Accounting team presents in Deloitte case competition

A team of five Dominican accounting students presented in the Deloitte FanTAXic national case competition in November, one of 71 teams from 49 colleges and universities across the country to receive the honor of being invited to participate.

Dylan Acevedo, Crisha Carlos, Matthew Choma, Rudy Duran, and James Tapia worked with adjunct professor Dan Carraher during the fall semester to solve a complex, issues-driven business tax case simulation. The competition is designed to familiarize students with the types of experiences and business challenges in the tax profession early in their academic careers.

“Quality job placement is considered one of the key indicators of success for a business program.  I believe our student experience with a strong ethical foundation, a global perspective, small class sizes, development of presentation skills, frequent group work, and a strong foundation in the liberal arts develops graduates who can join students from the `best’ schools in some of the best jobs,” says Elizabeth Capener, Assistant Professor of Accounting in Dominican's School of Business and Leadership, which has more than 25 accounting students. “For students at our small school to be selected for the development of talent for one of the largest and best public accounting firms in the world is a tremendous compliment.”

Dominican, as a smaller school, has a proportionally higher percentage of accounting majors who have the opportunity to experience the Deloitte competition. Dominican has been invited to participate in the event since 2010. The last two years it was held in Los Angeles and Dominican competed against teams in the West Region, including the University of Southern California, which enters two large-scale teams.

“The maximum benefit revolves around the opportunity to experience ‘real life’ scenario in a compact time frame in a professional setting,” Carraher says. “They are granted access to, and use, highly technical tax and accounting research tools, the exact same ones they will use in their career.”

In the end, the Dominican team completed its final presentation in front of a panel of judges using a professional video conferencing facility inside a professional conference room in the Deloitte’s downtown L.A. office.

“We were all honored to be on the final team roster knowing that we were given a chance to compete in a competition hosted by one of the largest accounting firms, and against some of the most prestigious accounting programs,” says Tapia, a sophomore business major. “Dan taught us so many real world applications that none of us on the team have previously explored, and all of these applications have given us valuable knowledge in our fields of study. The experience we had has helped each of us understand accounting through teamwork and perseverance, and it even helped Matthew (Choma) land an accounting internship position.”

Audrey Absulio, a junior on Dominican’s accounting team last year, recently accepted a 2014 summer internship position at Deloitte.  In addition, team member Meghan Nelson received a letter of recommendation from her Deloitte partner mentor for the $5,000 FWA scholarship she was awarded last spring.

“I believe that anything we do from here on out can be traced back to the foundation set by what we have learned at Dominican, and by what Dan has taught us,” Tapia says. “We have an experience tucked away in our pockets that few people are a part of. Going forward from here I see great things coming to all of my teammates. We will profit from our own struggles and journeys through adversity that each of us experienced throughout this competition and in life.”