Karen Crosswhite, a Master of Science in Accounting student at the George Mason University School of Business, is the first student to receive the Shrivastava GovCon Scholarship. Crosswhite is also the founder of BAS Accounting Services, a small Certified Public Accountant firm located in Ashburn, Va.
Sumeet Shrivastava, EMBA ‘94 and president of ARRAY, established the scholarship. Shrivastava is a member of the School of Business Dean’s Council and GovCon Advisory Council.
“This scholarship was established in memory of my father, S.P. ‘Shri’ Shrivastava, to provide support to emerging entrepreneurs who have made service to our country a priority of their corporate mission,” Shrivastava says. “As an immigrant to the United States in 1970, it was a scholarship such as this that helped him achieve the American Dream through his entrepreneurial endeavors.”
In addition to providing funds to the scholarship awardee, the Shrivastava GovCon Scholarship includes a mentorship component. Crosswhite will receive support from the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the newly established Center for Government Contracting.
“Receiving this scholarship motivates me to complete my master's degree and to remain committed to my life and career goals of serving the community in my role as a certified public accountant and business owner,” Crosswhite says. “The Shrivastava GovCon Scholarship award will help me to both accelerate my goal of completing my master’s program and to expedite the objectives for running BAS Accounting Services.”
Crosswhite earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Maryland, College Park. She decided to pursue her MSA at Mason so she could keep abreast of changes and advances in the field of accountancy. The master's program also helps Crosswhite fulfill the continuing professional education credits required by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for CPAs to retain their license.
“As owner and lead partner of BAS Account Services, our firm recognizes that our clients continually rely on the aid of accounting experts with knowledge of current accounting standards, practices, codes, and regulations,” she says. "The course work provides advanced learning opportunities provided by experts in our field, as well as professionals with experience in tangential fields, such as the forensic federal investigation, who are able to infuse the program’s curriculum with real world experience."
The program will help Crosswhite lead her firm in areas of expertise like fraud examination, business valuation, advance financial reporting, global accounting environments, taxes, and business strategies.
Prior to founding BAS Accounting Services in 2008, Crosswhite held senior roles with Ernst & Young, Deloitte, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. She decided to start BAS Accounting Services after having a “growing desire to provide quality accounting services to clients on a personal level that help them to operate more effectively and efficiently in order to prosper and grow.”
Crosswhite says entrepreneurship is a tough but rewarding choice.
“As an entrepreneur you wear many hats, managing both a company and projects, engaging clients, building teams, making rules and decisions,” she says. “Even so, my reward is excitement and passion for what I do. It’s rewarding to help clients solve their problems and make a contribution to the community by delivering our services.”
In the future, Crosswhite plans to grow the company by actively pursuing government contracts, networking, building partnerships and contacts, and creating more value in the services provided to clients.
“Karen’s excitement about focusing her accounting business to help federal agencies is exactly the intent of this scholarship. I’m confident that Karen will have continued success in taking BAS Accounting Service to greater heights,” Shrivastava says.