The AICPA announced today that students representing the University of Kansas have earned first place in the 2015 AICPA Accounting Competition, earning a $5,000 award for their school. Students from the University of Portland finished second, receiving $3,000, and the third-place team from The College of Brockport, SUNY, winning $2,000.

The winning University of Kansas team, named “Let’s Get Fiscal,” is made up of:

  • Morgan Little, Team Captain
  • Eric Harrison
  • Ryan Hunt
  • Kevin Cheng, Team Advisor

Each of the three finalist teams also received a $10,000 award to be split among the team members and an expense-paid trip to Durham, NC to present their plans to a panel of judges. The awards are all funded by the AICPA Foundation.

“All three of the teams in the finals demonstrated strong presentation and communication skills, which are important to a successful accounting career,” stated Tommye Barie, 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 AICPA has found that students who participate in the competition are more likely to sit for the CPA Exam and become licensed," stated Joanne Fiore, AICPA vice president of professional media, pathways and inclusion. "We invite accounting professors across the country to visit ThisWaytoCPA.com and encourage their students to enter next year’s competition.” 

[IMGCAP(1)]

This year’s competition, the sixth annual, challenged teams of undergraduates to play the role of management accountants and combine their accounting and financial expertises to take a fictional toy company to the next level, helping the company reduce costs and sell competitively.

Fifty-seven student teams entered the competition and were picked 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, NC, with the University of Kansas team emerging victorious.

The winning team’s plan took advantage of industry trends by creating a mobile app which allowed customers integrate with the company’s physical toys. This strategy increased profit margins, the company’s revenue cycle and increased the probability of successfully expanding overseas.

“The AICPA Accounting Competition placed teams right in the middle of a company at a cross roads that was in need of strategic guidance. This allowed the students to understand and appreciate the crucial role management accountants play, shaping the future of businesses and ensuring they are on course to succeed,” said Ash Noah, vice president of CGMA external relations at AICPA and a competition judge, in a statement.

For more information on the 2015 AICPA Accounting Competition, head to ThisWayToCPA's site here.