Accounting Team Places Second at Deloitte’s National Competition

April 28, 2022
Sophomore Andrew Cayasso, juniors Megan Gelber and Andrew Wydner and senior Hayden Allen

A team of four Accounting and Business Law students from the Hankamer School of Business finished in second place at Deloitte's National Audit Innovation Campus Challenge.

Sophomore Andrew Cayasso, juniors Megan Gelber and Andrew Wydner and senior Hayden Allen completed the challenge at Deloitte University, where they prepared and delivered a presentation to a panel of Deloitte partners and responded to a series of questions regarding the prompt. In this year's challenge, Deloitte was interested in how they could better serve their clients who are interested in ESG: environmental, social and governance disclosures.

"Each student invested significant time and energy into the competition and represented Baylor and our department to the highest degree," Faculty Advisor and Professor of Accounting Owen Brown said. "This placing will help increase the Baylor Accounting brand, which already has a strong reputation in the accounting community."

Baylor Accounting's team was one of 12 finalists selected to present their ideas to Deloitte's evaluation panel and participate in a Q&A session regarding their idea. From there, Baylor moved on as one of the top three finalists and ended up finishing in second place. As a result, each competitor earned a $1,000 cash prize and Baylor's Department of Accounting and Business Law received a $5,000 scholarship.

The competition began in the fall 2021 semester, where teams from 45 colleges and universities received a challenge statement, to which they responded with an idea submission form. In their submission, Baylor's team used Microsoft Power BI to create an interactive dashboard that organizations could use to create automated visualizations that would help make more informed decisions about ESG metrics and better report that information to the public.

In addition to the cash prize each student received, Brown said this experience pushed students to respond to challenges outside of their current comfort zone and helped build their confidence to effectively communicate and deliver high-quality content.

"Each student was stepping into a topic that they didn't have any background knowledge on, but they were able to think critically and innovatively," Brown said. "I hope it encouraged them to believe in themselves—that they can do hard things and be pushed and respond successfully to challenges outside of their present scope of experience."