News from the Richard C. Adkerson School of Accountancy

Guided by Goals

Geoffrey Taylor (left) with Landon Sellers, the first recipient of the Geoffrey Taylor Accounting Scholarship

Young MSU accounting alumnus Geoffrey Taylor has three overarching career goals, and he reflects on them daily. The first is to approach each day with the attitude of providing next-level work, which means holding himself to the standards of a senior-level accountant in the way he performs and communicates with managers and clients. The second is working toward professional certifications that demonstrate his knowledge and work experience; right now, he is pursuing Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification. The third goal is building his professional network, making the most of any opportunity to interact with a new client or attend a work event in order to lay a strong foundation for his career.

Taylor is an Advisory Associate in the Technology Assurance practice with KPMG in Memphis, having worked over the past year on both public and private clients across various industries like financial services, healthcare and public university education. He earned his BPA in 2016 and his MPA in August 2018. Taylor was the first to complete ASAC’s minor in Data Analytics.

“Analytics aren’t just useful in public accounting – they are absolutely necessary in the profession as a whole,” he states. “While every student who graduates from the Adkerson School of Accountancy has demonstrated critical thinking skills, I feel that my minor in Business Analytics was the springboard that allowed me to confidently make analytical decisions in the workplace on my very first day of full-time employment.”

He continues, “In my current role, my main duties involve providing audit support as a technology specialist. The part I love most is that not only do I get to interact with a wider variety of clients than a typical auditor, but I also get to focus in an area that I’m passionate about. Also, due to the automated nature of technology, there’s always an opportunity for analytics.”

Taylor’s thoughtful and enthusiastic approach to his career isn’t the only thing that sets him apart. This impressive young man established a scholarship within a year of completing his education. It was a decision made while he was still an undergraduate.

“In the spring of 2015, I had the opportunity to intern in the Washington, DC, office of U.S. Senator Roger Wicker,” he recalls. “The salary didn’t quite cover the high cost of living there. If it weren’t for the support of [ASAC’s] Angela Pannell and Michelle Bricka in helping me qualify for a scholarship to cover the gap in my expenses, I would have never been able to take that once-in-a-lifetime internship. Once I experienced the impact even a small scholarship can make, I decided that I wanted to fund my own scholarship as soon as I was in a position to.”

Six months after finishing at Mississippi State, during KPMG’s annual Season of Giving initiative, Taylor took the opportunity to give back by establishing a scholarship in the Adkerson School of Accountancy.

“To anyone who is considering giving back, I would highly recommend taking that first step and just reaching out to the MSU Foundation,” he urges. “They were very helpful to me when I was first learning about the giving process but wasn’t sure if I was in a position to start. At first, I didn’t think I could give an amount that made a difference, but I quickly learned that wasn’t the case at all.

“It’s important to remember that what may seem like a small donation to you might end up making a lifetime’s worth of difference for a student.”