The Illinois CPA Society has awarded Elizabeth A. Murphy, Ph.D., MBA, CPA, with its prestigious 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award. The Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest honor ICPAS bestows on a member who has demonstrated distinguished service to both the Illinois CPA Society and the CPA profession.
Murphy is a professor emerita at DePaul University in Chicago where she has spent more than 40 years fostering future accounting professionals through formal teaching, CPA Exam workshops, coaching, and mentoring. She proudly served as the faculty advisor to DePaul’s Midwest Association of Hispanic Accountants (MAHA)—which won numerous local and national case team competitions—as well as the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and DePaul’s first graduate student accounting group, Graduate Students for Accounting (GSA), founded in 2010. Murphy was integral in the success of DePaul’s former CPA Review, which was developed and taught by DePaul faculty for more than 20 years, and she conducted non-mandatory CPA Exam Workshops—the most popular workshops offered through the DePaul Career Center—which attracted about 200 accounting students each quarter.
Murphy remains an active member of the Illinois CPA Society, where she currently serves as a director on the CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois Board of Directors and has engaged in the nationally acclaimed Mary T. Washington Wylie Internship Preparation Program since its inception. Murphy is also a member of the American Accounting Association, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)—where she serves on the AICPA Council and AICPA FAR Content Subcommittee—and the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting.
Prior to teaching at DePaul, Murphy was an instructor at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Ill. Her previous work experience also includes positions at The Field Museum of Natural History, Internal Revenue Service, KPMG, and Marshall Field’s. She earned a Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Kentucky and an MBA in finance and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from DePaul University. She is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Illinois.
Reflecting on Murphy’s accomplishments, Illinois CPA Society President and CEO Todd Shapiro says: “Beth can look back on her more than 40-year career in academia and be proud of what she has accomplished. She has been instrumental in fostering future generations of accounting and finance professionals—particularly minorities and first-generation college students. She has made countless contributions to our diversity and future CPA initiatives. She has arguably mentored hundreds, if not thousands, of people throughout her life and has provided invaluable service to the countless boards, committees, and task forces she has dedicated her time to. Beth is truly known for forming lifelong connections and meaningful relationships with people, which she has certainly done with all of us.”
“To receive this award is deeply meaningful to me—both in recognition of my contributions and in further recognition of the legacies of those honored before me,” Murphy says. “As I reflect on my accounting career, and the important role the Illinois CPA Society has played in it, I am most fortunate in my choice of profession, the positions I’ve held, and the wonderful people I’ve met along the way.”
Murphy will be formally recognized at ICPAS’ Leadership Recognition and Awards Celebration on Sept. 17, 2020—the event will be held virtually this year.