University of Portland accounting students place second in national competition, held in Durham, North Carolina

Business

Awards and Rankings

January 7, 2016

A team of University of Portland students finished second in the 2015 AICPA Accounting Competition, held recently in Durham, North Carolina. The UP students’ finish earned a $3,000 award for the University. In addition, the team received a $10,000 award to be split among team members. All awards are funded by the AICPA Foundation.

The University of Portland team consisted of students Isaac Mansuetti, Lance Chee and Connor Ward, all juniors, and UP accounting professor Ellen Lippman, who served as faculty advisor.

“UP has entered the competition twice,” said Lippman. “Last time we took first with a team of four seniors. This time we took second with a team of three juniors. I am especially proud of them, as they needed to learn so much they hadn’t yet had in our curriculum."

“All three of the teams in the finals demonstrated strong presentation and communication skills, which are important to a successful accounting career,” said Tommye Barie, CPA, immediate past chair of AICPA and a competition judge. “On behalf of the AICPA, I’d like to congratulate the winners for their outstanding work.”

The competition was hosted on the AICPA’s ThisWayToCPA website, which provides tools, articles and resources to accounting students and CPA Exam candidates. The site offers free sign up for AICPA Student Affiliate Membership, as well as information on AICPA scholarships.

“The AICPA has found that students who participate in the competition are more likely to sit for the CPA Exam and become licensed. We invite accounting professors across the country to visit ThisWaytoCPA.com and encourage their students to enter next year’s competition,” said Joanne Fiore, AICPA vice president of professional media, pathways and inclusion.

This year’s competition, the sixth annual, challenged teams of undergraduates to play the role of management accountants, combine their accounting and financial expertise with strategic insight to take a fictional business to the next level and help the company reduce costs and sell competitively.

Fifty-seven student teams entered the competition and were whittled down to 15 semi-final teams. Those teams received an additional challenge and submitted a video plan, which was reviewed by a panel of judges and voted on by the public. The three teams with the best proposals and highest grades made it to the finals to present in person in Durham.

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