Mom of 5 earns CPA certification

Published 7:00 pm Monday, December 31, 2018

By Gabrielle Terrett

The Vicksburg Post

Studying to become a certified public accountant is pretty stressful, but try also being a mother to five children while working to become a CPA.

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Through perseverance and dedication, Christy Thornton has managed to do both.

A 1998 graduate of Pisgah High School, Thornton graduated from Mississippi State University in 2002 with an accounting degree and then got her masters before working 10 years and had four children during that time.

“Three of them were not old enough to be in school yet so I was a stay at home mom for about three years,” Thornton said. “I had my last child then and then we moved back here in 2015 and that’s when I decided to go back into the field.”

Thornton heard about an accountant opening at May & Company, LLP, submitted a resume and got the job.

But she had a desire to be a CPA and become licensed by the state through a four-part exam.

“You have 18 months to pass all four parts and scoring a 75 or above is considered passing,” Thornton explained. “It’s a very stressful exam and studying for it takes many hours. It’s pretty much like a part time job trying to study. I couldn’t let go of my responsibilities as a parent so any time I found extra time to study I did. Sometimes it would just be one hour in the evening, which meant all day Saturday and Sunday.”

That’s in addition to keeping up with five kids — four who are still in elementary school.

“Going in between what the kids had going on with sports and church and things like that every moment that I could I spent it studying,” Thornton said. “You give up everything else because there is no time for a lot of the things that I like to do like reading and sleeping and going places. Those things had to be put on the back burner for quite some time.”

Praise to God

Thornton passed the exam and gives all glory to God.

“My faith played a huge part throughout my life, but in my time studying and taking the exam and after the exam waiting for the results and really I have to give glory to God in just me passing these exams and fulfilling that goal in my life,” Thornton said.

“I have a great support system in my family and friends, who I know were praying for me and encouraging me and my coworkers here at the office have been very encouraging and a huge incentive for everyone in the office for us to pass that exam.

“So I really do credit God a lot in just keeping my sanity and having that path of prayer that really eased my stress.”

The path that Christy Thornton has set is one that many may look at as the right path but despite her accolades she stays humble.

“I would like to say that anyone who has a specific goal they set out to accomplish will have to make sacrifices,” Thornton said. “I still had to work and I could not fall short on my responsibilities as a parent. These responsibilities meant it would take me longer to study for and take a part of the exam. I did have to say no to a lot of other things I would rather do.

Hard work, sacrifice, perseverance, faith and those who encouraged and prayed for me were central to my success. I think that is true for many success stories.”