated in 1987 with her BBA in Accounting from Augusta University when it was known as Augusta College. She also serves on the Hull College Advisory Board.
The award is named for Serotta, former managing principal of SME CPAs in Augusta and is given annually to a professional, recognized for outstanding service to students and education while serving as an advocate for the accounting profession.
She is affiliated with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants (GSCPA), and the Augusta Estate Planning Council.
Within the community, Morrison is involved with the Augusta Symphony Orchestra, the Salvation Army advisory board, and Tuttle-Newton Home, which supports the needs of children and their families by providing shelter, emergency financial aid, and access services.