The members of the winning team from the UA Eller College of Management: Ryan Mendoza, Andrew Finsterwald, Derick Haboush and Spencer Shugrue.
The members of the winning team from the UA Eller College of Management: Ryan Mendoza, Andrew Finsterwald, Derick Haboush and Spencer Shugrue.

UA Eller College Team Wins National PricewaterhouseCoopers Competition

It's the second year in a row that the UA has made it to the finals. This year, the team took the top prize.
Jan. 8, 2014
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The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona is internationally recognized for pioneering research, innovative curriculum, distinguished faculty, excellence in management information systems, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility.U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller undergraduate program #12 among public business schools and two of its programs are among the top 20 – Entrepreneurship and MIS. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller MBA Full-Time program #44 in the U.S. The College leads the nation’s business schools in generating grant funds for research. In addition to a Full-Time MBA program, the Eller College offers an Evening MBA program, the Eller Executive MBA and the Online MBA. The Eller College of Management supports more than 5,000 undergraduate and 600 graduate students on the UA campus in Tucson.

Undergraduate accounting students at the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management won first place in the national PricewaterhouseCoopers Accounting case competition.

It was the second year in a row that a UA team participated in the final competition.

The Eller students – Drew Finsterwald, Spencer Shugrue, Derek Haboush and Ryan Mendoza – squared off in New York on Jan. 2-3 against teams from the University of Illinois, the University of Washington, Villanova University and Wake Forest University.

The UA team was awarded $10,000, plus an additional $10,000 to allocate to, an online charity that supports public school teachers and their students.

Shugrue, who is studying accounting and management information systems, participated in the competition last year as well. He said that gave his team an edge.

"I learned a lot from the experience and knew what the judges would be expecting," Shugrue said. "What really set us apart, though, was our ability to think outside the box and go beyond the recommendations that were given to us."

Shugrue said the competition has been the highlight of his Eller experience so far. Joe Fonte, the team's faculty adviser and a UA adjunct lecturer of accounting, assisted the team in its win.

"What we accomplished is something you dream about," Shugrue said.

"This whole competition was voluntary, so when you work hard and see this type of result, it feels pretty good. Our whole team appreciates everything Eller does," he said. "We know this would not have been possible without the great faculty working within Eller."

More than 2,200 students from 43 colleges and universities participated in the annual PricewaterhouseCoopers Accounting case competition.

In addition to providing an opportunity to test presentation skills in a real-world setting, the competition offers the chance to learn more about high-level accounting policy issues and compete for cash prizes at the local and national levels.

"We're proud of Drew, Spencer, Derek and Ryan," said Len Jessup, dean of the Eller College of Management. "Eller Wildcats are indeed the very best in the country, whether on the sports field or court, or in the classroom or boardroom."