Sunil Patel ’13 received the prestigious AICPA Elijah Watts Sell award
David J. Pavlak

“I felt a great sense of pride in my accomplishment,” Patel says.

Sunil Patel had already graduated with a degree in finance from New York University and was an active member in the workforce for five years before he decided to enroll in Rider’s Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program. Now, after taking CPA exam, Patel ’13 has received the prestigious AICPA Elijah Watts Sell award, which recognizes an individual who scores 95% or higher on each section of the exam. 

“I felt a great sense of pride in my accomplishment,” Patel says. “I heard about the award and knew how rare and difficult it was for a CPA candidate. However, after receiving my first two scores, I knew I had a chance. When it was over and I found out I won the award, I was exultant that my hard work had paid off.” 

Dr. Margaret O'Reilly-Allen, chairperson of the accounting department, and Dr. Steven Lorenzet, dean of the College of Business Administration, are proud of Patel and his major achievement. 

"Sunil represents the very best of our program and he certainly is an inspiration to other accounting majors," O'Reilly-Allen says.  

Lorenzet called Patel's accomplishment "remarkable." 

"He's a credit to himself, the MAcc program, and the accounting faculty who trained him," Lorenzet says. "When you consider that approximately 95,000 people took the test and only 55 scored well enough to receive this award, Sunil has reason to be very proud."  

Patel was introduced to accounting through aspects of his previous job. That introduction sparked Patel to look into furthering his education at Rider. 

“I realized that I found accounting to be interesting and that a career in accounting was the right path for me," he says. "I wanted to choose a program with a strong reputation and whose students who were sought after by the accounting firms. At the same time, I was looking for professors that were committed to their students' learning and willing to constantly challenge them. As I looked at my options, I felt that Rider was the school that best fit all those qualities.” 

Now a staff auditor for Ernst & Young, Patel is happy with his accomplishment and new career in accounting after graduating with his master's last spring. 

“I worked hard to earn this award, but it would not have been possible without the great people around me,” Patel says. “I need to thank my friends and family for their support and the faculty and staff at Rider for helping me build a solid foundation of knowledge. Finally, I want to thank my wife and daughter. They are the inspiration for everything I do.” 

For more information about Rider’s master of accountancy or other graduate business programs, contact the College of Business Administration
 Graduate Studies 
at 609-896-5127.