Alumni Focus: Nathan Choy

A graduate of The Master’s University recently learned that he had earned the highest cumulative score in California on the 2021 Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.

Nathan Choy (TMU ’20) received official notice June 6 that he was the recipient of the 2021 John F. Forbes Award – an honor issued each year by the California Society of CPAs to the licensing candidate who earns the best cumulative score on the grueling, four-part exam.

Choy now works as an auditor at Ernst & Young, joining a significant number of TMU alumni who have gone on to work at “Big Four” accounting firms.

As part of receiving the Forbes Award, Choy has been invited to January’s CalCPA Council meeting in Sacramento, where he will be honored for his achievement. He will also be featured in the organization’s monthly magazine.

Dr. John Beck, dean of TMU’s School of Business and Communication, was thrilled to receive the news.

“Our purpose is to equip marketplace ministers to represent Christ with excellence in their professions and lives,” Beck said. “Nathan has gone far beyond what was required to pass this exam, and we are thankful that the Lord has gifted him with an incredible mind. His commitment reflects great credit on his family, our distinguished business faculty and this institution.”

Choy agreed that those groups of people played key roles in his success.

“My education at TMU was a big part of me being able to achieve these milestones,” he said. “And even before TMU, my parents’ investment in my life — their desire to honor the Lord in how they raised me and my brother — was instrumental to me being able to excel at TMU and excel now in the workforce. They taught me a lot about diligence, hard work and humility. By God’s grace, I was able to take all of those lessons to heart.”

Choy says TMU’s distinguished business program — which produced the highest pass-rate in all of California on the 2016 CPA exam — prepared him exceptionally well on a “technical level.”

“The academic standards are very high as they’re teaching us how to do accounting,” he said. “And the business classes have helped me in terms of how I do presentations and communicate.

“One reason for this is the professors. Since the classes are small, you get to know them better. And they are all extremely experienced in their field. And they also have experience serving as elders, deacons and pastors. So we get to see their professional skill, their personal integrity and their commitment to their local churches and families. That had a big impact on me and on many other students.”

In addition to the Forbes Award, Choy was also a recipient of the 2021 Elijah Watt Sells Award, given to those who earn above a certain cumulative score threshold on the CPA exams.

Learn more about TMU’s School of Business and Communication here.

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