A team from Brigham Young University’s School of Accountancy won first place at the 13th Annual Deloitte National Student Case Study Competition in Scottsdale, Ariz., in April.
BYU will receive a $10,000 prize for the victory, and each team member will receive a $2,000 scholarship. Six schools competed at the national invitational event sponsored by the Deloitte Foundation. In its last three appearances, BYU has earned one second-place and two first-place finishes.
The six students on the winning BYU team — all first-year Master of Accountancy students — were Valerie Funk, Tucson, Ariz.; Joanna Jenkins, La Puente, Calif.; Jen McDonald, Valencia, Calif.; Kevin Brown, American Fork, Utah; Jared Lish, Eagle, Idaho; and Brian Suker, Brigham City, Utah.
“The win solidifies our standing as one of the top schools in the country,” says Ervin Black, associate professor of accounting and the team’s faculty adviser. “It gives credence to the skills we hope we’re developing in our students.”
Participants were given three weeks to analyze a case study adapted from an actual business scenario in Deloitte’s archives. Each team presented their solution to a panel of active and retired Deloitte partners acting as senior management for a simulated client company. The judges then challenged each team’s solution with a round of questioning. Teams were evaluated on their ability to identify the relevant accounting issues and to effectively present and defend their solutions.
“Every team was really good — when we won I was honestly very surprised,” Brian Suker says. “According to the judges, what made the difference was how prepared we were for the question-and-answer session. We had anticipated all the questions they asked.”
The team prepared for the national competition by competing in a similar event at BYU. Students comprising 18 teams enrolled in a specialized research class and competed for the chance to represent BYU in Arizona. Throughout the process, accounting professionals from Deloitte assisted the students and supervised their efforts.
“We had a great experience working with the Deloitte professionals,” Jen McDonald says. “They did a great job of being there to work with and answer any questions. It made the situation feel like real life, allowing us to take a look into what it’s really like in the accounting profession.”
The team from the University of Notre Dame took second place and received $5,000 for its school and a $1,000 scholarship for each team member. The other participating teams represented the University of California-Berkeley, the University of Connecticut, the University of Illinois and Morehouse College.
The Marriott School has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, public management, information systems and entrepreneurship. Approximately 3,000 students are enrolled in the Marriott School’s graduate and undergraduate programs.
For this and other Marriott School press releases, visit the online newsroom at marriottschoool.byu.edu/news.
Writer: Arie Decker