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Plainview Biz Wiz Makes Strides

A young Plainview resident is getting a jump on his professional, post-college career.

Matthew Silver, a master’s student at the University at Buffalo School of Management, was recently selected as one of only six students nationwide to earn a post-graduate technical assistantship with the Financial Accounting Standards Board. The FASB establishes accounting and financial reporting standards for all businesses in the country, and landing an assistantship with the organization is considered the business school equivalent of clerking for a U.S. Supreme Court justice.

“My immediate reaction was shock and total excitement,” said Silver. “I couldn’t believe I was chosen out of hundreds of applicants across the country.”

Silver 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. The University of Buffalo is the only school in Western New York with graduates who have earned assistantship at the FASB or GASB.

The young business ace said he is already gearing his mind toward contributing in the most dynamic ways possible.

“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,” he said. “I’m eager to learn more about accounting standards and have a role in setting new standards.”

Kathy O’Donnell, assistant professor of accounting in the School of Management, recommended Silver for the prestigious position.

“UB will be well-represented with Matt as a FASB intern,” said O’Donnell. “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.

And Silver’s success story does not end there; the young man has already secured a position with PricewaterhouseCoopers 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,” said 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,” said Silver. “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 University of Buffalo 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.

For more information about the UB School of Management, visit www.mgt.buffalo.edu.