A team of DePaul University students captured top honors at a national accounting case competition for Hispanic students for the second time in five years.

The team beat out 27 other college teams in the KPMG-Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting Case Competition Aug. 7 in Anaheim, Calif.

Team members Evelyn Baños, Jahangir Khandwala, Karen Tellez and Jasmine Villagomez were each awarded $500 and honored at an ALPFA convention lunch. It was the fourth time in 11 years students from DePaul’s chapter of the Midwest Association of Hispanic Accountants finished first and the ninth time they participated. The team bested seven other college teams in the final round to take home the win.

“They were magnificent and did an extraordinary job, not only with their presentation, but also mastering the question-and-answer portion of the competition,” said Beth Murphy, an associate professor at DePaul’s School of Accountancy & Management Information Systems and the MAHA team’s faculty advisor, in a statement. “Especially considering they were the youngest team I’ve ever coached. KPMG’s competition has been held for 11 years and DePaul has participated in the final competition nine of those 11 years. This shows DePaul is a clear force to contend with in this competition.”

Each team was given a unique accounting problem to solve by serving as an auditing team presenting findings to an audit committee. The students’ solutions were presented to a panel of KPMG partner and ALPFA member judges, who then grilled the students in a question-and-answer period.


The DePaul students were tasked with identifying overall corporate objectives, strategies and risks that would prevent McDonald’s Corp. from achieving its objectives by assessing corporate governance and stock-based compensation practices.

In addition to Beth Murphy, the team was guided by DePaul accounting school alumni and friends Melina Barona, Elizabeth Byrum, Jovan Cruz, Ayaz Ebrahim, Jessica Fawcett, Terry Kenny and Kari Rios.

The seven other teams competing in the final were: Arizona State University, Texas A&M University, University of Florida, University of Maryland, University of Southern California, University of Washington and University of Texas-Austin.