Gustavus Team Wins Deloitte Accounting Competition

After preparing the case for a month, the team of accounting students received the highest scores from Deloitte partners at the final presentations.
Posted on November 22nd, 2016 by

Representing Gustavus, junior accounting majors Habiba Jaji, Austin Warner, Emily Rose, and Ezra Koetz took first place in the Deloitte Audit Case Competition.

A team of four Gustavus Adolphus College accounting students won a recent accounting competition between four liberal arts college teams. For the second year in a row, the Gusties placed first in the Deloitte Audit Case Competition, scoring higher than the teams from Bethel University, Luther College, and Concordia College.

Deloitte, one of the renowned “Big Four” CPA firms, assigned audit cases to each of the competing teams. The students were expected to research, develop, and prepare a final analysis and solution for the case that was to be presented in front of a panel of three Deloitte partners.

Junior accounting majors Austin Warner, Emily Rose, Ezra Koetz, and Habiba Jaji were selected to represent Gustavus and began work with their assigned case in early October. Together, the team dedicated 25 hours of research, debate, and memorization in preparation for their presentation. After a month of hard work, the students and economics and management professors Laura Bowyer and Russ Michaletz traveled to the Twin Cities to tour the Deloitte building and run through final touches on their project in the hotel the night before the contest.

“For the second year in a row, I was impressed by our students’ professionalism on stage and dedication to their work,” said Bowyer. “We work in groups and practice presentations in class, but with the stakes raised it was still clear they had the knowledge and the people skills necessary to succeed.”

During the weeks leading up to the final contest, the students were allowed to consult their own professors as well as an assigned mentor from Deloitte. For the Gustavus team, a familiar face guided their preparation. Linda Bui ‘13, a former accounting major and now an Audit Senior at Deloitte, provided support and advice to the students

The team of Gustavus students pictured with professor Laura Bowyer and advisor Linda Bui '13.

The team of Gustavus students pictured with professor Laura Bowyer and adviser Linda Bui ’13.

“One of our greatest strengths going into the contest was our teamwork. We found different times to meet every couple of days, each bringing different strengths and unique perspectives to the case,” Koetz said. “We do have to give our mentor a lot of credit. Linda never missed a phone call for help.”

Judged on a series of factors including correct methodology and professionalism, the four Gusties on the winning team also earned interviews for internship and employment positions with the firm. Seizing these opportunities, three of the four students on last year’s Gustavus team will be working with Deloitte in the fall of 2017. For this year’s winning team, the future may not be decided quite yet, but the competition proved to be a valuable experience.

“The setting and the case was one of the closest experiences to the real-world as we have had, and it has definitely made me revisit the possibility of an auditing path at the Big Four,” Koetz said. “Above all, it was a great opportunity to work closely with the growing Gustavus accounting network. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the advisors, professors, and my teammates at a deeper level.”

To learn more about the Department of Economics and Management at Gustavus, visit the business blog.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


One Comment

  1. JR Sajulga says:

    Wow. Amazing job, Habiba!