Deloitte completed its eight annual Audit Innovation Campus Challenge, awarding University of Nebraska-Lincoln students first place for their audit project.
The AICC challenge promotes innovative accounting education across the U.S. by encouraging universities to keep up with emerging technologies and changing trends within the audit field. The program, hosted by Deloitte’s Audit & Assurance business, gives students and faculty the opportunity to apply their skills to a reality-based challenge.
For the second year, AICC participants were challenged to consider how the accounting profession could be a driving force for environmental, social and governance reporting, and how the industry could share timely ESG-related information with capital markets. Supported by Deloitte professionals and a faculty advisor, each team received four weeks to respond, with their final submission judged by an evaluation panel comprising Deloitte Audit & Assurance business partners and managing directors.
“Aligned with the growing demand for accountability, auditors are playing a key role by performing audit procedures on financial information as companies take meaningful steps toward enhancing sustainability initiatives,” said Christine Robinson, Deloitte sustainability and ESG services audit and assurance partner, in a statement. “Deloitte is proud to host this competition that helps students develop some of the skills needed for success in the accounting profession and empowers them to develop and share innovative thinking and ideas to enhance the reliability, completeness and accuracy of sustainability disclosure. I’m incredibly inspired by these talented auditors of the future.”
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln team’s winning concept was Deloitte Visualize, a personalized ESG platform designed to help companies comply with changing ESG regulations. It would address the main problems companies face when dealing with ESG reporting, such as duplication of information, staffing levels and contradictory data, according to their entry. The proposed portal would modernize ESG reporting practices and improve a company’s ability to produce congruent, trustworthy and coherent ESG information.
After the university’s initial victory in 2017, this is the second time a team from Nebraska-Lincoln has won the AICC challenge, with this year’s winning contestants including team members Morgan Wallinger, Cole Frye, Bruno Weiss Salles, Alvan Tran and Alex Nguyen. More than 60 teams participated from around the country to participate in the challenge, starting last fall. Twelve teams then made it to the national competition, held at Deloitte University in Westlake, Texas.
“I’m incredibly proud of the team for their hard work, putting in nearly 400 hours since October,” said Debra Cosgrove, accounting professor and faculty advisor for the Nebraska-Lincoln team, in a press release. “Their idea went through several iterations, and through it all they learned a lot about ESG and the varied opportunities an accounting career can present. I can’t wait to see what they accomplish in the future!”