Lexington, Virginia • December 22, 2010
Elizabeth Oliver, the Lewis Whitaker Adams Professor of Accounting and head of the accounting department at Washington and Lee University's Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics, has been designated one of Virginia's "Super CPAs" by the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA).
This is the ninth year that "Virginia Business" magazine has recognized outstanding CPAs in collaboration with the 9,000-member VSCPA. Nearly 440 members of the society members nominated 1,139 CPAs in 12 professional categories. From that group, 25 percent made the Super CPA list.
"This is quite an honor for Elizabeth," said Rob Straughan, associate dean of the Williams School and associate professor of business administration/marketing. "Only a few of these awards are given each year. Indeed, I believe Elizabeth has been selected as one of the commonwealth's Super CPAs in three out of the last four years."
"Professor Oliver is certainly deserving of such recognition as she is a leader in national and regional professional associations dealing with accounting issues and accounting education," added Larry Peppers, dean of the Williams School and professor of economics.
With the exception of one year when she was on sabbatical, Oliver has taught intermediate accounting to all of W&L's accounting majors from fall 1991 through fall 2008 when she moved into teaching International Accounting. "The intermediate class had a reputation for being very difficult," she said, "and was indeed labor intensive.
Oliver pointed out that throughout her teaching she always focused on critical thinking. "For example, I always asked students to determine the impact of an accounting error on financial statements," she said. "It was harder than just memorizing the rules and not very popular among students. In one very early class, a student literally fell off of his chair (in jest) when he saw the quiz with that question. Teaching our bright, talented students has made my years at Washington and Lee extremely rewarding."
Oliver said that she was privileged to be acknowledged in "Virginia Business" with such a distinguished group of educators. "The society members who vote for the Super CPAs are mostly practicing accountants and in my case, I assume they are my former students. I would like to thank them for their support," she said.