BYU Accounting Team Wins EY Beam Abroad Case Competition

BYU accounting students vie for global experience

PROVO, Utah – Feb 11, 2015 – Five Brigham Young University School of Accountancy students will be traveling to the Land of the Rising Sun as part of the grand prize for winning the fourth annual EY Beam Abroad Case Competition.

“I was shocked,” says Stephen Anderson, a junior from St. George, Utah, who will be traveling to Japan as a member of the winning team. “When they announced our team name, it didn’t register right away that we had won the competition.”

The winners will expand their networking opportunities as they visit Tokyo, Hiroshima, Osaka and Kyoto with EY partners and managers.

“BYU students are well-known and highly sought-after in the accounting world,” says Jennifer Garrard, an EY recruiter at the Salt Lake office. “EY hosted this competition to help students use the principles they learn in the classroom and continue to improve themselves through a real-world exercise.”

Fifteen teams made up of BYU accounting students strove to answer the case prompt asking each team to decide whether or not Japanese banks should continue implementing generally accepted accounting principles adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission or switch to international financial reporting standards. Each team in the competition received a copy of the case a week in advance before presenting their conclusions on January 16.

The winning team, called Cloak and Dagger, proposed that Japanese banks should discontinue using generally accepted accounting principles and use international financial reporting standards. Cloak and Dagger was composed of junior accounting students Janelle Knight of Roosevelt, Utah; Jingni Zhang of Guizhou, China; Lydia Sheffield of Highland, Utah; Carlos Escamilla of Hicksville, N.Y. and Anderson. The team will split a $2,500 cash award in addition to the trip in May.

Zhang noted that their lessons in the classroom, confidence and preparation paid off especially as they answered challenging questions by the EY partners following their presentations.

Cloak and Dagger spent roughly 15 hours working on the case before giving a 10-minute presentation to EY partners that was designed to expand their knowledge of international financial reporting standards.

“I learned the importance of being prepared when answering clients,” Anderson says of what he gained from the competition. “Most of all I learned the importance of having a good team.”

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.

From left: students Janelle Knight, Stephen Anderson, Jingni Zhang, Carlos Escamilla, and Lydia Sheffield

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Joshua Jamias