50 Years of COB Alumni: Erin Simpson

Erin Simpson grew up in the small, close-knit Arkansas farming community of Hazen.

She knew college would take here away from home, but Simpson was not ready to leave behind the supportive, family atmosphere. At the University of Central Arkansas, Simpson realized she would not. Instead, she traded one family for another.

“My professors became mentors who made sure I did well in classes, stayed focused and had a path to a career,” she said. “UCA and the College of Business became a family and a home for me. I gained a community and a group of people invested in making sure I succeeded. That was what I needed coming from a small town.”

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Simpson found her passion for accounting as a teenager working over the summer in a local firm in Hazen.

“I fell in love with it,” she said.

Simpson’s time in the College of Business crafted that passion into a career.

“My professors knew my strengths and weaknesses and were able to guide me in the right way,” said Simpson. “When it came time to decide tax or audit, they knew I should be in auditing because my personality is geared toward being out in front of employees, clients and customers, working to help them.”

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Simpson spent nearly three years working at an accounting firm in Little Rock after graduating in 1999. She assisted clients from many industries, including non-profit, banking and government agencies. Then, she made the switch to banking compliance. She has been a senior vice president and director of compliance at First Security Bank since 2008.

The business education she received in the College of Business has allowed her to work in several facets of business, said Simpson.

“There are so many opportunities with an accounting degree,” said Simpson. “You have to understand the aspects of a business that help it operate efficiently.”