BYU Students Achieve Top Scores

PROVO, Utah – Dec 01, 2016 – BYU School of Accountancy students Cory Hinds and Kim Chi Pham achieved top honors for their excellent scores on the Certified Management Account exam earlier this year. Hinds and Pham both ranked in the top ten scorers out of approximately 15,000 test takers internationally and were each awarded Institute of Certified Management Accountants distinguished honors.

“The School of Accountancy is very proud of Cory and Kim Chi,” says Jeff Wilks, director of the BYU School of Accountancy. “They are terrific students who know how to work hard, and I am sure they will be outstanding representatives of BYU in their professional and personal lives.”

Hinds, from Sacramento, California, also received the ICMA Board of Regents CMA Silver Medal for attaining the second-highest score on the exam.

Hinds graduated from BYU with a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting in April of this year. In addition to acing the CMA exam, Hinds also passed the CPA and CFE exams earlier this year.

“I wanted to get a head start so I could have some credentials behind my name when I started my full-time job in New York,” explains Hinds, who works for EY in the Big Apple.  

Pham, a second-year MAcc student, is just the twelfth Vietnamese native to ever pass the CMA exam. Pham moved to the United States from Vietnam at the age of sixteen in 2010, skipping a high school diploma to go to South Seattle College. There she began taking accounting and discovered that the field combined three things she loved: business, math, and working with people.

“The more I learn about accounting, the more I realize that it’s a lot of critical thinking,” Pham says. “I like that and I’m good at it.”

After learning of the BYU accountancy program’s reputation and the ethical standards the university holds, Pham decided to apply and began coursework in 2013. She will graduate with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting in April 2017 and will then start full-time employment at PwC in San Francisco.

“My family was really happy when I told them I passed because I had been really stressed,” Pham says.

Pham and Hinds represent many BYU School of Accountancy students who are excelling at the CMA exam since the program has placed more emphasis on managerial accounting in the last four years.

Accounting professors Bill Tayler, Steve Smith, and Monte Swain have led the way in encouraging and guiding students taking the CMA exam. They have also nominated students, including Hinds and Pham, for scholarships to cover the cost of the test.

BYU now has the highest number of CMA candidates and the third highest pass rate in the nation, according to the website Strategic Finance. Eighty-six percent of BYU students who take the CMA exam pass, compared to the national average of just thirty-five percent.

“The Marriott School was great because I was able to hit the ground running after graduation. There was very little learning curve between the classroom and the workplace,” Hinds says.

The Marriott School is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. The school has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, entrepreneurship, finance, information systems and public management. The school’s mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,300 students are enrolled in the Marriott School’s graduate and undergraduate programs.

Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Abby Eyre