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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 3, 2004

UI Business Students Are Finalists In National Accounting Competition

Photo: Members of the University of Iowa xAct team are: Front row: Joseph Allen (Cedar Rapids), Elizabeth Brodahl (Waterloo), Justin Bedford (Coralville)
Back row: Ryan Schmidt (Maysville) and Michael Miller (Cedar Falls)
For high resolution photo click here.

A team of five accounting students from the University of Iowa's Henry B. Tippie College of Business won $10,000 for being national finalists in PricewaterhouseCooper's Extreme Accounting (xACT) competition in New York City Jan. 22-23.

The UI team included Joseph Allen of Cedar Rapids, Elizabeth Brodahl of Waterloo, Justin Bedford of Coralville, Ryan Schmidt of Maysville and Michael Miller of Cedar Falls.

The team won a preliminary competition at the UI two months ago, earning a $1,000 prize from PricewaterhouseCoopers. For the local competition, they researched an important accounting and assurance question for the government of a fictitious country called Panadrievia. As part of the assignment, they presented their proposed solution to the queen and her advisers. To conclude the presentation, the team recommended a course of action to solve the country's accounting problem.

UI senior and team member Justin Bedford explained what the competition was about.

"A company in Panadrievia called Val Dada was taking advantage of certain Panadreivian accounting rules to manipulate their financial statements," he said. "These manipulations were having negative effects on Panadrievia's markets and reputation. Our job was to act as consultants from PricewaterhouseCoopers and advise the Panadrievian government on how to handle this accounting crisis and prevent future ones."

A team of judges chose the campus winner on their assessment of the problem, critical thinking skills and teamwork. The evaluation was also based on the team's creativity in approaching the problem and the quality of their presentation.

The UI team advanced to the national competition after providing a videotape of their presentation to PricewaterhouseCoopers. They were one of 28 schools nationwide who entered the competition. In New York, the UI group competed against finalists from Bucknell University, Indiana University, Villanova University and Wake Forest University. The Indiana University team was the eventual winner.

Each finalist team met with experts from PricewaterhouseCooper's Risk and Quality Group to learn about how national and international accounting and auditing positions are developed. UI accounting professors Tom Carroll and Lynn Pringle, the faculty advisors to the xACT team, will also be recognized.

"The competition provided a unique opportunity for students at various stages of their accounting education to work together much like they will during their careers," Carroll said.

STORY SOURCE: University News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: George McCrory, 319-384-0012 (office), 319-643-4227 (home) 319-530-9369 (cell);

OTHER INFORMATION: PricewaterhouseCoopers website: