Accounting degree helps Whitaker find success

Todd Whitaker said he developed an interest in accounting during his junior year at Arkadelphia High School when he took his first accounting class.

“I had a strong business interest, but at that time, I was not sold on any particular business concentration,” he said. “My teacher was able to harness my business aspirations to the accounting field. I naturally comprehended the concepts and decided to pursue accounting at the collegiate level.”

Whitaker attended Henderson State University and earned his B.B.A. in 2013. He then enrolled in the M.B.A. program at Henderson and earned his degree in 2014.

After working at the Murphy Oil corporate office in El Dorado as an associate accountant, Whitaker began working for the Arkansas Legislative Audit as an associate auditor. He obtained his CPA license earlier this year and plans to advance his career at the Arkansas Legislative Audit.

Whitaker credits Henderson State for his rapid progression in the accounting field.

“While obtaining my B.B.A. in accounting, I gained a vast amount of knowledge and experiences which led to me being offered employment at a Fortune 500 company prior to graduation,” he said. “Subsequently, I transitioned to a higher level position with Arkansas Legislative Audit. And, most recently, I was able to pass all four sections of the CPA exam on my first attempt.

“The Henderson accounting department is well versed and puts graduates in a propitious position by engaging students in a challenging curriculum with real world business experiences.”

Whitaker said family members influenced his decision to attend Henderson.

“My uncle and older brother, who are both successful businessmen, graduated from Henderson’s School of Business,” he said. “I knew by their example that Henderson would provide the education and experiences to help me become successful too.”

Now that he’s on the path to a successful career in accounting, Whitaker advises current students to “take full advantage of all resources afforded them by the accounting department. It will pay huge dividends in the long run.”

He also encouraged accounting students to enter the workforce with a positive attitude and humility.

“Don’t be discouraged by the criticisms you will encounter, but rather, utilize them to make the necessary adjustments to one day be phenomenal,” Whitaker said. “If you put the time in and do the work, there is nothing on this earth that isn’t obtainable.”