Thomas A. Deal
Audit associate, KPMG LLP, Portland
Degrees: BS in Accountancy from Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA
OSCPA member since: 2019
New OSCPA member Thomas A. Deal is one of four Oregon winners of the presitigous 2018 Elijah Watt Sells Award. To qualify for the award, CPA candidates must obtain a cumulative average score above 95.50 across all four sections of the Uniform CPA Examination, pass all four sections on their first attempt and have completed testing in 2018. (A condensed version of this interview appeared in the June/July 2019 issue of The Accountant magazine.)
What are your responsibilities at KPMG LLP?
As an audit associate, I work on various engagement teams performing audits for our clients (both public and private entities).
Tell us a little about your background and the people who have influenced you along the way.
I am fortunate to have had many role models — too many to name specifically; however, I’ll note that my family taught me the value of hard work at a young age, and my college professors were instrumental in showing me the value of a CPA license. I am very thankful to those who have helped me along the way.
What strategies did you use to study and prepare for the Uniform CPA Examination?
I studied using the Becker CPA exam review course.
What advice do you have for new CPA candidates as they are preparing?
My only advice is to find a study method that is consistent with your learning style. For me, this meant focusing on understanding broader concepts, as opposed to spending time on detailed practice questions and exams. I also found a condensed study timeline to be more effective (i.e. spending more time near the test date, rather than spreading out the studying over several weeks). However, I think that there are many ways to successfully prepare for the CPA exam.
What were your first thoughts when you found out you qualified for the prestigious Elijah Watt Sells award?
It was a very gratifying feeling to know that my hard work had paid off.
How do you think earning this award will impact you in the future, personally and professionally?
It’s an honor to be recognized. I’m not sure that this award will have a direct impact on my career, but it certainly provides continued motivation to keep learning and working hard.