Accounting students take on the Deloitte FanTAXtic competition.

This year, for the first time, Deloitte invited FIU accounting students to participate in its FanTAXtic competition.

The annual event gives students from some of the nation’s top accounting and tax programs the opportunity to gain real-world experience through participation in a unique interscholastic case study competition.

A team of one graduate and four undergraduate students traveled to Tampa to compete with students from other universities in Florida, Oklahoma and Texas.

Accounting students take on the Deloitte FanTAXtic competition.
Accounting students take on the Deloitte FanTAXtic competition.

As part of the challenge, the students received information on a hypothetical high-growth company, then were asked to make recommendations on the best ways to expand from a funding and tax perspective.

“The group presented via web conference to a panel of judges in Dallas, Texas,” said Tessie L. Brunken (MST ’86, BBA ’81), the school’s administrative director and the team’s faculty advisor. “They received very positive feedback for giving a very ‘polished’ presentation.”

Yailin Au (EMST ’12, BBA ’10, BACC ’10) describes the FanTAXtic competition as a “great learning experience.”

“I learned how to meet tight deadlines and work under pressure,” she said. “We were given only two weeks to solve a very lengthy case. In the end, it all came together. It was a great experience to work in teams and learn from each other.”

Brunken offers additional kudos to Au who, as the only graduate student on the FIU team, willingly mentored team members Marc Diaz, Frank Ginebra-Groero, Kevin Gonzalez and Kevin Zamora.

The good news is that Deloitte has already invited an FIU team to participate in next year’s FanTAXtic competition.

“I would definitely recommend this as a great hands-on learning experience,” Au said. “In school you learn a lot of conceptual topics, but this competition gives you the kind of complex, real-life client scenario that accounting students usually don’t see until they begin working in public accounting.”


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