Thomasville Times Enterprise


July 15, 2014

SWGTC alumna scores big on bookkeeping exam

THOMASVILLE — Nothing gives the members of the Southwest Georgia Technical College (SWGTC) family greater pride than seeing its alumni succeed! Lori Piland, a recent graduate of the accounting program, is the picture perfect example of that success.

In May, Piland sat for and passed all six sections of her certified bookkeeping exam with great success.

Unlike many students, Piland first contributed 25 years of service to the Thomas County School System before retiring and deciding to enroll in accounting courses at SWGTC. Although many years managing student database information systems was fulfilling, it did not directly correlate to her desire to pursue an accounting career. Piland went after her dream and graduated with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Accounting on May 1. 

Before graduation, Piland took four of the six sections of the certified bookkeeping exam that were administered in three two-hour sessions. The test consisted of adjusting entries, correction of accounting errors, payroll, depreciation, inventory, and internal controls — all of which she passed on her first try.

“When I arrived at the testing site to take the first section of the exam, I was incredibly nervous. I did not know whether I had prepared enough, nor did I know what material would be covered on the test.  Proctors were checking and cross referencing every student’s documents to ensure authenticity, which only added to my nervousness,” Piland explained. “After the first test, I realized I was very prepared. Every question I was presented was information I previously learned in my accounting courses at SWGTC.”

Piland also said, “I did not participate in any outside tutoring or practice for the exam other than what was offered in class and in the textbook. I completed the practice quizzes that were provided in the book. The material we covered in class matched what was asked of me on the exam.”

After passing two sections of the Certified Bookkeeping Exam, Piland began applying for jobs. On May 12th, Lori Piland began working for Archbold Medical Center Corporate Accounting Office in the Accounts Payable department.  Lori attributes her ability to secure a position so quickly to the strong foundation she received at SWGTC which allowed her to pass her   exam. “With a lack of true accounting experience in the work place, my scores on the Certified Bookkeeping Exam proved to employers that I have the knowledge required to be successful in this field,” Piland explained. Piland took the final portion of the exam at the end of May.

“The Southwest Georgia Technical College family is so proud of Lori and her success! She was an excellent student and has definitely raised the bar for future accounting students.  I am sure she will continue to grow and thrive throughout her career in the accounting field,” commented T. Garrett Westbrook, Accounting Instructor.

The Accounting Associate Degree program at SWGTC is a five semester program that prepares students for a variety of accounting careers in today’s technology-driven workplaces. Learning opportunities develop academic, technical, and professional knowledge and skills required for job acquisition, retention, and advancement. Program graduates receive an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Accounting. In addition to the accounting degree program, SWGTC offers a three semester Accounting Diploma as well as a two semester Payroll Accounting Specialist Certificate.

SWGTC offers more than 80 certificate, diploma, and degree programs. Many of these programs provide training for some of the nation’s fastest-growing career fields including Nursing, Automotive Technology, Clinical Laboratory Technology, and Criminal Justice Technology.  For more information on the Accounting program at SWGTC please call 229-225-4096 or visit

Technical College is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.


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Only a shell of the 1909 Grady County Courthouse remained after the 1980 fire.

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Pictured from left are Wilma Kelley, DAR Membership Committee, Thomasville Chapter NSDAR; Florence Harrell, Charlotte Brown, Carol Lehman and Cheryl Mills, new DAR members of the Thomasville Chapter NSDAR; and Melody Porter, DAR registrar, Thomasville Chapter NSDAR.

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