Down to business

Business Club fall case competition begins Sept. 22


Kathryn Wenske, Editor-in-Chief

Students who are aspiring entrepreneurs or simply interested in business and want to know how to start their own now have the opportunity at Schoolcraft to learn the ins and outs of creating one.  

The Business Club alongside the collaboration of  Accounting professor and member of the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants (MIACPA) Michelle Randall, is hosting the Financial Accounting Team Case Competition this fall.

This is a six-week competition with a total of 10 teams of three students each. The objective of the competition is that students will complete a business case adapted from the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICP) Arctic Blast Ice Cream Store and will be working with a wide variety of mentors from different firms and backgrounds; CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and manager of ShindelRock Amanda Sayn, CPA and accounting professor at Schoolcraft Susan E. Schmidt, CPA at UHY Firm Alex DiBartolomeo, accounting professor at Michigan State Kathy Petroni, Calvin Choi and Entjola Biba from the Michigan Association of CPAs (MICPA) and Emerging Leader’s Group, president of Schoolcraft Dr. Glenn Cerny, Red Farm’s USA and Canada Operations CEO Carlos Visconti and retired mergers and acquisition attorney Teresa Carrol. 

The only requirement for students to join is that at least one member from each team must have completed one accounting course. Students must also check in with their mentor at least twice during the six weeks via email, virtual or in-person meetings, call, etc.  

In terms of rewards, the top three teams will receive scholarships funded by the Schoolcraft College Foundation. Each member in first place will receive $500, each member from second place will receive $200 and each member from third place will receive $100. 

 The kick-off meeting is on Sept. 22 from 5- 6:30 pm in the VisTaTech Center, VT425, with periodic due dates set by the case coordinator and at the end, teams will prepare their cases in a short presentation to a panel of judges including Schoolcraft business professor Susan Ontko, owner and CEO of Elavate Corporate Advisors George Salluom, on Nov. 10 from 6 – 8 p.m. There will be featured guest speakers, such as CEO Visconti, sharing their experiences of running a business. 

 Students working together with a mentor will be learning the dynamics of a group process, the ability to journalize and post accounting events and write a report that supports the decisions made during the case, execute basic evaluations of operations, prepare basic financial statements and complete the adjustment process at the end of each period. Students will be demonstrating the accounting cycle; developing appropriate financial statements, record operating events in a journal format, assemble end-of-the-period adjusting entries and posting events to the appropriate ledgers. 

The case students will be developing is designed to give them experience and exposure. The competition is a small-scale simulation of the complexities of running a business, including the considerations that must be made. These considerations include initial borrowing, salaries, location, product pricing and the product line itself. 

“I think it’s going to expose people, students specifically, to what it means when they say ‘I wanna be in business.’ So it’s going to give them a simulation [and] give some exposure to the complexities of running a business,”  said Randall. 

As to how the case competition started, the concept was sparked from a conference that Randall attended with Executive Director of Development and The Schoolcraft Foundation Dawn Margretta. After some conversation regarding ideas on what would benefit students, Margretta suggested a case competition. Having never done one before, Randall jumped on the idea, did some research and adapted the competition from other colleges’ case competitions.

“I am involved with the Michigan Association of CPA’s and we are constantly talking about the skill sets that students need and how can we make engaging content, how can we get people attracted to the profession, and how can we explain how important the role of accounting is in any business operation,” said Randall. “So, long story short we start talking about this.”

Then, considerations needed to be made as to how to get students involved. 

Randall reached out to Director of Student Activities Todd Stowell and the Business Club. Eduardo Herrera-Perez, President of the Business Club, accepted and worked with Randall to create and produce this competition. 

Students who are interested are all welcome. With the involvement of a wide spectrum of CPA firms and professionals, both Herrera and Randall are very enthusiastic and excited for this project they have created. This is the first accounting case competition that Schoolcraft has done. 

For more information and to register for the competition, contact the Student Activities Office at 734-462-4422 or Herrera at [email protected]