BYU Sweeps Deloitte Case Study Competition

Undergraduate and Graduate Teams Both No. 1

Accounting students from Brigham Young University swept the 2009 Deloitte Tax Case Study Competition, taking first place in both the graduate and undergraduate divisions. The two teams each received a $10,000 school award and $2,000 scholarships for each team member.

BYU accounting students have excelled in the competition in the past, with either a graduate or undergraduate team placing first or second every year in the eight years since Deloitte has sponsored the competition. This is the first time, however, that BYU has taken the top award in both the graduate and undergraduate categories.

"I think this honor is a reflection of the quality of students we have in the School of Accountancy and acknowledges their hard work," says Ron Worsham, associate professor of accounting and faculty adviser for the graduate team. "It comes down to a combination of great students, a great program and great preparation."

The graduate team was made up of master of accountancy students Ryan Graduate team (from left): Jaymie Farr, Ryan Dayton, Emma Douglas, Brent Monson and faculty adviser Ron Worsham
Graduate team (from left): Jaymie Farr,
Ryan Dayton, Emma Douglas, Brent Monson
and faculty adviser Ron Worsham
Dayton from Woodinville, Wash.; Emma Douglas from Indianapolis, Ind.; Jaymie Farr from Royal City, Wash.; and Brent Monson from Orem, Utah. The undergraduate team consisted of senior accounting students Devin Davidson from Othello, Wash.; Jordan Mendez from South Jordan, Utah; Joe Orien from Anchorage, Alaska; and Brian Hazen from Temecula, Calif.

"It was a fun opportunity to step outside of the classic textbook scenarios and see some obscure, yet realistic, tax issues that we might face someday in the workplace," Dayton says.

Teams took five hours to analyze and find a solution to a case study based on an actual business situation. Each team developed a solution by citing the Internal Revenue Code and Treasury Regulations and submitted it to a board of Deloitte representatives for judging. Judges ranked the teams based on their ability to use relevant tax principles to formulate and present a solution.

Robert Gardner, professor of accounting and faculty adviser for the undergraduate team, observes the competition prepares students for their careers by giving them an opportunity to apply what they learn and practice in class to a real-world setting.

"Both critical thinking and teamwork are important skills for tax accountants," he says. "On many projects you need to work closely with other individuals assigned to the project as you critically analyze and evaluate the essential facts and issues. This honor verifies these students' abilities to jointly use their critical thinking skills to come together and solve detailed and intricate tax questions."

The University of Denver and the University of Central Florida took second and third place, respectively, in the graduate division. In the undergraduate category, the College of William and Mary finished second, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison finished third.

The Marriott School is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. The school has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, public management, information systems and entrepreneurship. The school's mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,000 students are enrolled in the Marriott School's graduate and undergraduate programs.  

Media Contact: Joseph Ogden (801) 422-8938
Writer: Dustin Cammack