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Calloway School accountancy team advances to defend national title

December 7, 2007

A team of five students from Wake Forest University’s Calloway School of Business and Accountancy has earned a trip to the national finals of the PricewaterhouseCoopers 5th Annual National xTREME Accounting (xACT) Case Competition.  They will travel to New York City Jan. 17-18 to defend the national title won by Wake Forest in the 2006 competition.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers xACT Competition is a prestigious annual event that challenges and enhances students’ accounting and auditing knowledge.  More than 2,000 students from 45 of the nation’s top accountancy programs competed in this year’s campus competitions.  However, only 25 students from five schools earned all-expense paid trips to the national finals.

The advancing Wake Forest team, one of three Calloway School teams that competed locally, is comprised of graduate student co-captains Eric Nelson and Stephen Potter, junior Sarah Graham and sophomores Nick Joyner and David Sage.  In addition to sharing a cash prize of more than $11,000, they will participate in workshops at PricewaterhouseCoopers’ national headquarters, present their case recommendations to a panel of national firm partners and attend a Broadway show.

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

"I was so proud of all three Wake Forest teams who competed at the local level, Aldhizer said.  “It was extremely difficult to pick a winner, since each team provided incredibly creative and persuasive recommendations.  Our continued success at the national level further validates the quality of our accountancy program.”

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 in four out of the last five years.  The other schools participating in this year’s national finals are Louisiana State University, the University of California-Berkeley, the University of Illinois and the University of Texas.

Teams in the xACT competition are presented with a series of complex accounting and corporate governance questions facing a fictional island country and are challenged to devise a solution.  They present their case to PricewaterhouseCoopers partners, who pose as the governing body of the fictional country.  This year, the teams outlined a strategy for how the fictional country of “Slobia” could transition to an internationally accepted financial reporting model, an exercise based on a real-world issue that nations, including the United States, are currently addressing.

The Calloway School offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accountancy, as well as bachelor’s degrees in finance, business and mathematical business. Since 1997, when the Calloway School began offering a master’s degree in accounting, its graduates have consistently ranked first or second in the nation for their performance on the Certified Public Accountant exam, according to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. BusinessWeek Magazine ranks the Calloway School 17th among the nation’s top 50 undergraduate business schools, and U.S. News & World Report ranks the school 27th. In its undergraduate business specialty rankings, U.S. News ranks the Calloway School 21st in accountancy and 18th in entrepreneurship.

Press Contacts:

Eric Frazier
(336) 758-5237

Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237

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