A team of five business college students from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln won the national Deloitte Audit Innovation Campus Challenge. The competition showcases how student teams can apply innovative ideas and cutting-edge technologies to real-world business problems. Over 50 college teams from across the country participated in the fall 2020 competition, with 12 teams advancing to the national finals at Deloitte University in Westlake, Texas in April.
The team consisted of Cole Fry, an accounting major from Ashland, Nebraska, Alex Nguyen, an accounting major from Lincoln, Nebraska, Alvan Tran, an Accounting and Finance major at Lincoln University, Morgan Wallinger, an accounting and agribusiness major from Stuart, Nebraska, and Bruno Weiss Salles from Porto Alegre, Brazil, majoring in accounting and finance. Each team member received $2,000 for winning the contest, and the college’s accounting department was awarded a $10,000 scholarship.
Debra, a professor of accounting practice and faculty adviser to the winning team, said, “We are very proud of the hard work of our team, who have spent nearly 400 hours since October to win first the regional and then the national competition.” Deloitte called for consideration of the accounting profession’s role in promoting reporting rigor and discipline, and how to accelerate the timely dissemination of ESG information to capital markets.
The team developed a winning concept called Deloitte Visualize, a customized ESG portal designed to help companies comply with evolving ESG regulations. The portal will streamline ESG reporting practices and improve a company’s ability to produce consistent, comparable and reliable ESG information. Wallinger said, “This easy-to-understand ESG portal included training modules, comprehensive reports, and benchmarking tools accessible to all corporate stakeholders. It could help us develop.”
The secrets to the team’s success include developing their strengths, healthy collaboration, and not being afraid to do prep work to prepare for the competition. Cosgrove hand-picked the students to take on the challenge, and Weiss Salles put together a team that could help her achieve great things. Beyond the team’s accomplishments, Wallinger said how much it meant to win the national title in Nebraska. This will be the university’s first win in the eight-year history of the competition.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers over 100 hands-on learning experiences each semester, and participating in a case contest is one of them. Wallinger highly encourages students to take advantage of these opportunities to accept the challenge, work hard, and enjoy the experience.