Haslam Teams Sweep SEC Tax Case Competition Finals

February 15, 2018

Student groups from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business recently won both first and third place at the second annual SEC Tax Case Competition at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. They were joined by Chuck Sharrett, a student at UT’s College of Law.

The teams, from Haslam’s Master of Accountancy program, participated in a case challenge to determine tax treatments for hypothetical stock transactions. They used sections of the tax code pertaining to small business stock to reduce income tax expenses.

Tucker McLain, Abbey Rozanski and Chuck Sharrett won $2,400 for first place.

“For me, the best part of this experience was meeting accounting students and faculty from other SEC schools,” said Abbey Rozanski. “We will be able to use the skills we developed through this competition when we go into our respective fields.”

Rozanski added that Chuck Sharrett, from UT Law, was instrumental in helping the team win. “Chuck really brought a different outlook on the case,” she said.

Alice Begovich, Tori Conklin and Deanna McAllister secured third place in the competition, winning $900. McAllister said the teams were given three weeks to prepare for the competition.

“As we researched, we realized the issues were intricate,” she said. “It was a challenge to deliver the best solution. I was pushed out of my comfort zone. I really enjoyed seeing myself and my teammates improve from when we started the project to presenting in the final round.”

Terry Neal, department head of Accounting and Information Management and Richard L. Townsend Distinguished Professor, pointed out the teams succeeded as part of a concerted effort to support Haslam students’ professional ambitions.

“Having our students finish first and third out of 20 teams from across the SEC is a tremendous accomplishment, and it reflects very favorably on the quality of our students,” Neal said. “Their willingness and ability to find time in their already busy academic schedules to prepare and present these award-winning presentations demonstrates the ability of Haslam students to deliver results in real-world scenarios.”

LeAnn Luna, professor of accounting, served as faculty advisor to the teams.

“The annual SEC Tax Case Competition is a highly competitive event, and so placing first is a tremendous accomplishment for our students,” Luna said. “Our students beat teams representing 12 SEC schools. We’re proud of them for preparing with such diligence and bringing their absolute best to the competition.”

In addition to the two team awards, Deanna McAllister was named Best Presenter and won $500. Both winning teams were honored for their presentation materials with an additional $500 award.