Nov. 9, 2007 — Four students from the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce — fourth-years Jennifer Clifton, Karishma Desouza, Jeffrey Kidd and David Myers — took top honors in the 2007 Goodman Accounting Challenge, held Nov. 2-4, 2007, in Norfolk, Va.
The competition took place at the headquarters of Goodman & Company, one of the largest certified public accounting firms in the Mid-Atlantic. The Goodman Accounting Challenge, now in its sixth year, is an interactive and educational competition created to promote the integrity of the accounting profession and recognize outstanding accounting students.
“These students performed outstandingly under a lot of pressure,” says McIntire professor Roger Martin, who taught the undergraduates and who also heads McIntire’s M.S. in accounting program. “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.”
Salisbury University took second place in the competition, followed by teams from James Madison University and Virginia Tech. This year’s event attracted 24 teams from 13 schools throughout Virginia and Maryland. The field was narrowed to four finalist teams after a grueling six-hour exam.
The top four teams vied not only for the championship title, but also for cash rewards for individual team members and their respective schools. As part of Goodman & Company’s 75th anniversary celebration, the prize amounts were increased for this year’s competition. As the winning team, McIntire received $2,500 for the school’s accounting department, and the team members earned $1,500 each for their participation. The other finalists also won cash prizes.
Team member Myers says that even though some of the questions were difficult — and even involved topics in accounting that the students had not yet studied — the students felt well-prepared for the challenge. “Our McIntire coursework provided us with extensive experience working on teams, and many of our exams had questions presented in a very similar format to those in the challenge,” he says. Myers will join accounting powerhouse KPMG after his graduation in May.
Goodman & Company has recently 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 has announced a $250,000 commitment over three years to numerous area colleges and universities. This month, representatives from Goodman & Company will begin visiting these campuses to present the checks in person to college and university leaders. “We are committed to the integrity and future of the accounting profession and wanted to celebrate our 75 years of success by investing in the education of the next generation of great accountants,” said Tom Wilson, Goodman & Company’s managing partner. “We hope to see some of these students eventually join our firm.”