Tag: accounting

SMP team

Professional Communication Forum Winning Team

The Professional Communication Forum taught by Professors Mark McLaren and Sally Michaels to Master of Accounting (MACC) students culminated Friday, April 22, with four of twelve student teams advancing to the final round.

The panel of judges was comprised of Olin corporate friends from Deloitte, Ernst & Young, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Congratulations to the winning team for best overall presentation: Yueying Minjun (Vicky) Chen; Gabe Leiter; Yueying (Maggie) Wu; and Yanyang (Kent) Wang. Great job!

After being officially installed just under a year ago, members of Olin’s Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) executive committee attended the Missouri Valley Regional Conference in Omaha, Nebraska, April 1-2. Professor David B. Pearson (Chapter Co-Faculty Advisor), Gina Choi (VP of Professional Events), Lin Lui (VP of External Relations), and Casey Wagenaar (President) represented Olin and were sponsored by the Weston Career Center and the Specialized Masters Programs.

BAP-logorefresh-v6bThe Regional Conference began with keynote speaker Alexi Wellman, Vice President of Finance at Yahoo! who provided students with insights on the value of taking risks and creating opportunities for oneself. The three students and the faculty advisor had the opportunity to network with 157 students from 17 other colleges and universities and Professional Partners from several accounting and professional services firms.

Additionally, participants had the opportunity to attend a myriad of chapter and professional development sessions.  The chapter development sessions, which were student led, provided insights into how other chapters recruit and retain members, select meaningful service projects, and provide students with valuable professional experiences and meetings. The professional development sessions included a BAP alumni panel, personal branding sessions, ethics and fraud, first audit engagements, and many other opportunities.

Lastly, Gina Choi and Casey Wagenaar participated in Deloitte’s Best Practices Competition presenting on the Alignment of Officer Activities. This was the first regional meeting in which the chapter was eligible to compete, and the chapter looks forward to competing in the future.

Guest Blogger, Casey Wagenaar, MAAC & BSBA’17

WashU students and alumni who took the CPA exam in 2015 for the first time had the third highest passing rate (86.9 percent) among the 821 schools with 10 or more candidates. The only schools with higher passing rates were Wharton and the University of Georgia.

nasba_logoThe National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) recently released its annual statistical reports on the 2015 CPA Examination. The overall national passing rate for first-time candidates was 52.3 percent.

In 2014, WashU students and alumni had the 24th highest passing rate (77.9 percent) out of 776 schools, and in 2013 the 16th highest passing  rate (80.9 percent) out of 787 schools.

Congratulations to all!

The leak of the so-called “Panama Papers,” millions of documents exposing offshore accounts secretly held by politicians, public figures and businesses, rocked the global financial world this weekend.

According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the data reveals 12 current or former heads of state hiding massive amounts of wealth in countries with tax havens, with others, including lawmakers, their family members, celebrities and corporations also involved in the underground cash stash.

As those journalists work to process the data, apparently hacked from a Panama-based law firm, a faculty member at Washington University in St. Louis says the case offers proof of the difficulty of government economic intervention.

Rich Frankel

Rich Frankel

“The central issue is that the almost unilateral authority these leaders have to control economic activity creates a large incentive to engage in bribery,” said Richard Frankel, the Beverly and James Hance Professor of Accounting at Olin Business School.

“This authority can be reduced by laws that specify requirements before the fact (i.e., rule of law). Essentially, there is no incentive to bribe the umpire if he has little discretion and his judgments can be evaluated by a clear standard,” Frankel said.

[RELATED: Frankel speaks with International Business Times about why more Americans aren’t in the Panama Papers]

Frankel said the apparent scope of the case illustrates the need for increased vigilance when it comes to government involvement in financial and economic matters.

“The authority of individuals can also be reduced by requiring due process involving separate authoritative bodies, when judgment is required. This is why we separate legislation, enforcement and adjudication; however, this process can also be undermined. Finally, and most importantly, the scope of officials to intervene in economic activity should be limited to where it is absolutely necessary. Some intervention is no doubt necessary, but wisdom suggests that it is inextricably linked to corruption. In short, corruption is a cost of economic intervention by government,” Frankel said.

Image: The International Consortium of International Journalists

Professor Jared Jennings takes questions after presenting his research.

Professor Jared Jennings takes questions after presenting his research.

Assistant Professor of Accounting Jared Jennings presented research focusing on management forecasting in debt contract negotiations to a corporate audience as part of Olin’s Business Research Series, Jan. 27 in Bauer Hall.

Previous research in this area has focused on the monitoring role of historical information in debt contracting. Jennings’ research focuses on the use of information obtained during the screening process prior to a loan contract’s inception. The researchers analyzed management forecasts and their accuracy to measure the borrower’s ability to anticipate and respond to future economic conditions.

The researchers found that there was an almost 12% reduction in the initial debt contract spread between borrowers with the least and most accurate management forecasts.

Don Dent, Dick Mahoney and Jared Jennings discuss his research after the presentation.

Don Dent, Dick Mahoney and Jared Jennings discuss his research after the presentation.

