The American Institute of CPAs has opened submissions for its fourth annual Accounting Competition, which challenges teams of undergraduate students to solve topical financial problems for a $10,000 prize.

The 2013 AICPA Accounting Competition’s three-stage process focuses on financial planning, introducing a fictional 24-year-old who wishes to start a mobile app business but must quickly organize his finances and pay off his debt.

Student teams will have until Sept. 27 to submit their entries. The top three teams, plus their advisors (full-time faculty members or graduate students at a two- or four-year-degree institution or local AICPA members) will receive a trip package to Washington, D.C. to present their case to an executive panel of judges and compete for first place. Second place will receive $5,000 and third place $2,500, with all awards fully funded by the AICPA Foundation.

“We chose personal financial planning as the topic for this year’s competition to expose students to the experience of advising a client on their financial affairs,” stated Rebecca Mahler, AICPA senior manager of career research and student organizational partnerships. “In addition to gaining exposure to in-demand accounting skills, students will have an opportunity to develop their presentation and interview skills while working in a team dynamic – all of which will be extremely useful as they begin their careers.”

First-round team submissions and rosters, which must include three to four undergraduate students attending a two- or four-year institution, will be received no later than 12 p.m. EST on Sept. 27. Of the two team members who must be declared accounting-related majors, one will serve as team captain while the remaining members may come from any discipline.

“Participating in the competition taught me a lot of things that I don’t think I would have learned in a classroom,” said April Crawford, masters in accounting student at University of Texas – Dallas and captain of last year’s winning team, in a statement. “In addition to the technical accounting skills that our team was able to sharpen through the competition, we also got to develop our soft skills such as managing schedules, interviewing, networking and public speaking.”

First-round submissions will be evaluated to determine the 15 semi-finalists who will compete for the final three spots.

To register and find additional details, teams can visit to 2013 AICPA Accounting Competition section of AICPA’s ThisWayToCPA website.


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