November 13, 2010 — A quartet of fourth-year students from the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce earned the top spot in the 2010 Goodman Accounting Challenge, held Nov. 5-7 in Richmond.
The winning team of Matt Davis, Bennett Dean, Matthew Glienke and Alec Haesler each took home $1,500 for their efforts, and earned $2,500 for McIntire..
The competition took place at the office of Goodman & Company, one of the largest certified public accounting firms in the mid-Atlantic region. The Goodman Accounting Challenge, now in its ninth year, is an interactive and educational competition created to promote the integrity of the accounting profession and recognize outstanding accounting students.
"These students delivered a superb performance in a highly stressful situation," said McIntire accounting professor Adam Koch, the team's faculty sponsor. "Not only did they have to address a number of lengthy and complex accounting questions, but they also had to figure out how to work most effectively with their teammates to do so."
The College of William & Mary took second place in the competition, and a team from James Madison University took third-place honors. A second U.Va. team of fourth-years Rebecca Perron, Cici Dimitrov, Ted Crockin and Sarah Blechinger tied a team from Eastern Mennonite University for fourth place.
This year's event attracted 34 teams from throughout Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The field was narrowed to five finalist teams after a grueling six-hour exam.
Haesler said that the team's McIntire education was a critical factor in its success. "We have great accounting professors, so right off the bat we felt like we were well-prepared to handle the test,” he said.
Haesler also pointed out the importance of McIntire's Integrated Core Experience curriculum – which frequently requires students to work in teams – to the team's success.
"Spending six hours in a room with three other people trying to complete a major project on time is definitely something that ICE prepares you for," Haesler said. "The nature of the final round was pretty intense, between the advanced questions and the time limit. We were able to delegate work efficiently and stay calm under pressure – all things we learned to do at McIntire."
Three years ago, Goodman & Company unveiled a new marketing strategy that focuses on recruiting young talent and supports the education of future accounting professionals. In addition to hosting the Goodman Accounting Challenge, the firm announced a $250,000 commitment over three years to numerous area colleges and universities, including U.Va.