Introducing the KT Scholarship

At KT, we are committed to serving and strengthening our communities. Which is why we have decided to launch the KT Scholarship to provide financial assistance to students who plan to pursue a career in accounting.

The KT Scholarship is intended for individuals from the Black Hills area and the Gillette, WY area who are pursuing a 4-year degree in accounting. The goal is not only to support these students in achieving their academic dreams but also to encourage them to return to their communities and serve as leaders in the accounting field.

Our firm will award two scholarships in the amount of $2,500. This scholarship will be paid directly to the institution the student will be attending, helping to offset the cost of tuition and other educational expenses.

Apply Now Here!

Applications are due April 30, 2024.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Black Hills area OR Cambell County, Wyoming resident
  • Graduating high school senior
  • Plan to obtain a degree in Accounting
  • Desire to remain in Black Hills area OR Gillette, Wyoming upon college graduation
  • Minimum high school GPA of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale)

How to apply:

Visit the KT Scholarship page to download an application. Please fill out an application and mail it to our Rapid City office (810 Quincy Street, Rapid City, SD, 57701) along with the following items:

  • High school transcript (please include any duel/concurrent enrollment transcripts)
  • Two letters of reference
  • Resume
  • Essay on your personal career goals in 500 words or less

If you have any questions about the KT Scholarship please contact Kristy DeGering, [email protected].

March 20, 2024

A Closer Look: Payroll Specialist at KT

At KT, we recognize the pivotal role payroll plays in business. Our payroll specialists are entrusted with the responsibility of processing payroll, guaranteeing timely paychecks, adhering to regulatory standards, and resolving any discrepancies that may arise.

KT’s payroll specialist’s core responsibilities revolve around ensuring compliance with employee pay regulations at various stages in the employee lifecycle, including new, transitioning, and exiting employees. They collect and verify timekeeping data, and accurately calculate wages, overtime, bonuses, and other payments while ensuring correct deductions for taxes, benefits, and other withholdings. This role also involves issuing payroll checks, maintaining records, reconciling payroll accounts, preparing year-end documents, and generating comprehensive reports.

Using different software and having multiple payroll clients means no day is the same and the job is never boring,” says KT payroll specialist, Cheryl Stout. “I like that I am one of many payroll specialists in our office. There is always help if I need it and backups are available so I can take a vacation without stressing out about it! I also like having the flexibility to change or alter my work schedule to accommodate my payroll workload.

The ideal candidate for this position will have a passion for helping people, great communication skills, and demonstrate high levels of professionalism. Applicants must have experience processing payroll and a willingness to work to meet compliance, firm deadlines, and expectations of clients. For this position, we require applicants to have an associate or bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Individuals can also have an equivalent combination of education and experience in lieu of a formal degree.

Joining the team at KT opens doors to growth opportunities, competitive compensation, and a great work environment. Our commitment to continuous learning ensures that every member of our team has access to professional development resources for both personal and professional career advancement.

To see the full job description, please visit our Careers page.

If you have any questions or want to explore more career opportunities, reach out to KT’s Recruiter, Kristy DeGering.

February 19, 2024

Senior Managers Announced at Ketel Thorstenson, LLP

Ketel Thorstenson, LLP announces the promotion of Brady Larsen, CPA and Mary Hlebechuk, CPA, to Senior Manager in the Tax Department.  

Brady Larsen, CPA joined Ketel Thorstenson’s Rapid City office in 2012 as an intern and shortly after became a full time CPA  in the Tax Department.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from South Dakota State University.  
Brady provides tax planning, consulting, and preparation services to individuals and businesses.  His specializations include agriculture tax and employer healthcare reporting and is the leader of the Ketel Thorstenson Agriculture Niche, as well as part of the staff development team. He is a member of the South Dakota CPA Society (SDCPA) serving on the board of directors, is chair of the Young Practice Advisory Council, and was named the outstanding young professional for 2019. Brady is a Rapid City Leadership Class of 2015 graduate. Brady and his wife have two children and they enjoy the outdoors and sporting activities. His personal hobbies include woodworking and putting up hay with their old tractors.  

Mary Hlebechuk, CPA joined Ketel Thorstenson’s Rapid City office in 2015 as an intern in the Accounting Services Department. She held two Tax internships over the following two years while working part time in Accounting Services and joined the Tax Department full time in 2017. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Accountancy from Black Hills State University.  
Mary’s specializations include agriculture, trust and estate, and high net worth clients. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the South Dakota CPA Society (SDCPA). She serves on the board for the West River Estate and Financial Planning Council and is a member of the Rapid City Youth Professionals Group. Mary is a part of the Ketel Thorstenson raining cornhole champion team. She is an avid golfer and enjoys going to breweries to try craft beers.  

