SIU students win national business competition

Carbondale, IL — National Champion. That’s the title claimed by Southern Illinois University’s Carbondale business student team last weekend when it entered his competition for the first time in his FanTAXtic case for Deloitte. This competition challenges students to present solutions to real-world business challenges and address business and tax implications.

“Some of the best accounting programs in the country have qualified for this national competition. For our program to win, it shows the exceptional programs and students at the SIU School of Accountancy,” said the team. Tim Hurley, Clinical Assistant Professor of Accounting and Faculty Advisor, said. “It’s great to see our students work hard and be rewarded on the national stage.”

Hundreds of students from dozens of colleges and universities across the country participated in eight regional business solutions competitions sponsored by the Deloitte Tax LLP, with the top two teams from each taking place last weekend at Deloitte University in Westlake, Texas. advanced to the national competition. In second place was the University of Southern California (USC) and in third place was last year’s national winner, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The Saluki brothers have beaten two of his country’s top finishers over the past two years to advance to the national competition. There, the University of Florida, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Tennessee and Brigham Young University.

“This wouldn’t have been possible without the 100% effort of everyone on the team, so I’m very proud of my teammates’ efforts,” said Lexie Lingle, a sophomore accounting student from Anna, Illinois. I’m here. “We have received constant support from our faculty, staff and classmates. It was a great feeling to compete, show our talent and win the national competition.”

Other Saluki FanTAXtic team members are:

  • Mackenzie SquareSenior Accounting and Finance Major usuallyIllinois.
  • Matthew CarrascoJunior Accounting Major Plainss, Illinois.
  • Jada SmithA sophomore accounting major from Marion, Illinois.
  • Finance freshman Ben Morgan KankakeeIllinois.

Students appreciate the knowledge they gain through SIU classes and working with Hurley. They also said the additional experience gained through several campus organizations was critical to their success. I was there. Carrazco and Morgan are members of his SSIF and manage the SIU Foundation’s approximately $3.50 investment portfolio. Registered student organizations consistently outperform professional management companies on the S&P 400 benchmark.

Some participate in the Accounting Society and Beta Alpha Psi, and the Beta Alpha Psi Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Each spring, student volunteers from the VITA program prepare income tax returns for low- to moderate-income individuals.

“This gave us an understanding of the individual tax return flow and how certain calculations fit into it,” says Piazza.

Simulate real accounting challenges
The competition presents students with complex, real-world tax issues in an interactive format that includes case simulations, role playing, and presentations. The regional competition was virtual, but the national competition was live. At both stages, Deloitte Tax Professionals professionals, managers, and partners provided support and guidance to students and posed as clients during the competition.

Hurley said the national competition was an extension of the regional competition, with each group of college students given a specific case to represent a “client” who owned a business and wanted to start a new, separate venture. rice field. The team had to consider, among other considerations, which financing option would result in the lowest overall tax liability and what type of entity should be formed.

“Our focus and goal at the national convention was to provide the best possible solution to a hypothetical client who was facing new tax challenges relevant to today’s business world,” said Piazza. said. “We are looking at inflation that was driving up prices in the supply chain, the tax implications of a startup business taking on new investors to raise money, and how the loss of business operations would affect entrepreneurs’ tax returns. We had to do some research to see if it would affect investors.”

Carrazco said the client was looking for a way to fund a second business, a campground. He had a list of potential investors, but was only able to select one based on each investor’s requested share of business, possible marketing opportunities, and the investor’s expertise.

“The business owner then considers what type of legal entity he should file based on the investments he has accepted and, ultimately, which choice will minimize his and his company’s tax liability. We had to,” Carrazco said.

hard work
The Salukis said it was a tough battle with many factors to consider.

“The toughest part of the competition for our team was the time pressure to deliver a solution,” Ringle said.

The team took their solution to the next level by preparing scenarios based on recommended investors and other considerations, with just two hours to prepare the initial presentation, which included weighting and ranking investor offers. It took only 3 hours for the final presentation to pull up. .

“It was difficult, but our team worked very well together,” Ringle said. “We each took on a part of the task and tried to bring all the parts together to create a presentation that was visually pleasing, knowledgeable and accurate.”

Carrazco said the team worked hard to create the most professional presentation “using everything possible”.

“We had to rely on each other and trust that each teammate was working hard to complete their respective part of the solution,” added Piazza. “We all fit our roles perfectly and knew that our time was very limited, so we communicated efficiently.”

the loser did his best
As first-time competitors, the students didn’t know what to expect. They knew they didn’t like to win, so they set their sights high.

“We were very happy just to be among so many smart people at Deloitte University,” Carrasco said. “We knew that many of the teams around us were very prestigious, but we were determined to prove that Saluki could compete with the best universities in the United States.”

Their aspirations grew as the contest evolved.

“After giving presentations and enthusiastically answering some very difficult questions from the judges, I was convinced that we had done everything we could to put ourselves in the top three,” Piazza said.

Mr. Ringle agreed, saying that the Salukis “received the award with confidence and hope for our solution.”

They thought they had a great chance of getting a spot in the standings, but it was still a huge shock to come out on top.

“Our reaction to the win was pure joy! Announcing Southern Illinois University as number one will forever be in my heart,” said Piazza. “When the SIU logo appeared on the screen and we came in first place, we knew our hard work had paid off and we were able to truly celebrate that an accounting student was named the best in the country. SIU is one of the smaller schools in the competition, so we lived the underdog story and won while representing the amazing SIU community.”

Faculty say students are definitely proud of the program and the university.

“For SIU students, winning this national competition is a very exciting achievement, especially since it is their first time participating in the competition.

Students benefited in many ways
SIU team members said their FanTAXtic experience helped them improve their problem-solving, teamwork, and public speaking skills. It was also a valuable opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the tax field in preparation for my post-graduation career.

Carrazco said:

He and his teammates said they had built a meaningful bond with each other that they are sure will last a lifetime.

“One of the things I love about this competition is that I got so close to my teammates,” Piazza said. “I will forever cherish the memories I made with these incredible people and they became my best friends.”


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