Students Prep for Annual Tax Competitions
St. John Fisher College accounting students are getting geared up to participate in two upcoming annual tax competitions. The Deloitte FanTAXtic Competition and the PricewaterhouseCoopers xTax Competition showcase the students’ knowledge and highlight their outstanding talent year after year. Lynn Mucenski-Keck is one of the professors leading the students in the tax challenges.
Both competitions pose case challenges to teams of students, and the cases are based on possible “real-life scenarios.” Members from each company participating in the competitions provide judges for the events.
The Deloitte FanTAXtic Competition involves two teams consisting of five members that were pre-selected in May 2012. The team members have been meeting and performing mock presentations of previous cases in preparation for the competition. According to Mucenski-Keck, this competition is based on economic and business components rather than a “tax-technical” theme. Teams are given cases that can range up to 100 pages long, and are given two weeks to find a solution, develop a PowerPoint presentation, and provide an executive summary.
The students’ main goals of the competition are to encourage teamwork, gain additional tax knowledge, develop communication skills, and argue their points to persuade the audience towards their business objective.
In last year’s competition, the Fisher team placed first in the Boston region, beating schools including Boston University, Boston College, Bentley University, North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Michigan State University. This year, the team will travel to Boston to compete in the regional event on November 2 and 3, and present their case solution to a panel of Deloitte partners.
The PricewaterhouseCoopers Competition involves eight teams consisting of members ranging from students in their freshman year to their MBA. Fisher is the only school selected in Upstate New York to compete in this competition. Each team has five members; at least two underclassmen, no more than one MBA student, and a junior or senior student. On September 26, Erin Hiller, an employee from PricewaterhouseCoopers, came to Fisher and provided an informational session about the competition for the accounting students.
The cases will be distributed on October 26 to the participating teams, and their two-week timeframe for case completion will begin. Each team is given two mentors to assist them with their work, a faculty mentor, and a PricewaterhouseCoopers mentor. On November 9, PricewaterhouseCoopers will be on campus and judge the eight teams based on their PowerPoint presentations and case solutions.
The winning team will receive a $1,000 prize, and will have the chance to compete in the national competition in Washington, D.C. for a $10,000 grand prize.
Fisher has been participating in both tax competitions for several years.