Olin’s Business Research Series, features recent faculty research including annual winners of the Olin Award. Faculty presentations throughout the year and executive summaries published on the Olin website aim to translate noted academic papers into nuggets of valuable information that managers can apply in today’s competitive global marketplace.

Jenning’s presentation included research published in his paper, “Are better forecasters better borrowers? Management forecast accuracy and the cost of debt.”  The paper was a top contender in the  2015 Olin Award competition that honors research that impacts business.

Contact and learn more about Professor Jennings here.

The Olin Award and Business Research Series are sponsored by Richard J. Mahoney, Olin Distinguished Executive in Residence and former chairman and CEO of Monsanto.
Link to Olin faculty research here.

Lauren Tomlinson, CPA, BSBA’01 & MAAC’01, was recently admitted to the Partnership at national accounting firm EisnerAmper LLP. She recounts her experiences in this interview about her path to becoming a partner.

Lauren Tomlinson’s dad is a CPA so you might imagine her path was set from the start…you’d be wrong. “I was resistant!” she said, “Sure, I was good at numbers but really, anything but accounting.”

But aptitude did lead her to major in business and accounting became more than just an exercise with figures, it became a pathway to a career. “Accounting as a major was to me more than a degree upon graduation, it was my entrance into a profession,” she relates.

Tomlinson_LaurenLauren graduated with her masters degree in 2002, and had her sights set on New York City. “That’s where I wanted to get started and I joined a middle market firm called Eisner LLP. In 2002, I was a Staff 1 (entry-level staff accountant), and I was introduced to the world of audit.” Lauren is still with Eisner, now EisnerAmper, which is one of the nation’s largest accounting tax and advisory firms with some 1200 employees.

Joining the audit staff was a key event in Lauren’s professional life, as she recounts, “Financial statement audits require a broad based knowledge of different businesses which is perfect for someone with my curiosity to learn how companies work.” It also calls for site work and travel – both appealing to a young accountant. “Auditors must be social people, willing and able to interact with clients. The most important skills I learned early on as an auditor were communication and team work, which has remained true throughout my career.”

By 2006 Lauren had been promoted twice and was now a Manager. Her experience included assignments with financial services firms (hedge funds, private equity funds and broker-dealers) and commercial companies and exposed her to auditing public companies. “In just a few short years I learned so much from a technical perspective. As I continued to work with the partners, I began to see the importance of client relationships and how our firm’s leadership developed new business and set goals.”

It was around this time that Lauren was introduced to the world of sports and entertainment audit. “This was so exciting as an avid sports fan. Eisner was starting an important practice in sports and entertainment and I wanted to be part of it. I received a lot of encouragement from the partners that I worked with.” Beginning in 2008 Lauren began work on an audit engagement of Major League Soccer, which was one of the firm’s first significant sport clients.

alumni in the news3It was not long before she was asked to join the newest client team tasked with auditing all 30 National Basketball Association teams in accordance with their revenue sharing plan. By all accounts, this assignment was and remains a whirlwind of activity. By 2009 Lauren was promoted to Senior Manager and was managing the NBA engagement with oversight over the audits of all 30 teams. “This has been by far the largest, most visible assignment of my career. I was now leading an audit team, working with league officials, team management and executives as well as a partner group that encouraged and supported me.”

It was clear that Lauren was more than on her way at EisnerAmper, but she also realized that firm building activities were an important part of her own development as a leader. “I was interested in community involvement and around 2009 I joined the board of the YM/YWHA in Washington Heights. Naturally enough, I became the group’s treasurer and became the chairperson of its audit committee!” This gave her a taste of volunteering and set in motion a volunteer initiative at work that became EisnerAmper Cares. “What I saw was a need and an opportunity. There were many young professionals like me at work who were looking for ways to become active with charities and volunteer. I brought my idea to the partnership at EisnerAmper and soon enough we had a budget and a blue print to start working with five organizations donating our time and skills helping them serve their constituents. Five soon became eight and today we work with more than 15 charities in New York City alone. I’m very proud of the success of EisnerAmper Cares, and am really pleased that it has spread to our offices in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, San Francisco and Long Island. Lauren’s efforts on behalf of the firm also extend to the recruiting field. She’s been active with on-campus recruiting at Washington University since 2003 where internships, externships and full-time positions at EisnerAmper have been filled with Olin students.

Lauren was informed that the EisnerAmper partnership had voted to admit her in October of 2015. “It was a wonderful feeling of accomplishment”, she said. “To be on track to become a partner was my goal for many years and to reach that goal is a moment I’ll never forget.” What were her lessons learned moving along the path to partner? “Dedication, first and foremost. I was single-minded about achieving this goal.” What else? “I love the culture and the environment at EisnerAmper. I’ve made it my professional home. I sought and was given increased levels of responsibility, I received amazing mentoring but it was up to me to perform…to succeed.” Her advice to Olin students? “Be well rounded! Be good at many things as these skills will be called upon. Care about your clients. Care about your teammates, stay visible, and communicate up and down the line. Maybe most importantly, make your firm the best it can be by being the best you can be.”

Guest Blogger: Jaclyn Greco, Marketing Manager, EisnerAmper LLP. Thanks to Karen Heise in the WCC for coordinating this blog post.

Image credit: calculator