Accounting Team Wins Competition for Third Consecutive Year

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The accounting team from the University of Southern Indiana College of Business has a third consecutive win in the annual Indiana CPA Society (INCPAS) Case Study Competition. The USI press release reports that teams from 11 Indiana universities participated in the initial competition. Out of these 11 teams, six teams were selected to give their oral presentations in Indianapolis early on November 3rd, according to the Evansville Courier & Press.

According to the USI press release and the INCPAS, the objective of the competition this year was to challenge students with a practical project requiring the teams to use their knowledge, skills and judgment in creating value in the peer review process for firms, clients and third party users.

The case study presentations made in the competition related directly to accounting requirements found in the corporate world. The case study of this year's teams concerned peer reviews or practice monitoring, according to the USI press release. All member firms of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) are required to participate in a peer review program.

Each team had 10 days to prepare their written case studies. The finalists at this preliminary level were notified on October 27th that they had November 3rd to prepare their 15-20 minute oral presentations. A panel of four judges determined the winners after a brief question and answer session.

The winning USI team made recommendations concerning the simplification of the peer review process as well as the replacement of the current system of unmodified, modified and adverse reports with a new certification process. Currently, firms that qualify for an unmodified report would be awarded AICPA certification stating that the firm produces quality results, according to the USI press release. Certification would be for a period of five years.

Firms with modified reports would receive conditional certification requiring that they qualify for an unmodified report within one year, according to the USI press release. Firms with an adverse report would not receive certification and not be eligible for certification for one year.

To increase transparency, the team suggested not allowing the same review team to audit a firm from one year to another, as well as more training for peer reviewers. A recruitment campaign was suggested to help increase the number of peer reviewers.

Of the four members of the team, three were seniors, with one junior and one senior was a member of last year's winning team, according to the USI press release. Jeanette Maier-Lytle has been the USI instructor in accounting and faculty coach of the team for three years. INCPAS awarded $1000 to each member of the winning team.

USI is a public university located in Evansville, Indiana, that broke 10,000 students in their 2004-2005 academic year, according to Credit enrollment is expected to reach 11,000 within five years. USI already handles another 9,000 in comprehensive noncredit programs annually. Their College of Business is comprised of Departments of Accounting and Business Law, Economics and Finance, Management, Management Information Systems, Applied Computer Science and Marketing and Business Communication.

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