USC wins Deloitte's 16th annual 'FanTAXtic' competition

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Deloitte announced on Tuesday that the University of Southern California took home top honors at the firm's 16th annual Deloitte FanTAXtic case study competition. The finals were held Jan. 13-15 at Deloitte University in Westlake, Texas.

USC's first place team - consisting of Li-Min Ko; Michael Shelton; Meng Shen; Tiffany Soto; and Ingrid Waung - won the competition by presenting the best analysis of a true-to-life business tax case. Each team member was awarded $2,000 in scholarships, and the University of Southern California received a $10,000 institutional award.

“I applaud all of the students on their hard work and creative thinking to solve this year’s business case challenge,” stated Tod Smith, chief talent officer, Deloitte Tax. “This competition helps cultivate future tax leaders, who will require a diverse skillset and innovative mindset to thrive in business.”

The University of North Carolina - Charlotte finished second in this year's contest and received $1,000 per student and a $5,000 institutional award. The University of Texas at Austin finished third and received $500 per student and a $2,500 institutional award.

Other participating teams in the finals included Boston College, University of Iowa, Marquette University, The Ohio State University, St. John Fisher College and the College of William & Mary. Each of the nine teams previously won the FanTAXtic contest in their respective U.S. regions to reach the national finals, with 60 teams representing 43 colleges and universities partaking in qualifier events this past November.

Debuting in 2002, the competition looks to offer a hands-on learning experience via case simulation and informative presentations to give students a more realistic look of the profession and the challenges they can expect to face.

“By engaging students in the challenges facing today’s tax professionals as well as prospective trends, they are better prepared for careers in tax,” stated Tonie Leatherberry, president, Deloitte Foundation. “Based on the showing of talent at this year’s event, the future of tax is bright.”

“FanTAXtic allows for accounting students to interact with peers from other colleges and universities and to get insight and direction from knowledgeable professionals who judge the competition,” said Joseph Keller, faculty advisor on USC's team, per a statement. “This year’s case study allowed participants to tackle a true-to-life challenge, preparing our students to enter the accounting profession. We truly appreciate Deloitte’s dedication to developing the next generation of tax professionals.”

For more on Deloitte and the FanTAXtic competition, head to the firm's site here.

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