Ilitch Business student wins PCAOB scholarship

Brooke Billings, a first-year student in the master's of science in accounting (M.S.A.) program at the Mike Ilitch School of Business, was recently awarded a $10,000 merit based scholarship by the Public Company Accouting Oversight Board for the 2018-19 academic year. PCAOB scholarships are one-time awards which can be used by recipients to cover eligible expenses such as tuition, fees, books, supplies and equipment for enrollment in an accounting program. 

"Receiving this award has given me additional confidence as a business student," Billings said. "The PCAOB scholarship was created to promote high ethical standards in the field of accounting. I feel honored to be chosen for award that selects recipients on the basis of integrity and hard work." 

Billings, who earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from WSU, said she has been enjoying her business courses so far. 

"I was pleasantly surprised to perform at the top of my class in my first accounting course," she said. "I've also done well in my other business courses so I feel confident moving forward." 

Currently in its eighth year, the PCAOB's scholarship program aims to provide financial support to one student from each participating academic institution. Funds are made possible through the Sarbanes-Oxley Act passed in 2002, which requires that monetary penalties imposed by the PCAOB in its disciplinary proceedings be used to fund a merit scholarship for students in accredited accounting degree programs. 

Students who qualify for the award must be enrolled in an accounting bachelor's or master's degree program at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university; show appropriate interest and skill in accounting and auditing; and demonstrate high ethical standards. Participating institutions are encouraged to consider awarding studetns who are typically underrepresented in the accounting field today.

The PCAOB is a nonprofit corporation established by Congress to oversee the audits of public companies in order to protect investors and the public interest by promoting informative, accurate, and independent audit reports. The PCAOB also oversees the audits of brokers and dealers, including compliance reports filed pursuant to federal securities laws, to promote investor protection. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which created the PCAOB, required that auditors of U.S. public companies be subject to external and independent oversight for the first time in history.