University of Portland photo
UP accounting team: Ingrid Nelson, Tyler Desmarais, Michelle Siegal, and Martin McMahon.

University of Portland photo

UP accounting team: Ingrid Nelson, Tyler Desmarais, Michelle Siegal, and Martin McMahon.

Four University of Portland students, under the team name Competitive Pilot Accountants, are finalists in the national American Institute of Certified Public Accountants' Accounting Competition. The team joins Santa Clara University and Southern Indiana University as one of only three finalists nationwide.

Senior accounting majors Martin McMahon, Ingrid Nelson, Michelle Siegal and Tyler Desmarais make up the squad. For the final competition, the team and advisor receive a trip to Washington, D.C., to present their case to an executive panel of judges. The top team will receive $10,000 while second and third place will win $5,000 and $2,500 respectively.  

“The competition thus far has been an incredibly valuable learning experience,” McMahon said. “The nature of the competition requires us to use skills and knowledge we’ve learned in accounting, tax, business law, and personal financial planning courses at UP.”

The University of Portland team passed the semifinal round by creating a video and having its accompanying spreadsheets and memo critiqued by the competition’s judges. There was also a public vote.

For the fourth annual competition, 145 teams analyzed a specific problem and prepared a written solution. The scenario involved a fictional 24-year old who has come up with an idea for a mobile application focused on live music shows. The collegiate teams were to control the character's finances and pay off his debt quickly. The UP team must now complete additional work and present a film based on its recommendation.