On November 8, 2004, the University of Oregon's Lundquist College of Business hosted the PricewaterhouseCoopers xACT (short for extreme accounting) case competition. More than seventy-five students participated in the competition, which is designed to give students the experience and exposure to real world accounting and auditing issues.
The xACT case competition is a national event sponsored by the international accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers. Teams compete for the grand prize of $10,000 and a trip to New York City to spend a day at the PricewaterhouseCoopers headquarters.
The Lundquist College of Business is one of only thirty-one universities invited to participate in the xACT competition. Only two had a greater number of students participating.
"Considering that many universities have much larger enrollments, the extent of participation by our students demonstrates their strong commitment toward professional development," said Accounting Professor Helen Gernon. "It is a tremendous benefit to students to participate in these 'live-fire' environments. It gives students a chance to put into practice what they learn in the classroom and also hone their leadership and communication skills."
The representatives of PricewaterhouseCoopers were very impressed by the enthusiasm of the Lundquist college students and the quality of their presentations. The winning team--Lillis Advising, consisting of Patrick Cunningham, Nichole LaBuwi, Mathew McCongaghy, Trent Moses, and Nathan Shain--received $1,000 and represented the Lundquist college in the national competition.
The xACT competition consists of teams of five students who are required to evaluate a case and present their findings to a panel of partners from the Portland PricewaterhouseCoopers office. Each team is judged on the quality of the presentation, the extent of the critical thinking underlying the presentation, and their demonstration of teamwork. The judges place a premium on leadership, teamwork, and communication--all skills the Lundquist college emphasizes.
The PricewaterhouseCoopers xACT competition is an excellent example of the Lundquist college's focus on experiential education and giving students the opportunity to bring their learning into the real world.