Mitchell Saranow, chairman and founder of the Saranow Group, LLC, has been providing clients with strategic planning, financial administration, and business development since he founded his company in 1983. Having more than 30 years of experience within the financial business, Mitchell Saranow has helped businesses grow to become leading corporations within their industries.

Throughout his extensive career, Mitchell Saranow has gained professional affiliations and has served on several public boards. In addition to having been a member of the American Bar Association, he is associated with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The institute has been dedicated to creating standards, advocating, and representing the profession since 1887. Through examinations and educational programs, the AICPA ensures that its members follow ethical guidelines and provide high-quality services. The AICPA hopes that through its enforcement of standards, information sharing, and advocating before other organizations, CPA professionals can provide clients, employers, and the public with the highest quality of help.

Over its more than 120-year history, the AICPA has gained more than 380,000 members around the world. With the help of its members and other affiliations, the AICPA offers licensure and certification programs that provide professionals with the training and information they need to maintain the organization’s high standards. The AICPA administers the Elijah Watt Sells award program, which honors professionals who perform at a high level on the CPA examination. With the aid of its members and other volunteers, the AICPA publishes new information within the field, continues research, and promotes policy changes that better the profession.
A highly accomplished venture capitalist who has launched and led a variety of successful enterprises over the course of his career, Mitchell Saranow currently applies his expertise as Chairman of the Northbrook, Illinois-based firm The Saranow Group LLC. Deeply engaged in civic service outside of his professional life, Saranow spent 10 years on the Board of Governors of Northwestern University Library, a historic institution recognized as one of the top private research libraries in the United States.

Offering a vast collection of information within 5 million printed volumes, the library also maintains 14 terabytes of digitized content that students, faculty, and visitors can access with ease. The expansive facility, which is constantly bustling with activity, provides guests with over 60 state-of-the-art computer work stations, as well as large-scale plasma screens and smart-boards ideally suited for collaborative projects and group presentations.

Each year, approximately 800,000 people filter through Northwestern’s Main Library on the Evanston campus, a building that contains a multiplicity of rare collections within the Marjorie I. Mitchell Multimedia Center, the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies, the Government and Geographic Information and Data Services Department, and the University Archives, to name only a few of the many departments in operation. To learn more about the impressive Northwestern University Library, which was designed by famed architect Walter S. Netsch in the 1960s, visit
Each year, thousands of people take the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Uniform CPA Examination. Just under half pass the exam and earn certification as CPAs. About one in 2,500 is honored with the Elijah Watt Sells Award, one of the most prestigious prizes in the field of accounting.

Created in 1923 in honor of educator and accountant Elijah Watt Sells, one of the first CPAs in New York State, the Sells Award recognizes those test takers who earn the highest scores on the Uniform CPA Examination. In 2011, award winners were required to earn an average score of 95.50 across the exam’s four sections. Of the more than 90,000 prospective CPAs who completed the exam that year, only 35 achieved this distinction.

Owing to its competitiveness and the sheer volume of contenders, the Sells Award is regarded as one of the highest honors a new CPA can receive. Motivating test takers to achieve their best, the prize has become an important accounting recognition.

About the author:
An accomplished entrepreneur, attorney, and CPA, Mitchell Saranow received the Elijah Watt Sells Award in 1981.