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Alumni Spotlight: Alan Perry Jr., CPA

Alan Perry, Jr., CPA

Degrees earned: Bachelor of Science – Business Administration ‘09, Bachelor of Science – Accounting ‘12, and Master of Accounting ‘13 (All from NC State University)
Current Organization: U.S. Government Accountability Office

Title: Auditor-in-Charge


You chose the Poole College of Management for both your undergraduate and graduate education. What made Poole College stand out?

I guess my original decision to attend NC State as an undergrad was sort of a haphazard one; not unlike many other high schoolers out there. I got into other great schools, but NC State was by far the best value. I was a recipient of the NCSSM tuition grant, which influenced my decision, too.  If I had to do it all again? I would still pick NC State. In terms of my decision to return to NC State for the MAC program, that was a no-brainer because I knew that the quality of the accounting faculty and instruction could not be beat.

In terms of my decision to return to NC State for the MAC program, that was a no-brainer because I knew that the quality of the accounting faculty and instruction could not be beat.

How did your experience in your specific Poole program at NC State contribute to your professional achievements and successes?

This is not something that I can really summarize with a few words because the AIR (Accounting Internship Recruitment) program and the MAC program had such a pervasive effect on my professional development and skills. I was the only student in my MAC class that pursued a career with the federal government. The MAC Career Services folks and the faculty were all very supportive and helped me out every step along the way. I could not have done it without their support and guidance.

What did you enjoy most about your time in your Poole College of Management program?

It’s just an exciting time in life. The world is your oyster at that point as long as you are working hard and focused. I enjoyed the academic atmosphere of the classroom and developing friendships with my classmates.

What do you miss most now that you have graduated?

My friends. A classmate from the MAC Program is now one of my best friends. We live a few minutes up the road from one another in Arlington, Virginia, and were roommates for a few years. Several of my other MAC friends are in North Carolina and Georgia, and I wish I could see them more often.

What are a few of the most impactful classes/lessons you learned during your time at Poole?

I would say Advanced Auditing, Public Policy Analysis (an elective they allowed me take due to my career interests), and the Accounting and Tax Research class were my favorites. But the entire curriculum, when taken as a whole, is what really prepared me to pass the CPA exam and succeed early in my career.

What are your lasting impressions of your Poole College of Management Programs?

There are so many faculty, staff, and career counselors at Poole and the Jenkins MAC program that work so hard to help students grow and succeed in the classroom and beyond. I definitely recognized and appreciated their passion when I attended Poole, but I appreciate it even more now.

What advice would you give for prospective and current students who are interested in your industry/profession?

If you are interested in a federal financial management and public policy career, go for it. It can be competitive, and the recruiting process is way different. Do your research and plan ahead. Building a solid USAJobs resume is a strenuous and tedious process. Many federal agencies recruit almost exclusively through their internship programs, so that’s probably the route to go if you are interested.

Could you give a brief explanation of your current line of work, and what has led you to it?

I am an audit manager for the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). GAO is the investigative arm of the Congress. GAO audits the consolidated financial statements of the U.S. government, as well as a handful of federal agencies, such as the FDIC Deposit Insurance Fund and SEC Investor Protection Fund. GAO also does performance audits and investigations. Most of the work comes from mandates and congressional requests, but some is done under the authority of the Comptroller General, too.

I am currently an audit manager of the Federal Housing Finance Agency financial audit. I have recently worked on performance audits related to improper payments of the premium tax credit program and disaster relief funds. I also serve part-time detail to the U.S. Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB). FASAB sets U.S. GAAP for federal entities. In that capacity, I managed an accounting standards project related to tax expenditures; I have also supported projects related to risk assumed and some education efforts.

What do you believe is your most interesting accomplishment since graduation?

For those of you interested in health care policy, I was on a small team at GAO looking at payment integrity controls for the premium tax credit program. That report has some interesting findings and recommendations to help improve the integrity of the program. Most of the performance audit work I have contributed to is pretty much publicly available if you simply type my name “Ricky Perry” in the search box on

What are your personal goals and plans for the future?

I do not like to divulge my goals and plans or show my hand too much! I am a pretty ambitious person, and you all might think I am crazy if I share them. Right now, my number one focus is kind of silly. I am trying to improve my squash game and eventually compete in local intermediate-level tournaments or something. Squash is such a hype way to relieve stress. I recommend it.