Elon alumnus wins Elijah Watt Sells Award

Christopher Pacitto ’17 received the award from the American Institute of CPAs in recognition of his outstanding performance on the CPA Examination.

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) has named Christopher Pacitto ’17 among the winners of its 2017 Elijah Watt Sells Award.

Of the 95,858 individuals who sat for the examination in 2017, 58 candidates met the criteria to receive the Elijah Watt Sells Award: obtained a cumulative average score above 95.50 across all four sections of the CPA Examination, passing all four sections of the examination on their first attempt and completing testing in 2017.

Pacitto graduated from Elon with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and is an audit associate with RSM US LLP in Boston, Massachusetts.

“Between the accounting curriculum and the Becker FastPass course offered at Elon over the summer, I felt I was extremely prepared for the CPA Exam,” Pacitto said. “I know I would not be in this position without my professors and I am happy this award gives me the opportunity to give them well deserved praise.”

“The CPA Exam protects the public interest by ensuring, along with education and experience requirements, that only qualified individuals are able to become licensed as Certified Public Accountants,” said Mike Decker, vice president of examinations for AICPA. “Passing the Exam is a career milestone. And the extraordinary performance of this year’s Sells Award winners is truly an impressive accomplishment.”

The Elijah Watt Sells Award program was established by the AICPA in 1923 to recognize outstanding performance on the CPA Examination. Sells, one of the first CPAs in the U.S., was active in the establishment of the AICPA and played a key role advancing professional education within the profession.

The CPA Exam is updated regularly to maintain its relevance and reliability and ensure the content is consistent with the knowledge and skill requirements of newly licensed CPAs. The AICPA recently launched new technology updates for the CPA Exam, improving the user experience and enhancing the tools and functionality available to more closely resemble the business environment a CPA would experience in their everyday work life.