This past Nov., two teams of students from West Chester University’s accounting and finance departments took first and second place at the annual statewide Business Plan Challenge in Philadelphia. The Business Plan Challenge was sponsored by the PA Institute of Certified Public Accountants, also known as the PICPA. The PICPA is a professional association that was founded in 1897, and includes more then 19,000 certified professionals who work in areas such as public accounting, industry, government, and education.
Twenty-three teams in all competed in the challenge, but only five competed in the final round on Nov. 15, 2003. West Chester took home both first and second places to win a grand total of $2,250. LaSalle won the third place prize of $500 and Slippery Rock received the honorable mention prize of $200. LaSalle also received an additional award of $100 for having the most disciplines represented.
Brian Gentile, Accounting; Lisa Montgomery, Accounting/Finance; and Daniel Krewson, Finance, made up West Chester’s first place team that took home $1,500. West Chester’s second place team, taking home $750, was comprised of Melissa Blair, Judy Cummins, Megan Brennen, and Chris Peoples, all Accounting majors. Dr. Clyde Galbraith, chair of West Chester’s Accounting department, joined these students at the competition.
The competition consisted of two phases. For phase one of the competition, each team was asked to present a pre-written business plan to a panel of judges. The plans were to be written for an imaginary trucking company. This company was to be in need of accounting, finance, information technology, and marketing services. In phase two, the final round, students were given a plan adjustment by the judges and had four hours to rework their financial plans and develop new strategies.
The judges for this competition consisted of a panel of certified public accountants also know as CPA’s. All of the judges had experience in helping small businesses conquer daily business challenges.
The Business Plan Challenge tests college and university students to come up with team-developed plans for imaginary businesses. The challenge gives students an opportunity to sharpen their teamwork skills. It also prepares them for the working world.
West Chester broke Westminster College’s reign on the challenge. Westminster College had won the challenge in 2002-2003 and in 2001-2002. West Chester took fifth place, however, in the 2002-2003 competition.
This past Business Plan Challenge marked its 13 annual year. It was held in the PICPA’s headquarters in Philadelphia. For more information on the results of this Business Plan Challenge, or to check out information concerning upcoming Business
Plan Challenges, visit PICPA’s student resource Web site at www.CPAzone.org.