Kristen ReedWhat does it take to become a certified public accountant? Kristen Reed can tell you. She recently passed the last of the five required CPA exams and is on staff at Ketel Thorstenson LLP.

Although meeting the education and experience requirements, then preparing for and passing the CPA exams is an exhaustive process, it’s worthwhile, she said.

“That professional designation gives you that extra level public assurance,” she said. “Meeting the CPA requirements really gives you a well-rounded knowledge base. Accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation — these are the things a CPA can do for a client.”

Kristen grew up in Lusk, Wyo., just south of the Black Hills. After graduating from Niobrara County High School, she enrolled at the University of Wyoming. “Growing up, I had always been interested in music and art. I thought I was going to be a music teacher,” she said. Before long, however, Kristen realized she had a talent for business and finance. “I was good at it; and it made sense.”

Kristen graduated from the University of Wyoming with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, then received a master’s degree from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

Kristen’s first introduction to Ketel Thorstenson LLP was during a meet-the-firms event on campus at UW. “There was kind of an automatic connection. Everyone at KT is fun but professional,” she said. “I definitely kept them in mind.”

Kristen reconnected with KT after graduating from Texas A&M, and she’s now on the staff. She really likes being part of a firm that has extensive breadth and depth of knowledge in all facets of business and accounting — from payroll management to estate planning. “We can address everything a client might need,” she said.