Five UTPA accounting students win regional competition in Houston
Posted: 04/02/2004
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A team of five accounting students from The University of Texas-Pan American won a regional audit case competition held in Houston March 26. The competition was co-sponsored by KPMG, one of the four largest accounting firms in the world, and the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA).

UTPA team members included Delia Gutierrez, Alaina Lerma, Rebecca Martinez, Laura Mira and Elizabeth Ramos. Each team member, chosen by the accounting department faculty, will graduate in May with a bachelor's degree in business administration with a major in accounting.

Winning UTPA accounting team members in a recent audit case competition in Houston are from left to right Alaina Lerma, Delia Gutierrez, Laura Mira, Elizabeth Ramos and Rebecca Martinez.
Advisers for the team are Dr. Wig De Moville, chair of the Department of Accounting and Business Law, and Dr. Ray Landry, associate professor of accounting. Dan Barron, a former student at UTPA in 1989 and now a senior manager with KPMG, served as the team's professional consultant.

The winning case involved the appropriate accounting for an exchange of Internet advertising between two corporations. The competition, held in KPMG's Houston office, was judged by three of the firm's partners.

"The competition was rough in the sense that all of the teams were very well-prepared and well-rehearsed. Last year's winning school was among the competition. I was extremely pleased for the team. By gaining recognition from one of the world's largest accounting firms, we attract the attention of their recruiters which will ultimately result in more UTPA students being hired by them," De Moville said.

UTPA's team topped six other university teams representing the University of St. Thomas (Houston), University of Texas-San Antonio, University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University, Colorado State University and New Mexico Highlands University, which was a runner-up in the competition.

Winning team member Gutierrez said she was very excited about winning the competition.

"I was nervous when I saw how good the other teams were, so I was pleased that our team was judged the best," she said.

The winning UTPA team will compete in the national competition held at the University of Illinois at Chicago in August as part of ALPFA's national convention.

"I am very proud of the students who participated. They worked very hard, practicing often and sacrificing part of their spring break to work on the case. This type of dedication is what allows UTPA to have an excellent accounting program," De Moville said.

ALPFA is a non-profit, professional association with a more than 30 year history of enhancing opportunities for Latinos in the accounting, finance and related professions.

For more information on UTPA's accounting program, contact De Moville at 956/381-3384.