Students win Accounting Competition

A team of students from the University of Portland won the 2013 AICPA Accounting Competition and received a $10,000 award, to be split among the members.

Students from Santa Clara University took second place, with a $5,000 award, and students from the University of Southern Indiana took third place, with a $2,500 award.

Teams from around the country entered the competition by submitting a financial plan for James, a fictional 26-year-old in need of expert guidance to take control of his finances and pay off his debt. The 15 teams chosen to participate in the semifinals were challenged to create videos of their plan for the next step of James’s life, as he is married and his wife is pregnant with twins. Then, three finalists were flown to Washington to present their plans for James’s retirement to a panel of judges and participate in a question-and-answer session.

The winning presentation suggested investment options for James and his wife throughout their life, as well as estimates of retirement income and overall net worth. In addition, the plan suggested options for their estate and steps to reduce their tax burden while securing their children’s financial future.

The University of Portland team, named Competitive Pilot Accountants, consisted of Martin McMahon, captain; Tyler Desmarais; Ingrid Nelson; Michelle Siegal; and Ellen Lippman, faculty adviser.

All awards from the 2013 AICPA Accounting Competition are fully funded by the AICPA Foundation.

More information about the competition and the video submissions are available at


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