Dillon Little ’18 of Mt. Pleasant has become a source of pride for the undergraduate accounting program at Pfeiffer University.
That’s because he recently passed North Carolina’s CPA exam on his first try. Fewer than 20 percent of the people who take the exam can say that, according to research of Dr. Sandra Holley, one of Little’s accounting professors at Pfeiffer.
“Dillon’s ability to be successful comes from his willingness to put in the hard work and ask questions,” she said. “He was not (and still isn’t) afraid to ask for guidance and seek advice.”
After receiving a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Pfeiffer, Little earned a Master of Accountancy from UNC Charlotte. Since October, he has worked as a financial statement auditor for Dixon, Hughes, & Goodman, LLP.
“Without Pfeiffer I would not be where I am in my career,” he said.
Little credited the culture of Pfeiffer’s accounting program with putting him in the best possible position to succeed. This features professors who work closely with their students and really want them to progress.
“They made themselves just about always available for anything,” Little said. “It was this personal connection that allowed me to grow in my studies.”
Moreover, Pfeiffer’s accounting professors aim not only to uphold the highest standards but also to bring industry expertise into the classroom. Little’s glad this is the case. He said that a capstone class on auditing he took with Holley gave him “a great start” in that field.
Little added that he also arrived at UNC Charlotte with a greater base of knowledge than most of his peers. “This became beyond valuable as it placed me ahead in my studies at the graduate level, and studying for the CPA exam,” he said.
Holley stressed that Pfeiffer’s accounting students find that the rigor of their program “is not unbearable.” The reason: professors work with each student to determine their goals – then come up with ways they can achieve them.
For Little, those ways manifested themselves in a research project and in three internships.
The research, which Little presented at Pfeiffer’s annual business symposium, evaluated recent efforts to harmonize Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (US) with International Financial Reporting Standards.
The internships, all with Food Lion, came about with the help of Dr. Raushan Gross, an assistant professor of business management and leadership. They enabled Little to work in different departments. He started in accounts payable at the Food Lion corporate office in Salisbury in the summer of 2017. After the summer he returned to Pfeiffer to finish classes. Then, after graduating, he worked in Food Lion’s inventory accounting department for almost a year. After that, he did a summer internship position in asset protection.
“In my time at Food Lion, I took on numerous responsibilities and gained the trust from my peers in various accounting department roles,” Little said. “I excelled and grew even more.”
Ken Keuffel, who authored this article, has served as Pfeiffer’s Assistant Director of Communications since December 2019. He welcomes story ideas from Pfeiffer’s faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends. The form for submitting story ideas is at www.pfeiffer.edu/newsform.