Ashland University team emerges as finalist in Ethics Case Competition

AU Ethics Case Competition team members (from left) Victoria Baker, Tristan Reichelderfer and Emily Mark with Taylor Randles, professional instructor of accounting.

03/06/2020 ASHLAND, Ohio – A team of Ashland University students emerged as a finalist at the recent Intercollegiate Ethics Case Competition, sponsored by the Institute of Internal Auditors.

Emily Mark, Victoria Baker and Tristan Reichelderfer attended the competition at Cleveland State University, in which collegiate teams were charged coming up with analyses and recommendations related to illegal hiring, data theft and cheating at Big 4 accounting giant KPMG. The overriding question was “Is the damage to KPMG’s reputation and the impact on the profession even more costly?”

The AU team made it to the final round of this competition, which ultimately was won by a graduate student team from Kent State University.

"This was our first time competing in an accounting-related case study competition and we did so among schools that have not only competed in the past, but have courses designated to prepare for these competitions,” said Taylor Randles, professional instructor of accounting. “Emily, Victoria and Tristan had no prior experience and did not receive credit for this competition. This shows just how dedicated these three students are to bettering themselves academically and for their future careers. These students now have more confidence in presenting and trusting how they would respond to an ethical dilemma, which is important in this industry."

The Securities and Exchange Commission last year fined KPMG $50 million after finding the firm’s audit partners stole confidential information from rogue Public Company Accounting Oversite Board employees in order to better the firm’s audit inspection scores and that its auditors at all levels had cheated on internal online training exams by illegally sharing answers with colleagues and manipulating test results.

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.eduvalues the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.###