It is not often that someone can say they are the best in the world, but for Falls School of Business DBA graduate Larry Sayler, that is the perfect description. Sayler recently completed the Certified Managerial Accounting (CMA) test with the highest score in for the Spring 2009 test cycle, beating out over 4,000 other participants worldwide. With over 65% of test candidates coming from outside the US, Sayler’s accomplishment is truly a global achievement.
Sayler grew up in Iowa and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Carlton College in 1976. He moved on to receive his MBA from Wharton, University of Pennsylvania in 1980. Sayler spent 20 years in the business world, including a stint with GE. "My last position with GE was as CFO for a GE subsidiary in southern California," says Sayler. "While I enjoyed my time in business, my passion was to teach at a Christian college." In the fall of 2000, Sayler became a full time professor in Greenville College in Greenville, Illinois. He became the first graduate of the Anderson University Falls School of Business Doctor of Business Administration program in 2005, majoring in Finance.
Like the more well known Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation, to earn CMA certification, Sayler had to pass a series of four tests. Each test lasts three to four hours, and each has a pass rate of only 50% to 60%. While the CPA is narrowly focused on accounting, the CMA is broader in scope.
"In addition to accounting and internal controls," explains Sayler, "I was tested on such topics as decision analysis, economics, financial statement analysis, global business, marketing, and strategic planning." For achieving the top score, Sayler will be presented with the Johnson & Johnson Gold Medal.
In Sayler’s opinion, his years of experience, both in the field and in front of the classroom, helped him achieve such an outstanding score.
"Most accounting and business majors will have been exposed to almost all of the material that is included on the test," he states, "but perhaps they have not yet fully internalized it. Being in my fifties, I had the advantage of using most of this material for 20 years and then teaching it for 10 years." He adds, "Earning my DBA at the FSB was certainly a real help in that it forced me to study and re-study many of the areas included on the CMA test."
—Senior Graham Brown is the Executive Director of Anderson Media Group.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology. Falls School of Business is one of Anderson University’s largest academic departments offering eight undergraduate majors as well as MBA and DBA programs. The school is accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and is a member of the Christian Business Faculty Association (CBFA).