Beta Alpha Psi launches national case competition

Beta Alpha Psi, the national honorary fraternity for accounting, IT, and finance students, has launched a new national competition for its members.

Project Run With It, a case competition that combines academic and real life elements, was designed to allow BAP members in all three majors from potentially 60 different chapters to develop solutions to financial and technological problems of actual not-for-profit (NFP) agencies. According to Bob Bunting, former CEO of Moss Adams and past chair of the AICPA, "One of the biggest challenges that future financial information graduates face is the translation of their technical and theoretical university courses into the real life application of knowledge to address business problems."

The 2008 competition will involve a maximum of 60 students, working in teams of four, each student from a different chapter. Three NFPs will participate in the competition. Each team will be assigned to one of the NFPs. Each NFP will have up to 4 real life financial and technology problems that need a solution. Upon meeting the NFPs for the first time on August 7, 2008 (the first day of the BAP annual meeting, being held in Anaheim, California) and listening to each of their issues, the teams will have the opportunity to choose which issue they want to solve as a team.

During this first meeting, the NFP agency will provide background information and answer student questions. The teams will have approximately 12 hours to research a solution and create a professional quality presentation. For some of this time, the teams will have access to representatives of the NFPs. The teams will be provided with meals and will have full access to the Internet and other office support systems. PowerPoint presentations will be due at midnight, August 7.

On August 8, the teams will make their presentations to a team of judges consisting of a representative from each of the NFPs, a faculty member, and a partner from Moss Adams LLP. Three winning teams will be chosen.

Each of the four chapters represented by the three winning teams will be awarded $1,000 for a total of $12,000 in chapter awards. The BAP Board is extremely grateful to the Moss Adams Foundation for agreeing to sponsor the competition for a minimum of 2 years (2008 and 2009) at an annual contribution of $20,000. Russ Wilson, the chair of the Moss Adams Foundation Board, stated, "The Moss Adams Foundation is extremely excited to be increasing the Firm's exposure and presence with BAP nationally through the sponsorship of this competition. Today's students want opportunities to showcase their skills and abilities now, and Project Run With It will provide a great opportunity to do just that."

Chris Schmidt, chief operating officer of Moss Adams, said, "Moss Adams is very excited about our involvement with National Beta Alpha Psi and Project Run With It. The accounting industry has benefited greatly over the years hiring outstanding students that are members of BAP. They are the best and brightest and we look forward to participating in the competition and interacting with the students. We are committed as a firm to BAP and its members and know Project Run With It will be a success."

The nomination deadline is May 1, 2008 for the 2008 competition. All chapters are encouraged to nominate an accounting major and a non-accounting major (i.e., Finance or IT). As part of the application process, the nominated student must meet with a director of a local not-for-profit agency to gain a better understanding of the financial/information systems issues faced by not-for-profit organizations. As part of the nomination, the student will submit a one-page summary (essay) of this meeting and identify how his/her BAP chapter could assist this organization. final choices based on service to BAP, grade point average, the nominee’s essay, and a statement of commitment to attend the annual meeting. Those selected to participate will be advised by July 1. Participants must be able to attend the annual meeting in Anaheim. Additional information about the competition can be found on the Beta Alpha Psi Web site.

Project Run With It nomination form.

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