Admission to the Masters of Accounting Program
1. The Masters of Accounting program requires teamwork and leadership skills. Please give examples from your past that illustrate your abilities in both these areas and show how you’ve applied them.
I have faced a number of knotty situations in life. On one occasion, I was working with the ADA or the American Diabetes Association. We worked as two groups and our principal task was to count and reconcile the checks, cash and credit card donations, which used to arrive in large quantities. One day an older man joined our team. Then our troubles started. Till that time we had worked without any mutual misgivings or bickering. With the advent of this person, our time schedules and procedures went haywire.
I studied the situation and realized that all this was due to his reluctance to follow the established procedure. Every one, in both the groups, was compelled to go home late, due to this person’s obduracy. All felt that he should be suitably reprimanded, but no one was willing to undertake this unpleasant task. The question that was foremost on every one’s mind was ‘who would bell the cat?’ I jumped into the fray and gently but firmly convinced him that what he was doing was unacceptable. He was happy with this way of communication, because I had talked to him in private, so that his pride was not hurt. This had the desired effect and we were able to complete the work in time.
In addition, I was also the secretary of the African Cultural Society. I was instrumental in planning and implementing the IREP Africa program at the College of William & Mary. This task entailed coordination between and interaction with a number of fellow students, faculty and departments. I emerged much stronger as a coordinator, facilitator and administrator after this novel experience. The professed objective of this program was to unite African student organizations in Virginia and to improve their relations with each other. I actively participated in several campaigns to raise funds for the underprivileged in Africa and one of them was in respect of poverty stricken women of Uganda.
A successful and efficient accountant is one who is reliable, thorough, ingenious, a seeker of solutions, well organized and performance oriented. Of these the most important is trustworthiness, because accountants, in addition to their usual work, have to offer reliable advice regarding the conduct of business in the present day economic and legal context. Moreover, if accounting standards are not adhered to, then the company stands the risk of having to close down. The Sarbanes Oxley Act was enacted in the year 2002, in order to deal with such eventualities.
Another important trait of an accountant is attention to detail. I possess this in ample measure. This fact was disclosed in my tenure as the treasurer of the African Cultural Society, between the years 2006 to 2007; and as the Vice President of the Syndicate. In these tasks, I maintained authentic and comprehensive financial records. I reviewed the internal financial controls and ensured that the organization’s moneys were safe. This club has a number of advantages and I took up aggressive marketing to ensure that its membership increased.
The lack of ethical and moral accounting practices in business organizations results in financial frauds. This was clearly established in the following cases.In the year 2001, Enron announced a net loss of $ 618 million for its third quarter and that it would reduce the shareholders’ equity by $ 1.2 billion. The SEC immediately stepped in and demanded financial information from Enron. The Enron team of Auditor’s lead by their leader Anderson systematically destroyed a large number of financial documents. Subsequently, the Enron officials and its auditors were charged and convicted of fraud.
This company had engaged in malpractices relating to financial accounting, with the result that the company became bankrupt. To conceal its malafide practices, this company indulged in complicated accounting practices. This illustrates the fact that accounting has to be ethical, transparent and morally upright. The consequence of the Enron case was that the law relating to accountancy was made more stringent. However, more than even legislation; personal attitude, morality and ethical behavior should have greater influence.
WorldCom was another company, which also attempted to camouflage its fraudulent activities by resorting to fudging of figures and falsification of financial reports. The procedure adopted by its accountants was less sophisticated than that of the Enron team; nevertheless, it committed a much greater fraud than Enron. However, these cases were not isolated incidents and proved to be merely the tip of the iceberg. Several more such fraudulent corporations were investigated by the Federal and state regulators. The principal among these are Adelphia, HealthSouth and Tyco, to name a few.
I have a flair for leadership and I often volunteer to lead in various academic projects. Recently, I took over the reins of project, involving the formulation of a business plan to be presented to the board of directors. This project emerged as a huge success, despite the difficulties encountered, due to having to lead a team of peers. The team comprised of persons with different temperaments and it required a lot of innovativeness and ingenuity to extract the best from them.
I have tremendous patience, as can be attested to by the students of the second grade, whom I teach as a volunteer teacher in the Waller Mill Elementary school, in Williamsburg. The foregoing incidents from my life reveal that I possess a high level of integrity, reliability, planning and implementing capacity, motivational skills, inspiration, ability to work in a team and patience.
2. What are you hoping to achieve during your studies in the MAcc Program?
I will complete my Bachelor’s degree in accounting by the month of May, 2008. Subsequently, I intend to pursue the Masters of Accounting Program at the College of William and Mary’s School of Business. This course is truly outstanding and the faculty is the third best in the nation. Classes are typically small and informal. The emphasis is on acquiring expertise. The faculty is easily accessible, if one wants to clarify doubts. In conjunction with my considerable management and leadership skills, this knowledge in accountancy will render me highly suitable for obtaining the Certified Public Accountant license. My principal objective is to become a CPA.