• Augustus Crimm

Augustus Crimm isn’t accustomed to being in the spotlight, but the Southwestern University alumnus has proved he is, indeed, a rising star. On December 5th, Crimm took the stage at the Palmer Events Center in Austin to speak in front of thousands of fellow certified public accountant (CPA) students and their supporters. The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy (TSBPA) asked him to give a speech at his CPA swearing-in ceremony on behalf of all new licensees after he earned the top cumulative score in the winter 2015 CPA class.

“When I got the letter asking me to give a speech, I was shocked,” says Crimm. “I was happy with how I did, and very proud of my scores, but I was sure someone else would get a better score than I did.”

The competition was fierce, as roughly 1,100 other students were sworn in and thousands of others did not pass. Crimm admits he has been very fortunate throughout his academic career to be surrounded by extremely smart and dedicated people, and this is the first time he received top marks for his achievement.

“As much as I try to avoid academic competition, it felt nice to get the top score,” Crimm says. “It was a great validation of all the hard work I put into studying.”

Crimm put in countless hours to prepare for the exam, which includes four parts that are each four hours long. It took six months of preparation, which included studying for three hours each weeknight and six hours on Saturdays.

“My fiancé made me take Sundays off so I wouldn’t completely become a hermit,” says Crimm. “I always had accounting on my mind.”

The 2014 Southwestern alumnus says his collegiate experience was instrumental in his success on the exam.

“At Southwestern there was more of a focus on concepts instead of memorizing facts,” says Crimm. “So when I got to the CPA exam, instead of just trying to memorize things – there’s way too much on those exams to memorize and remember – I tried to understand how things fit together, why the rules were how they were, and it worked out.”

He also attributes his confidence to the quality face time he was able to have with professors. He says his Southwestern experience gave him the chance to fail, make mistakes, give wrong answers, and learn from it.

Crimm currently works at Faske, Lay & Co., a CPA firm with offices in Austin and Georgetown. It reminds him a lot of Southwestern and Crimm says he is very happy there. He adds, “If I’m lucky I’ll be here for a long time.”