Small took a little time off work to study for his certified public accounting exam, a gambit that paid off.
He earned the top score in the July-August 2012 testing window in the state of Kansas.
“Surprised – happily, I might add,” he said of his reaction to the news.
Small, 28, grew up in Kansas City and graduated from K-State with a degree in accounting and finance.
He worked two years as an auditor for KMPG in Denver before moving to Wichita to work as an accounting trade analyst for Koch Industries.
At Grant Thornton, he’s back on the audit side.
Small said he enjoys his job because “it keeps you engaged and challenged on a daily basis. I tend to get bored easily, so I like that perspective.”
Becoming a CPA, he added, “was just something I felt I need to move forward in my career.”
Small and his wife, Danielle, moved back to Kansas in part to be closer to family. They enjoy outdoor activities, and Small is also a pursuing an aircraft pilot’s license, something that made Wichita’s aviation reputation “definitely a draw,” he said.