Becoming a Master of Accountancy

Becoming a Master of Accountancy

Josh Jackson is one of our stellar Graduate alumni who completed the Master of Accountancy program at Jessup University in December 2021. Recently, he passed all four portions of the CPA exam on his first attempt! Keep reading to learn more about Josh, his surprising hobby, and the path that led him toward a career in accountancy. 

In a couple sentences, tell us a little about yourself. 

I am a Sacramento native and have been working in the field of accounting for about three years now. I really enjoy challenging myself to learn new skills and work on difficult projects—the CPA exams being one of the most recent. Currently, I’m working as a staff auditor with Fechter & Company CPAs.

What did you dream of doing as a kid? 

Definitely not accounting, mostly because I’d never heard of it. I dreamt of all kinds of careers, race car driver, astronaut, Lego designer—all very standard career paths. When I went to Jessup for my undergraduate degree, I had plans to become a pastor. My parents encouraged me to double major with pastoral ministry and business administration, which was the path I ended up following. It was in my business classes at Jessup that I first saw I had a natural talent for accounting. Jessup is also where I learned you don’t need to be a part of a church staff to influence people to follow Jesus. 

What drew you to the Master of Accountancy degree? 

The MAcc presented me with a way to jumpstart a career in accounting. The program allowed me to transition from clerical office work to an accounting internship and also gave me the tools I needed to pass the CPA exams and move on to obtaining my CPA license.

Describe one challenge or unforeseen hurdle you overcame during the program. Was there a specific faculty or staff member who came alongside you? 

I started the program in January of 2020. Most of it was intended to be on campus, but we all know what happened in March 2020! Faculty worked hard to move our courses fully online throughout my time in the program. The transition was difficult, but our faculty were committed to making it work. Dr. Salazar was very good about reaching out to my cohort before every new term to check on whether we wanted to stay online or transition onsite. 

What’s something we might be surprised to learn about you?

I’m not sure what I was thinking at the time, but I decided in my senior year of college that I would start keeping bees in my backyard. I’ve been a backyard beekeeper ever since. It’s not an easy hobby to pick up, but when you actually do get some fresh, home-grown honey it’s very rewarding. 

For those curious about the world of accountancy, what would you say is the most rewarding aspect of pursuing a career in this field? 

This is a bit of an interesting question, because accountancy is a lot like driving across the country. There’s a thousand different routes you can take and you have to find out which path is best for you. One of my early mistakes was to assume that all subsets of accountancy were identical, but that is far from reality.

Every subset of accountancy shares a lot of content, but they are all very different. For me, I fell in love with auditing. It can be a lot of detective work to understand what a client did with their accounting records and why. That makes every day in the office, or in the field, like a new puzzle to solve. 

Josh Jackson, MAcc Graduate student alumni

How did the Master of Accountancy program help equip you for success?

The MAcc program was instrumental in giving me the tools I would need to pass the exams and move on in my career. The fact that the program used CPA exam prep software helped me familiarize myself with the exam format early on and gave me a solid foundation of understanding. 

What’s next for you? 

My next step is to complete my year of experience under a CPA and obtain my CPA license. Knowing myself, I’ll need a new challenge and further my education, but for now I’m focusing on my career. I plan to continue my career with Fechter & Company CPAs and hopefully start to build a client base of my own.

Learn more about Jessup’s School of Business or apply to our Master of Accountancy program.