Molly Kinghorn (previously Molly Mackris), graduated from Chapman University in May 2019, and holds dual degrees in Accounting and Business Administration with a Finance emphasis. Her Chapman journey began in 2015, following in the footsteps of her brother, Jonathan. “I felt right at home when I started in 2015,” Molly recalls. She decided to add accounting as a second major after discovering her passion in an introductory accounting class. This choice was pivotal, leading her to take advantage of numerous opportunities that Chapman offered, including clubs and travel courses.

Returning Home as Director of Accounting

After a successful career with KPMG, Molly returned to Chapman University. “In April, I came back to Chapman as the new Director of Accounting!  It’s so great to be back on campus; it feels like coming home,” she says. In her role, she oversees the accounting department, manages month-end and fiscal close processes, and assists with the preparation of annual financial statements. Molly’s initial interest in accounting was inspired by her parents, both CPAs. Her journey through Chapman’s rigorous accounting program and subsequent career at KPMG equipped her with the expertise necessary for her current role.

The Launchpad for Success

Chapman University and the Argyros College of Business and Economics played a crucial role in preparing Molly for her career. “The top-tier education I received prepared me to pass all four parts of the CPA exam on my first attempt,” she shares. Additionally, the Accounting Society’s networking events facilitated her securing a full-time position with KPMG well before graduation. This solid foundation allowed Molly to excel in her roles, where she specialized in audits of colleges and universities.

A pivotal moment in Molly’s career was her promotion to Manager at KPMG in May 2023, an achievement that came after less than two years as a Senior Associate. “My early promotion was a testament to my hard work, leadership, eagerness to grow, and ability to rise to any occasion,” Molly states. Her campus involvement was extensive, including leadership roles in Gamma Phi Beta sorority and as a Chapman Student Ambassador. These experiences helped her develop essential skills such as public speaking, event coordination, and professional interaction, which proved invaluable in her career.

Memorable Classes

Molly attributes much of her success to the guidance of influential professors like Hank Adler, Dr. Terry Burnham, and David Berkovitz. “I could vividly hear Professor Adler’s voice in my head during my CPA exams,” she recalls, emphasizing the profound impact of his teaching. Her favorite class, Walk Down Wall Street with Dr. Terry Burnham, was a standout experience. The class included a week-long networking trip to New York City, visiting major financial institutions, and networking with Chapman alumni.

Molly’s advice is clear for students and recent graduates aspiring to follow a similar path: “Pass the CPA exam as soon as possible and start your career at a Big 4 firm.” She believes that the accelerated career path and fast-paced environment of the Big 4 firms shape accounting professionals into well-rounded, desirable candidates in the industry. This experience and a CPA license open numerous doors for future opportunities.


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