NC State Wins Annual Student Case Competition

Representing North Carolina State University, the team of Hannah Sadler, of Cary, N.C., and Jason Matthews, originally from Kansas City, Mo., and currently of Raleigh, N.C., were declared the winner of the Institute of Management Accountants’ (IMA’s) annual Student Case Competition following a live finalist presentation at IMA’s Annual Conference and Exposition.

“IMA’s student Case competition is an excellent opportunity for accounting students to develop their strategic planning, decision making and presentation skills – critical skills required for success in the management accounting profession,” Sandra Richtermeyer, Ph.D., CMA, CPA, IMA’s Professor-in-Residence and a professor at Xavier University, said in a prepared statement announcing the winners. “We’re pleased to recognize the efforts of outstanding accounting students through this award presented to North Carolina State University.”

Now in its 16th year, the IMA Student Case Competition challenged teams of accounting students across the U.S. to respond to a published hypothetical case study appearing in Strategic Finance magazine. Teams of students analyzed the business case, developed a solution and submitted a videotaped presentation. Entries were judged by a panel of IMA members with an eye toward organization, content and presentation. Four finalist teams were each awarded a $3,000 cash prize and invited to make in-person presentations before the judging committee at IMA’s Annual Conference in Las Vegas in June. As the final winner, the North Carolina State University team won an additional $2,000 for their school.

The entry submitted by the North Carolina State University team analyzed the accounting systems of a manufacturing company which had adopted a Lean environment. The team evaluated the company’s current accounting practices and made recommendations to move from traditional costing methods to Lean accounting, which would increase employee and product efficiency, reduce production time to market and provide better decision-making information to management.

“The Student Case Competition showed a different side of accounting,” said Jason Matthews. “The curriculum in school is geared towards public accounting, when actually there is so much more to the profession. I learned that I have more career options with my accounting degree.”

“The project was challenging and made us think like an on-the-job management accountant and give a convincing presentation,” said Hannah Sadler. “The competition was a wonderful experience to broaden my knowledge about the profession.”

IMA will continue the tradition of the Student Case Competition in 2007. The 2007 case will be published in the August 2006 edition of Strategic Finance magazine, with a February 1, 2007, deadline for entries. More information is available on the http://www.imanet.org/ IMA website.

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