April 1, 2022

Pepperdine University Students Take Top Honors and Financial Award in Global Innovation Challenge

By: Center For Accounting Transformation / news-and-updates

The results are in and a student team from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California has been announced as the winner of the 2022 Student Innovation Challenge. The team of Kevin Rios, Michelle Wong, Isabella Tsai, and Dario DeCosmo rose to the top of a very competitive challenge after impressing judges and presenting a solid case for measuring company performance while introducing alternative methods aimed at increasing results and overall business success. The winning team will receive a $1,000 financial award for their achievement.

Students representing University at Buffalo/Baruch College and Pepperdine University came in second and third place, respectively.

Student participants who completed the challenge will gain complimentary access to innovative learning opportunities to maximize their talent, practice and improve skills, and learn how emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, and data analytics are transforming the accounting profession, positioning them for future career success.

In partnership with the Center for Accounting Transformation, TrueUp, and Northern Illinois University, and sponsored by Crowe, LLP, the 2022 Student Innovation Challenge brought together 30 students making up 11 collegiate teams, representing nine different universities from across the country. Teams impressed judges with their presentations, data analytics, accounting and management skills.

Teams were challenged to analyze raw data sets for their client, dig for insights, discover alternative metrics, and decide on new ways to measure the company’s performance. Submissions were evaluated by a panel of academic and industry judges and scoring was compiled from two different components of the competition: each teams’ Data Mine virtual game score as well as their video presentation score.

“I am truly impressed with the students who stepped up to compete in this years’ challenge, and the level of effort each team brought made this a tough competition,” said Cari Weston, MST, CPA, CGMA, Executive Director for the Center for Accounting Transformation. “While given the same set of data, each group approached the challenge from a unique perspective, digging deep for possible causes as well as developing creative and useful suggestions for remediation. I am proud of their commitment to the project, their teammates, and excited to see what the next generation of accountants will contribute towards transforming the profession.”

Teams were given practical application problems with which to assess their technical knowledge, problem-solving skills, and communications skills to demonstrate their understanding and ability to apply their classroom learning. Teams were able to implement collegiate applications into real-world scenarios.

“It is great to see future professionals presenting and the incredibly bright future ahead for them, said competition judge Raj Pipalia, Senior Manager of Data Analytics Consulting with Crowe, LLP. “I wish them all the very best in their professional endeavors.”


Learn more about the 2022 Student Innovation Challenge here.

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