BYU Accounting Wins Again at PwC Competition

PROVO, Utah – Feb 04, 2015 – Another year equaled yet another win for a team from Brigham Young University at the national PwC Challenge Tax Competition.

Competing last month in Washington, D.C., a team of five students from the School of Accountancy presented recommendations for a case that involved creating a national tax policy to include provisions for virtual currency such as Bitcoin.

“This year’s team worked phenomenally hard, creatively applied data to the solution, and impressed the judges during the questions and answer phase,” says John Barrick, associate professor and team adviser.

Citing the team’s sound analysis and team cohesion, the judges awarded the first place prize of $10,000 to BYU over fellow finalists Penn State, Texas A&M, Binghamton and Bryant.

The team ultimately proposed that virtual currency should be treated more as property than currency and created an app to aid in the regulation and security of exchange transactions between virtual currencies and their traditional paper-and-coin counterparts.

“One of the biggest things that the judges noticed was how unified our team was,” says Corbin Stott, a senior from Alpine, Utah. “Everyone understood the proposals and anyone was willing to answer any questions. The BYU accounting program played a huge part in that. Because everyone had been on so many teams before at school, we could gel right off the bat for this competition.”

Stott’s teammates included accounting juniors McKell Anderson from Burley, Idaho; Hayden Holbrook from Park City, Utah; and Adam Mahas from Holladay, Utah; along with seniors Ben Green from Dallas, Oregon. The team rose to the top from an original pool of over 500 teams on 45 campuses that began competing at the regional level last semester.

The win was BYU’s fourth overall at PwC’s annual competition, the most titles of any university in the country. BYU has also been a finalist more often than any other school, competing for first place nine of the competition’s 13 years.

“We were very happy to represent BYU,” says Anderson. “Knowing we had people backing us up and that BYU has a great tradition really encouraged us to put our best foot forward.”

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, entrepreneurship, finance, information systems and public management. 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.

BYU won its fourth PwC Challenge Tax Competition

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Jordan Christiansen