Two ladies look at computer screens in an office.

Rianne Lang, left, and another member of the RSM audit team examine financials at Wingate this summer.

When Rianne Lang earned her Master of Accounting degree from the Porter Byrum School of Business in 2015, she knew she’d want to return to Wingate to visit. What she didn’t know is that within a year she’d be back poring over her alma mater’s financial records.

A senior audit associate with the nation’s fifth-largest accounting firm, Lang has spent more than a month this summer and last as part of the team from the firm RSM performing Wingate’s annual financial audit. It’s a task she’s glad to be assigned.

“I love seeing the progress that Wingate is making, hearing about what the leadership is thinking and doing,” says Lang, a member of the volleyball team during her undergraduate days. “It’s all very exciting. I like seeing the inner workings of a business, seeing how their numbers affect their decisions.”

Even when she talks to other alumni, she is careful to keep what she learns in the audit room confidential.

“I keep a tight lid on University information,” she says. “But it’s nice to be able to say, ‘They have lots of building and renovations going on. The athletics are going strong. Wingate’s doing great.’”

A native of Littleton, Colorado, and the daughter of a CPA, Lang said she knew she wanted to study business when she came to Wingate for her undergrad. She’d always liked numbers and enjoyed her accounting classes most, so that became her major.

Lang lives and works in Charlotte but spends a good bit of time on the road, often traveling to Greenville, S.C., or as far away as Kentucky. She earned her CPA designation last November and enjoys auditing more than tax work.

“I like interacting with the client, rather than sitting in a cubicle every day,” Lang says. Between January and April, her focus is service providers and clients in the manufacturing industry. During the summer, the work shifts to nonprofits, and Lang sets her sights on Wingate.

“We’re here for a week at the beginning of the summer to plan out the audit, then again in July and August,” she says. “I’m here the majority of the summer.”

She said she loves catching up with people she knows on campus and always makes a point to check in on the volleyball team.

Two women sit across from one another at a desk.

Amanda Smith, Wingate’s assistant vice president for business and controller, shares information with alumna Rianne Lang during the university’s annual audit.

Amanda Smith, Wingate’s assistant vice president for business and also a Wingate alum, likes working with Lang. “It makes me very proud that we have produced such good-quality graduates that RSM is glad to send one of our own to work on our audit,” Smith says.

Lang would like to see more Bulldog alumni on the RSM payroll. “One of my goals, in wanting to give back to the University, is to get RSM more involved in recruiting more here,” she says.

Patrick Bartlett, who earned his bachelor’s degree from Wingate in 2000, is a partner at the firm’s Charlotte office, as is his classmate Laura Megahee.

Aug. 22, 2017