As Senior Managers, responsibilities include management duties, strategic planning, ensuring a positive client experience, seeking training and education opportunities for staff and clients, and mentoring staff. 

November 4, 2022

Senior Manager Announced at Ketel Thorstenson, LLP

Ketel Thorstenson, LLP announces the promotion of Carrie Christensen, CPA to Senior Manager in the Tax Department.

Carrie Christensen, CPA, joined Ketel Thorstenson in 2013 in the Tax Department in the Rapid City office.  She holds a Master of Business Administration and Management degree from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from the University of Maryland University College.  She provides tax planning, consulting, and preparation services to individuals and businesses.  Her specializations include real estate professionals, rental partnerships, medical professionals, and the hospitality industry.  She is an expert in assisting clients with IRS issues and leads the IRS response team at Ketel Thorstenson.  Christensen is a member of the South Dakota CPA Society (SDCPA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).  She is a SD CEO Women in Leadership 2019 graduate and a board member of the American Red Cross.  As Senior Manager, her responsibilities include management duties, strategic planning, ensuring a positive client experience, seeking training and education opportunities for staff and clients, and mentoring staff.

August 29, 2022

Promotions at Ketel Thorstenson Announced

Nikki Ritzen has been promoted to Manager. Elizabeth Davis, Chris Jansen, CPA, Nicole Laub, Hannah Sheffield, CPA, and Cassandra Stevens have all been promoted to Senior Associate.

Nikki Ritzen, promoted to Manager, is originally from Chadron, NE. She graduated from Chadron State College with a degree in Business Marketing and joined the accounting profession when she joined us in our Rapid City office in May 2015. She now works remotely from Texas in the Accounting Services Department. The different challenges that arise each day along with working with clients is Nikki’s favorite part about her job. She looks forward to collaborating with staff on their goals, growing the department, and introducing new technology into their processes in her new role as Manager.

“KT has taught me everything I know about the accounting industry. I love having a company I enjoy showing up to work at everyday – even if it is just across the house to the desk,” said Nikki.

Elizabeth “Liz” Davis promoted to Senior Associate, has a Master of Accounting degree from Utah State University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development from Brigham Young University. Before coming to Ketel Thorstenson in August of 2018 her accounting experience included governmental audit, internal audit, city finance, light manufacturing, and church accounting. Here at Ketel Thorstenson Liz works in the Accounting Services Department. She and her husband, Corey, have 3 children and a son-in-law. Liz plays the piano, occasionally running her own piano teaching studio, and regularly plays the organ at church. She loves dark chocolate, is an avid reader, and enjoys clogging, hiking, camping, and kayaking.

Chris Jansen, CPA, promoted to Senior Associate, is originally from Sheldon, Iowa and attended the University of South Dakota in Vermillion for both his undergraduate and master’s degrees. Chris joined Ketel Thorstenson in January 2020. He enjoys working at KTLLP because of the great coworkers and how much fun they have. In his free time, Chris enjoys hiking and golfing. You can find him on the golf course most of the summer when he is not at the office. Chris also enjoys spending time with his nephews.

“The firm has my best interests in mind and furthers my knowledge of accounting. I am grateful to work at such a great company,” said Chris.

Nicole Laub promoted to Senior Associate, attended Black Hills State University where she obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Accountancy with a specialization in Human Resources. Nicole joined Ketel Thorstenson in August of 2018 and specializes in the hospitality industry.  She loves the family dynamic at Ketel Thorstenson and all the different clients that she gets to work with. Outside of work Nicole enjoys camping and spending her weekends on the lake.

Hannah Sheffield, CPA, promoted to Senior Associate is originally from White, SD and joined our team in January 2020. She spent a year at Black Hills State University studying Spanish Education but transferred to the University of South Dakota. At the recommendation of a mentor, she took some accounting classes quickly falling in love and changing her major. Hannah has always loved the Black Hills so moving back after 4 years was an easy decision. When accepting a job at Ketel Thorstenson Hannah loved the idea of working with local businesses and making an impact on the people that live right here. From January-April you can find her at the office preparing taxes, but when she has free time May-December she loves to golf, go to concerts and rodeos, travel, hike, and make the occasional trip up to Deadwood for Blackjack and dancing!

“I never knew just how much I’d love this company, the people I work with, and the tax law that I continue to learn more and more about,” said Hannah.  

Cassandra Stevens, promoted to Senior Associate, joined our team in November of 2020. She is originally from Wyoming but currently resides in Minnesota working remotely. Cassandra is the oldest child in her family, her dad is a coal miner, mom is an insurance agent, and sister is in child development. Cassandra has been in public or private accounting for several years now and her family drives her to keep going and spend every day doing what she loves.

Congratulations to our new Manager and Senior Associates on these well-deserved promotions. We deeply appreciate all your hard work.

April 11, 2022