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UB graduate student lands elite accounting assistantship

By Matthew Biddle

Release Date: April 29, 2014

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Matthew Silver

Matthew Silver

“Matt is exceptionally mature and dependable. He is a poised and confident young man who has always demonstrated a high level of professionalism.”
Kathy O'Donnell, assistant professor of accounting
University at Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Matthew Silver, a master’s student in the University at Buffalo School of Management, has been selected as one of only six students nationwide to earn a postgraduate technical assistantship (PTA) with the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).

The FASB establishes accounting and financial reporting standards for all businesses in the United States. Landing an assistantship with the organization is considered the B-school equivalent of clerking for a U.S. Supreme Court justice.

Silver, of Plainview, earned a bachelor’s degree at the UB School of Management in 2013 and will graduate with a Master of Science in accounting in May.

He is one of three School of Management students in the past two years to be accepted into an assistantship with either the FASB or its counterpart for state and local governments, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). UB is the only school in Western New York with graduates who have earned PTAs at the FASB or GASB.

“UB will be well-represented with Matt as a FASB intern,” says Kathy O’Donnell, assistant professor of accounting in the School of Management, who recommended Silver. “Matt is exceptionally mature and dependable. He is a poised and confident young man who has always demonstrated a high level of professionalism.”

During the one-year program, FASB interns become highly involved in the accounting standards-setting process to develop an in-depth understanding of the roles played by preparers, auditors and users of financial information.

Silver will work on all phases of his assigned project, including reviewing and analyzing published research, preparing memorandums on technical issues and evaluating accounting proposals from other organizations.

“My immediate reaction was shock and total excitement. I couldn’t believe I was chosen out of hundreds of applicants across the country,” he says. “Now that it’s had time to sink in, I’m focusing on how I can prepare to contribute to the best of my ability. I’m eager to learn more about accounting standards and have a role in setting new standards.”

Silver has already secured a position with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) after he completes his assistantship.

He previously interned in the core assurance practice at PwC’s New York office, where he participated in a quarterly review for a large entertainment business and a year-end audit for a multinational company. Through PwC’s Project Belize, he also taught financial literacy to school-aged children in Belize City.

“Matt has the recognized potential to eventually be a PwC partner,” says Mark Bruno, Lake Erie market sourcing leader at PwC. “He gets noticed because of his pleasant enthusiasm and his consistent high performance. His internship performance was exceptional, so our goal is to keep him challenged and coach his professional development.”

Silver also is a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, and earned the New York State Society of CPAs Outstanding Graduate and Undergraduate awards for having the highest GPA in his accounting class.

“Our accounting professors really care about their students and try to ensure that we understand the material,” he says. “My education at the School of Management has been instrumental in allowing me to succeed at the FASB and wherever else my career will take me.”

Among large schools in New York with at least 150 candidates for the 2013 CPA exam, the UB School of Management had the highest pass rate for first-time candidates with 65.7 percent, surpassing state and national averages. The school had 113 first-time candidates pass the exam, more than any other institution in Western New York.

The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit mgt.buffalo.edu.

Media Contact Information

Matthew Biddle
Assistant Director of Communications
School of Management
Tel: 716-645-5455
mrbiddle@buffalo.edu