UB School of Management Team Wins $1,000 in Pricewaterhousecoopers Competition

Team will move to next round to vie for additional $10,000

By Jacqueline Ghosen

Release Date: December 3, 2004 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A team consisting of two sophomores, one junior and two MBA students from the University at Buffalo School of Management took a $1,000 prize and won the first round of the national xTREME Accounting Campus Competition (xACT) sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on Nov. 15.

The winners are Craig Hightower of Rush, N.Y., Catherine Benton of Albany, Erik Weil of New York City, Lionel Tchinang of Buffalo and Vinay Rungta of East Amherst.

Eight teams from the University at Buffalo School of Management competed against each other at the Jacobs Executive Development Center. Each team had two weeks to research an assigned accounting and assurance issue. This year, the teams were asked to provide expert testimony to the accounting board of a fictitious country on the merits of fair-value accounting. PwC representatives Cheryl Hall, tax senior manager, Todd Scherrer, assurance senior manager, and Keith Stolzenburg, assurance partner, served as "ministers" on the accounting board for the fictitious country of Panadrevia and were clad in tropical garb for the event. PwC Human Resources Director Mark Bruno also was present. The PwC representatives evaluated the teams on critical and creative thinking, presentation quality and teamwork.

The UB School of Management was one of only 32 business schools nationwide chosen to participate in the accounting firm's competition, now in its second year.

In addition to the $1,000 prize, the winning team will now contend in the xACT National Finals. Five teams from the 32 schools will be chosen as national finalists and awarded $10,000 per team and a trip to New York City, where each team will get a chance to join with where each team will get a chance to join with experts from PwC's Risk and Quality Group to learn about how national and international accounting and auditing positions are developed.

"The fact that we are one of a select group of schools chosen to participate speaks well of our programs and our students," said Susan Hamlen, chair of the accounting department in the UB School of Management. "This competition is a wonderful opportunity for our students and I am certain that our winning team will represent us well in the final round."

The UB School of Management is ranked as one of the world's "top business schools" by The Wall Street Journal. It also has been cited by Forbes for "best return on investment." For more information about the UB School of Management, visit http://www.mgt.buffalo.edu.