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College places first in statewide competition

Ashley Charnley | Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ten days, 83 pages and one case study later, Saint Mary’s students took first place at the Indiana Certified Public Accounting Society’s (INCPAS) 2010 collegiate contest in

Indianapolis earlier this month.

The team was given a scenario about a struggling accounting firm and wrote a report on how to deal with the issue. The team was comprised of juniors Allison Courtney and Maggie DePaola, seniors Betsy Reed and Maureen Temchuk and faculty advisor Mary Ann Merryman, chair of the Business Administration and Economics department.

The Saint Mary’s team competed against 12 others from Indiana to win the contest, which was held Nov. 19.

The group had to put together a 50-page report and 30 pages of appendices in the 10-day time frame, Courtney said. Then, the top six reports were chosen to present in Indianapolis. From those six, the Saint Mary’s team took first.

“It was just such a nice feeling that all our hard work paid off,” Courtney said. “It was amazing.”

According to the INCPAS website, Valparaiso University placed second and the University of Southern Indiana placed third. The remaining three, Butler University, Indiana University and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, were given honorable mentions.

Each student on the Saint Mary’s team was awarded $1,000 for winning the competition, the website said.

Merryman has taken five teams to the finals of the INCPAS contest, which began in 2000, and placed as high as third in the past. This is the first time Saint Mary’s has won the entire competition, according to the College’s press release.

“Students graduate, so the one constant is a faculty member with an ongoing commitment to make sure that a college or university organizes and coaches a team to compete,” Merryman said in the release.

According to Courtney, INCPAS invites every college in Indiana and Saint Mary’s has participated in the competition for several years.

She said winning the competition was “surreal” for multiple reasons.

“One, Saint Mary’s had never placed first in the competition before and two, we were probably the smallest school represented at the competition,” Courtney said.

For next year’s competition, the Saint Mary’s team will again be comprised of two juniors and two seniors. Courtney said it is set up this way so she and DePaola will be more prepared.

“I will take away the experience I have gained this year to compete again in the competition next year,” DePaola said.