Margolin, Winer & Evens LLP (MWE) of Garden City, New York, created the Long Island College Accounting Challenge as a way to encourage Long Island accounting students to become more aware of the professional opportunities available.
Using a quiz show format, the competition for senior accounting students from local universities provides bragging rights for the winning team, and shows them that accountants can have fun. The third competition was held earlier this month.
Each team has four senior accounting students who have taken the core classes of ethics, auditing, accounting, and tax. The questions come from Becker CPA Review, which is one of the sponsors of the event.
“We also have two partners, a tax partner and a quality control partner, serve as judges on the spot to determine if an answer is complete and accurate,” Tracey Segarra, director of marketing, told AccountingWEB.
The competition already is generating a lot of interest, with local universities showing up to watch. Competing universities have increased from four to five this year. Molloy College came to watch last year's event and asked to be included. The other four schools are C.W. Post, Adelphi University, New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), and The State University of New York (SUNY) at Old Westbury.
The College Accounting Challenge also is a recruiting tool for participating schools, and organizers are considering plans to hold the competition at different schools each year to give them an opportunity to showcase their campus. This year's event was held at Adelphi University.
“I think it has been very solid press for us. We are already known but it has highlighted our presence in Long Island. It automatically puts us on the map. It is good public relations and highlights the firm,” said Robert Micera, MWE director of human resources.
“One of the people that participated has since come to work with us,” said Segarra. “It has helped as a recruiting tool and getting people to know the firm. We are the second largest firm on Long Island. It helps to differentiate us. It shows we are an innovative firm. We hope to video the event and upload it to YouTube.”
Micera told AccountingWEB that schools are "coming out of the woodwork" to participate. "It is celebrating working and living on Long Island. We are active in our community and this is a great way to do something fun and interesting for the college students,” he said.