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Wake Forest accounting team wins national championship

February 8, 2007

A team of five students from Wake Forest University’s Calloway School of Business and Accountancy won the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) 4th Annual National xTREME Accounting (xACT) Case Competition in New York City on Jan. 18-19.

The students shared a cash prize of more than $11,000 and earned the right to have Wake Forest added to the Montgomery Cup, a trophy honoring the annual winners of the competition.

More than 2,000 students from 45 of the top accounting programs in the nation competed in this year’s competition.  A total of 25 students from five schools, including Wake Forest, earned a trip to the finals in New York.  The other schools were Indiana University, Louisiana State University, Hampton University and New York University.   

While in New York, the Wake Forest team participated in workshops at PricewaterhouseCoopers’ national headquarters, attended a Broadway show and presented its case recommendations to a panel of national firm partners.  Wake Forest’s case recommendations, which were judged to be the best, were presented by senior co-captains Nicole Burnap and Kristen Raliski, junior Cameron Hendrix and sophomores Kristin Conrad and John Xenakis.

 “The competition showed me that accountants are not just number crunchers and that it is a dynamic field currently wrangling with complex international issues,” said Raliski.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers xACT Competition is an annual event that tests students’ accounting and auditing skills.  Teams are presented with a series of complex accounting and corporate governance questions facing a fictional island country and are challenged to devise a solution which they present to PricewaterhouseCoopers partners.  This year, the teams outlined a strategy for how the country of Coresenna could transition from rigid, rules-based accounting practices to those that are principles-based.  Most countries, including the United States, are in the process of developing and implementing similar transition strategies.  

George R. Aldhizer III, PricewaterhouseCoopers Professor for Academic Excellence at Wake Forest, was the team’s faculty advisor.

Wake Forest is the only private university to make repeat trips to the national finals.  It is one of three universities that have earned trips to the finals three out of the last four years.

The Calloway School offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting, as well as bachelor’s degrees in business, mathematical business and finance.  BusinessWeek Magazine ranked the Calloway School 24th among the nation’s top 50 undergraduate business schools.  U.S. News ranked the school 29th in the nation among undergraduate business schools.  The publication also ranked the Calloway School 19th in accounting, 16th in entrepreneurship and 24th in management.

Graduates of the Calloway School’s accountancy program 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).

Press Contacts:

Maggie Barrett
(336) 758-5237

Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237

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