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Wake Forest accounting team earns top five position in national competition

January 16, 2007

A team of five students from Wake Forest University’s Calloway School of Business and Accountancy was named one of the five national winning teams in the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) 4th Annual xTREME Accounting (xACT) Case Competition.

The Wake Forest team consisted of senior Nicole Burnap from Queen Creek, Ariz.; senior Kristen Raliski from Winston-Salem, N.C.; junior Cameron Hendrix from High Point, N.C.; and sophomores Kristin Conrad from Fort Myers, Fla., and John Xenakis from Morris Plains, N.J.  George R. Aldhizer III, PricewaterhouseCoopers Professor for Academic Excellence at Wake Forest, was the team’s faculty advisor.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers xACT Competition is a prestigious annual event that recognizes students’ accounting and auditing skills. Teams from 45 of the top accountancy programs in the nation were invited to compete in this year’s competition.  Five schools were named national finalists:  Wake Forest, Indiana University, Louisiana State University, Hampton University and New York University.  Wake Forest is the only private university to make repeat trips to the national finals and is one of only three universities to earn trips to the national finals three out of the last four years. 

Teams competing in the xACT competition are presented with a series of complex accounting and corporate governance questions facing a fictional island country.  The teams are challenged to devise a solution, which they present to PricewaterhouseCoopers partners who portray the governing body of the fictional country.  This year, the teams outlined a strategy for how the fictional country of Coresenna could transition from rigid, rules-based accounting practices to those that are principles-based.  Many countries around the world, including the United States, are in the process of developing and implementing a similar transition strategy.  

Each of the five teams will share a cash prize of $11,000 and receive an all-expenses paid trip to New York City Jan. 18–20.  While in New York, the students will participate in workshops at PricewaterhouseCoopers’ national headquarters and attend a Broadway show.

"It was an honor to work with such bright and hard working students again this year,” said Aldhizer.  “The results of this year’s competition further validate the quality of the accountancy program at Wake Forest.”

The Calloway School offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accountancy, as well as bachelor’s degrees in finance, business and mathematical business.  Graduates of the Calloway School rank first in the nation for their performance on the 2005 Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam, the most recent scores available from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).  BusinessWeek Magazine ranks the Calloway School 24th among the nation’s top 50 undergraduate business schools.  U.S. News ranks the school 29th in the nation among undergraduate business schools.  The publication also ranks the Calloway School 19th in accountancy, 16th in entrepreneurship and 24th in management.   

Press Contacts:

Maggie Barrett
(336) 758-5237

Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237

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