MISSOULA – A student in the University of Montana’s Master of Accountancy program has won a national scholarship geared for outstanding graduates considering careers in auditing.

Betsy Rattler won a $10,000 scholarship from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. She is one of 253 students from across the country to receive this recognition for the 2021-22 academic year.

Betsy Rattler - UM Photo
Betsy Rattler - UM Photo

“I was honored to be nominated for this scholarship, but to win it was amazing,” said Rattler, who currently works as a staff accountant for Allegiance Benefit Management Inc., a Missoula-based company that develops and administers employee benefit plans.

The PCAOB award is geared for students who have been historically underrepresented in the accounting profession.

Rattler worked as a pharmacy technician for a number of years when she decided to return to school to study accounting. She began in the two-year program offered at Missoula College while working as a state-funded accounting technology apprentice at Allegiance. She then  went on to get a bachelor’s degree at UM in business administration and accounting, and then enrolled in the UM MAcct program.

“UM really puts you on a good path,” Rattler said. “Getting the master’s seemed like the next step to take especially if you want to test for the CPA.”
A top-20 nationally ranked program, UM MAcct graduates pass the CPA exam at rates above national averages, and 95% of students have jobs on graduation day.

Offered remotely, in person or a combination of both, the program accommodates the demands of working professionals. It is designed to help students develop a high level of technical knowledge, acquire in-demand data analytics skills, facilitate growth of peer and professional networks, and promote leadership capability for advancement in the accounting profession.
Rattler credits her instructor, Associate Professor Isho Tama-Sweet, for suggesting she consider applying for the PCAOB scholarship. Tama-Sweet said Rattler has the makings to be a successful auditor.

“Betsy is both inquisitive and diligent. She asks good questions, is seldom satisfied with the first response, and follows through on every loose end and detail,” said Tama-Sweet, chair of the Department of Management and Marketing in UM’s College of Business. “These traits served her well in the classroom, and they are essential to being a good auditor. I am very proud of what Betsy has accomplished so far.”

Rattler isn’t sure where her career will take her once she finishes her master’s degree in the next year. She likes auditing and considers it a good opportunity. She feigns any suggestion that she’s particularly good with numbers.

“Accounting does require numbers, for sure,” she said, “but it’s more about solving the puzzle, and I like that a lot.”

Since 2011, the PCAOB has administered a scholarship program for undergraduate and graduate accounting students enrolled in accredited U.S. colleges and universities. The PCAOB Scholars Program is mandated by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and is funded through monetary penalties collected as part of PCAOB enforcement actions.


- By UM News Service -

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