Mason students take top honors at tax competition

Teams from the College’s Mason School of Business won top awards at the Deloitte Tax Case Study National Competition. For the second year in a row, the College has swept both the undergraduate and graduate Tax Challenge divisions of the competition.

p. The College is still the only university to win both the undergraduate and graduate divisions in a single year. This is the sixth win in the last seven years for the College’s undergraduate team.

p. “This history-making accomplishment is nothing short of miraculous,” Mason School of Business Dean Lawrence B. Pulley ’74 said in a press release. “They remind us yet again of the caliber of our students and faculty and make us all very proud!”

p. Coached by James Smith, the John S. Quinn professor of accounting at the Mason School, the undergraduate team members were seniors Cheryl Cochet, Laura Martin, Matt Monahan and Carolyn Offutt. Members of the graduate team were Megan Brewster, Evan Davis, Joanne O’Brien and Megan Wiggins.

p. “Having Dr. Smith as a coach is an enormous benefit as he is a well-established authority in the field. It’s hard to imagine that any other team was better prepared,” senior Evan Davis said.

p. The Deloitte Foundation — a nonprofit arm of Deloitte & Touche USA LLP that supports teaching, research and curriculum innovation in accounting, business and related fields — sponsored the Tax Challenge.

p. Held on the third weekend of November in Orlando, Fla., the Tax Challenge finals put each of the College’s teams in a field of six finalists selected from an initial pool of over 40 colleges and universities. Teams had five hours to complete a theoretical case study that required them to analyze information, identify issues and consider real-world challenges. Each team prepared a solution to its case and submitted it to a panel of Deloitte judges for evaluation.

p. The $28,000 combined winnings will be divided into $1,000 scholarships for each student and $20,000 for the College.

p. “It took a lot of preparation and the workload was intense, but in the end it was all worth it,” Wiggins said. “It was an experience that I will never forget.”


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