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Marriott School students take top honors in national tax competition

A Brigham Young University Marriott School undergraduate team recently placed first and a graduate team placed second at the national Deloitte Tax Case Study Competition--beating out other top accounting schools including the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Illinois and the University of Georgia.

For the seventh time in the 12-year history of the competition, both Marriott School teams placed among the top three in the graduate and undergraduate division, an unparalleled accomplishment.

Robert L. Gardner, BYU's Robert J. Smith professor of accounting, advised the undergraduate student team consisting of Chad Hungerford, Rock Springs, Wyo.; Paul Rasmussen, Houston; John Werlhof, Chico, Calif.; and Jaron Wilde, Ventura, Calif.

John Barrick, an assistant accountancy professor, was the faculty lead for the graduate team comprised of Linda Andrews, Taylorsville, Utah; Marianne Hafen and Terry Jackson, Las Vegas; and Matt Walton, Campbell, Calif.

"The school's continual winning speaks well of the students we're fortunate to have at BYU," says Kevin Stocks, director of the School of Accountancy and Information Systems. "It also shows the important link the school emphasizes between the academic world to the world of practice."

Twelve national teams advanced from the regional competitions in which approximately 60 teams from 40 colleges and universities competed. The national event gave the teams up to five hours to complete a complex theoretical case study that required them to analyze information, identify issues and consider alternative tax treatments for a hypothetical client situation. The BYU teams earned a combined $15,000 in grants for the School of Accountancy and Information Systems.

Barrick says intense motivation led to the students' victories. "We have great students; they take pride in the reputation of our department, the Marriott School and the university," he says.

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