“A lot of job opportunities came to my way when I topped the CPA board exam. In work, you will still be credited with that achievement, and I believe this will continue for life. It also gives a lot of confidence especially on dealing with other people.” (Realizations on being a topnotcher)
In the year 2007, SLU had the lowest recorded passing rate of 36% (196 passers out of 541 takers) for the period of 2007 to 2016. In spite of that, three Louisians topped the board exam ranking 1, 4 and 6. Moreover, 2007 had the least number of the overall/national passers and takers with 3,705 and 10,867, respectively.
“SLU is still one of the best schools to study accounting, as it still produced topnotchers in the last 10 years.” (Significant changes for a decade)
THE PRIDE OF SLU
Richard Mulato Serrano is a Certified Public Accountant from Pozorrubio, Pangasinan. One of the topnotchers few months before he took the board exam is also his townsfolk. Among the 6,213 takers, his rating of 94.57% made him top the October 2007 CPA Board Exam, which made the SLU community tremendously proud. He is currently a Senior Director in Assurance Services of SGV & Co. Some of the proofs of his dedication and hard work are passing through as an Associate, Senior Associate, Associate Director, and Director of SGV & Co., and Manager of Ernst & Young LLP at Singapore.
He graduated elementary and high school as a valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively. He took the accountancy program because he loved mathematics, and he felt accounting complements it. However, financial insufficiency was his struggle during college. He was not a working student and had no scholarship. In spite of those challenges, he focused on his academics and studied hard finishing Bachelor of Science in Accountancy and Bachelor of Science in Commerce Major in Financial Management, both as Magna Cum Laude. He studied at SLU because he believes that it is one of the best universities in the north and in the Philippines. When asked about his most remarkable teacher, he said, “Many to mention. I had a lot of learning experience and fun memories with my college professors.” A grade of 84% on Advanced Accounting III was his lowest grade in accounting during his stay in the university.
His family has always been his motivation in life. Inspired by them, he ranked number 1 in the first mock board and ranked number 3 in the second mock board during his review at CPA Review School of the Philippines, and eventually topped the CPA Licensure Examination. Mr. Allan Frank Silva, the current head of the Department of Accountancy of SLU, was the first one to bring him the news that he topped the board exam. He had his lowest rating in Theory of Accounts and highest rating in Practical Accounting Problems II. The perks of being a topnotcher include job offers, recognition, and financial rewards.
MESSAGES TO ASPIRING CPAs
“Do what you love to do. If accounting is really your passion, go for it, strive for it. In the end, a lot of exciting opportunities in the business world await you.” (Advice to students)
“Master the basics of accounting. Understand the concepts and do not just memorize. If you know the fundamental concepts, you will surely not have a hard time answering those tricky accounting problems. Once in awhile, have time to relax, say stroll in the mall, watch movies, and much more.” (Tips while reviewing)
“Believe in yourselves that you can do it. I know that you have prepared so much for this examination. I know that with proper preparation, determination, and courage, you will make it. God bless Louisians.” (Message to the next CPA board exam takers)
“Always believe in yourself.”
Written by: Josiah De Guzman Bito
Digital Art by: Stephanie Dulay Sierra
Special thanks to Abegail Nasol Angeles, Ma. Kristin Gatchalian Reyes, and Rinette Ambrose Dizon Cura