The AICPA announced on Monday that students from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas have earned first place in the 2014 AICPA Accounting Competition, earning a $5,000 award for their school.

Students from North Carolina State University placed second, taking home $3,000 for their university, and the University of Southern Indiana taking third-place, netting $2,000. Additionally, each of the three finalist teams received a $10,000 award, to be split among the team members, funded by the AICPA Foundation.

The fifth annual Accounting Competition saw teams of undergraduates play the role of management accountants and combine their accounting and financial skills with strategic insight to help guide business decisions. The business in question was a fictional company called Humble Pies Inc., run by two best friends from Charlotte, NC. As demand for the company’s pies has increased over the years and expanded to a national market, the co-owners hired a new Controller, a CPA with her CGMA designation, to help them continue to grow.   

Over the course of three increasingly challenging tasks, the competition tested each teams' ability to play the role of management accountants, working with the Controller to ensure that Humble Pies would remain profitable and competitive. Seventy-nine teams entered the competition by submitting 1,000 word plans for Humble Pies.

Of those initial entries, 15 teams were selected to participate in the semi-finals, where they were tasked with creating a five to six-minute video and supporting documentation. Those teams were narrowed down to the finalists through input from judges, as well as a public vote on the videos.

The three finalist teams were rewarded with an expense-paid trip to Washington, DC. At the finals, teams gave a ten-minute presentation of their plans to the panel of judges, and participated in Q&A sessions. The judges then determined the winners, scoring teams on the technical details of their plan, the creativity of their proposals and the persuasiveness of their presentations.

“I was extremely impressed with the level of detail these talented students put into their plans, as well as their polished presentation skills,” said Bill Balhoff, immediate past chairman of the AICPA, and one of the final round judges, in a statement. “The AICPA Competition provided students a great opportunity to understand the crucial role management accountants play, guiding critical business decisions and driving performance within companies.”

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas team, named "Accounting REBEL-ation," was comprised of:

  • Annegenelle Figueroa (Captain)
  • Kevin Curry (Member)
  • Brett Sebastian (Member)
  • Kayla Shim (Member)
  • Daniel Siciliano (Faculty advisor)

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For more information about the Competition or to watch the video submissions, visit the Competition's site here.