MSA Students Pass Certified Accounting Exam

News Story: May 4, 2016
Gabby Biagini and Jeffrey Stoddard

Two Sacred Heart University graduate students recently passed all four parts of the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam on their first try. Gabby Biagini and Jeffrey Stoddard graduated from SHU last year with bachelor degrees in accounting and expect to receive their master’s degrees in that field in August. Both students studied intensively and used computer software to help prepare for the rigorous exams. They took the first portion of the test last summer.

“I decided to take this exam because it’s the highest designation in the field, and I knew it could jumpstart me into a noble and reputable profession,” said Stoddard, who intends to join KPMG, an international financial entity, after he has his master’s degree.

Biagini expressed similar sentiments, explaining that accounting always appealed to her as a profession and was an area where she thought she could find employment, adding that she didn’t want to wait to take the exam.

After graduation, she will be employed full time with Deloitte, an international accounting firm. Deloitte offered to pay for her CPA review—a process that took her about six months, she said.

“Respected and admired by their peers, clients and society, CPAs are often viewed as an elite group of professionals,” said Barbara Tarasovich, assistant accounting professor and director of the master’s in accounting program. “Being a CPA instantly gives you credibility. The CPA title speaks not only of your work ethic and professional experience, but of a certain level of mental aptitude. The vast majority of the population is capable of earning a business degree, but the same cannot be said for earning the CPA designation.

“Being a CPA is a sign of intelligence and expertise,” Tarasovich continued. “For companies trying to determine the best applicant, it gives them an objective measurement of your capabilities where question marks exist for your competition.

“SHU’s master’s in accounting program helps develop technically proficient accountants who can provide important insights and sound advice to business leaders. Successful graduates of this program are prepared to pass the CPA exam. The flexible delivery format allows candidates to work while attending classes,” she concluded.

For more information about the master’s in accounting program, click here or contact Tarasovich at