Michelle Mann, CPA, waited to go back to school until her younger son was in college. She chose to go to grad school at UALR because the tax program was offered at night, and she was working in Little Rock at Alltel Corp.
Mann was juggling her work schedule responsible for all sales-and-use taxes, telecom taxes, property taxes, and state income tax planning with a staff of 20. She was also the Verizon Wireless transition team leader.
In 2009, she earned a master of science degree in taxation, a program that begin at UALR in 2008, with a 4.0 GPA. This followed obtaining the graduate certificate in taxation in 2008 and the graduate certificate in accounting in 2009.
She was able to finish her master’s degree before being laid off from Verizon, which was anticipated after they acquired Alltel and moved tax operations to their headquarters in New Jersey. “The schedule of classes being offered in the evening was very helpful. I also like traditional classes rather than online classes, so the scheduling in the MST program was perfect.
“The master’s degree helped me in several ways,” Mann said. “It was a great refresher for me on federal taxes, since I had been focusing on state and local taxes in recent years. This helped in going back into public accounting. The writing required in the program really helped me sharpen my research and writing skills for doing a variety of research and memos in public accounting. The program also helped me to have more confidence in tackling new and different areas of tax that I may not have previously encountered, which happens often in public accounting.”
She is now a senior tax senior manager at JPMS Cox, PLLC, which specializes in nonprofit organization taxation and in state taxation. Mann is also a presenter for various conferences in nonprofit tax compliance.
The Camden native received a B.B.A. degree in accounting from Texas Christian University in 1979. Previous positions she held include being manager of taxation, senior accountant–tax, and tax accountant with Alltel Information Services (formerly Systematics Inc.) and accountant with Price Waterhouse in Little Rock.