OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

OSU accounting students take first place in tax competition

02/10/2012

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A team of accounting students from Oregon State University’s College of Business won first prize in the 2012 Foster School of Business Master of Professional Accounting Tax Case Competition held in Seattle.

John Baglien, Kathryn Cook, Victoria Uong, and Brittany Weede solved complex tax-planning problems and took home a $2,400 grand prize after competing against nine teams from the Northwest.

In four tries at this event, OSU students have won twice (2008 and 2012) and came in second in 2009.

The competition was a two-day event sponsored by the University of Washington and KPMG, an audit, tax and advisory firm. On the first day, the students analyzed the tax-relevant activities of a fictional couple and solved various compliance- and planning-related problems. On the second day, the students created a tax plan for the fictional couple and then presented their solutions to actors playing the clients as well as a panel of judges. 

The presentation was structured as a client interview, with the couple frequently interrupting to ask questions or argue with each other about various things, including long-term objectives, when and where they wanted to retire, and whether to keep or sell specific investments.

OSU accounting faculty members Jared Moore and Larry Brown advised the student team.

“My sense is that the quality and depth of their tax planning suggestions along with their professional and positive handling of the difficult clients are what won over the judges,” said Moore, the Mary Ellen Phillips Assistant Professor of Accounting.

OSU accounting students have surpassed the national average on the Certified Public Accounting Exam for the last seven years. Recently, a Master of Business Administration and Accountancy program (MBAA) that will begin in fall 2012 was approved by Oregon State Board of Higher Education.