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Zicklin Students Score Hat Trick in Deloitte’s Annual Audit Innovation Challenge

December 3, 2019
Zicklin students at Delotte audit challenge

From left: Patrick Lee Perrigo, Elaine Pun, Sibgha Khan (team lead), Esther Wong, Louise Jiang, Savrana Gayadin

For the third year in a row, undergraduate accountancy students from the Zicklin School of Business won the Northeast regional division of Deloitte’s annual Audit Innovation Campus Challenge, held in Boston on November 22.

Zicklin and Rutgers University placed in the top two, giving both teams the right to advance to the national level. Accounting major Sibgha Khan led the Zicklin team, which also included Savrana Gayadin, Louise Jiang, Sibgha Khan, Patrick Perrigo, Elaine Pun, and Esther Wong. Thomas Ray, distinguished lecturer in the Stan Ross Department of Accountancy, served as the team’s academic advisor.

Deloitte’s Audit Innovation Campus Challenge gives student teams the opportunity to apply their skills and experience to an innovative audit challenge statement. This year’s challenge was to “identify a breakthrough idea for the Audit and Assurance business that uses Deloitte’s existing capabilities and talent to deploy the world’s leading edge analytical and AI technologies and/or anticipates a future marketplace need”—a need that can significantly position and differentiate Deloitte in the marketplace.

Zicklin’s team developed and presented an innovative service to assure that a company’s QR (“quick response”) codes are secure, so as to further encourage use of this efficient technology.

“It certainly was a challenge,” said Professor Ray about the competition. “The team had only five weeks to develop an idea, prepare presentation materials, and practice for a 15-minute presentation that would take place in front of senior Deloitte audit personnel.”

The other challengers in the Northeast regional division hailed from Boston College, Fairfield University, Fordham University, Pace University, Providence College, St. John’s University, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and the University of Connecticut. The Zicklin and Rutgers teams will travel to Dallas, Texas, in April 2020, joining 10 other schools participating in the national competition.

“Each year, I have been truly impressed by the talent and creativity of our Zicklin students,” added Professor Ray.


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