Two New Competitions Bring Attention to Accounting Careers

The Institute recently launched the “Clearly Pretty Awesome Competition” for high school students to help introduce them to the CPA profession.


The competition called for students to devise a job (other than certified public accountant) using the acronym CPA, such as “curb paint applicator” or “city park accordionist.” Then, to enter the competition, students visited the Start Here, Go Places website, which educates high school students about accounting careers; registered using the site’s FutureMe tool; and submitted their entries, along with an explanation of why being a certified public accountant is a better career option than the job they created. The finalists were posted on for public voting, and winners were announced last month. For a list of winners, visit The first-place winner’s submission will be turned into an ad to become part of the Institute’s national campaign. The first-place winner also receives a laptop, and $3,000 will be awarded to the student’s school. The second-place winner receives a laptop plus a $1,500 award to the student’s school. Third-, fourth- and fifth-place winners each receive an iPod Touch.


The Institute also recently launched the 2010 AICPA Accounting Competition to improve sustainability practices in business. The AICPA is hosting the competition on the new website, which helps college students and candidates for the CPA exam investigate the accounting profession as well as prepare to become a CPA.


College students pursuing either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree will compete by submitting a plan to make the practices of a North Carolina luxury hotel align better with the principles of sustainability.


“The competition is an opportunity for students to gain experience working with a client,” said Jeannie Patton, AICPA vice president–Students, Academics and Membership.


Students participating in the accounting competition must work in teams of four, each of which must include at least two accounting majors. One of the accounting majors must be the team captain. Three teams will receive a cash award. The first-place team will receive $10,000; the second-place team, $5,000; and the third-place team, $2,500.


The Institute for Sustainable Development (, an organization based in North Carolina’s Research Triangle, is a partner with the AICPA in the competition. In 2009, the AICPA was named a Green Plus Mover by the Institute of Sustainable Development in recognition of its sustainability efforts. The Umstead Hotel & Spa, the hotel that the contest is based upon, is also a Green Plus Certified business.


The semifinalist teams are:


  • Blazers (Elms College and University of Massachusetts)
  • Dealers in Debits and Credits (The Citadel, S.C.)
  • Eco Consulting LLC (University of Texas at Dallas)
  • Greening the GAAP (Ohio Dominican University)
  • teamGorilla (Pittsburg State University, Kan.)
  • Team Precision (San Jose State University, Calif.)
  • Team Titans (University of Tennessee)
  • The Green Assets (Ohio Dominican University)
  • University of Southern Indiana
  • USF Sustainable Solutions Team (University of St. Francis, Ill.)


After the finalists are selected, the top three teams will make presentations at an AICPA board of directors meeting in New York City. Winners will be announced Jan. 21 at


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