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Columbia Business Monthly

UofSC Student Team Takes First Place In Deloitte Innovation Challenge

Deloitte and the Deloitte Foundation hosted the 2019 National Audit Innovation Campus Challenge (AICC) for the fourth year at Deloitte University, awarding students of the University of South Carolina first place for their idea to develop and streamline an active user validation assurance process for social media, e-commerce, streaming, and network applications.

Born from the intersection of innovation and the evolution of the audit and assurance profession, the AICC is a nationally-driven program attracting students from across the country. The competition not only helps drive disruption in the profession by providing a platform for creative minds to help evolve the audit process and ideate new assurance services, but it also plays a pivotal role in developing and shaping the profession’s future workforce by introducing them to real-world challenges.

Deloitte’s Audit Innovation Campus Challenge provides an educational experience for both students who have recently been introduced to the demands and career opportunities of the audit profession and for experienced audit and assurance leaders looking to help students better understand how the profession is transforming,” said Erin Shannon, global and U.S. change management and communications leader at Deloitte & Touche LLP. “The competition also presents a unique opportunity for students to offer insight into how Deloitte can better educate and train newly hired professionals and create a mutual understanding of career goals.”

Guided by faculty advisors and Deloitte subject matter leaders, students were challenged to apply their audit knowledge and critical thinking to expand and broaden typical assurance services offered to clients and explore less traditional, non-financial statement services. Student teams from 52 colleges and universities participated in the event, with 12 teams advancing to the final round. Among the collegiate national finalists were: Baruch College, Baylor University, Brigham Young University, Clemson University, Colorado State University, Howard University, Louisiana State University, Michigan State University, Rutgers University, University of South Carolina, University of Southern California, and University of Washington.

The winning team from the University of South Carolina included: Katie Bergey, Brendon Beach, Katie Field, Karen Gates, Jack Graham, and Aaron Gulibon. The team's winning submission focused on a recommendation to establish active user validation assurance services to identify potential active user inflation and inaccurate reporting.

“This competition provides an invaluable setting for students to explore the skills necessary for the auditor of the future, interact with peers from other universities, and be inspired by knowledgeable Deloitte professionals,” said Clark Hampton, University of South Carolina faculty advisor. “I am extremely proud of our team and grateful for the opportunity to participate in this case competition and Deloitte’s commitment and sponsorship of this unique program.”

Deloitte is leading the profession in transforming audit and assurance services by leveraging advanced technology, design thinking, and our professionals’ experience. The AICC is just one approach that harnesses the creative power and innovative thinking of college students while helping to prepare the auditors of tomorrow. It is also important for educators to understand, and be able to teach their students, real-world audit and assurance issues and solutions.

Earlier this year, the 2019 Robert M. Trueblood Seminars for Professors took place at Deloitte University. More than 60 leading accounting and auditing educators and professionals attended sessions in February and March to learn firsthand some of the latest developments in the profession. The seminars center on more than 20 case studies that cover some of the most challenging financial accounting and auditing issues that professors can incorporate into their classrooms. For more than 50 years, the annual seminars, hosted by the Deloitte Foundation and the American Accounting Association, have provided cutting-edge resources and hundreds of case studies that help keep university faculty and their students connected to the issues and challenges currently facing audit and accounting professionals.

“Enriching the classroom experience for both the students and educators is an essential component of the Deloitte Foundation's goal to help prepare students for their careers,” remarked Erin Scanlon, partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP and Deloitte Foundation board member. "Ground-breaking programs like the AICC engage students in envisioning the possibilities of an audit career while longstanding programs such as the Trueblood Seminars provide educators with insights from actual case examples they can use in the classroom to develop students' technical, research, and critical thinking skills, and help better prepare tomorrow’s leaders."

Read more about Deloitte’s audit innovation and see how we “Solve for now. Build for next.”