Dec 4 • 2 min read

PICPA Student Writing CompetitionThree students from Temple University’s Fox School of Business Department of Accounting recently swept the competition at the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants 2017 Student Writing Competition by winning all three awards and their prizes offered — first place ($3,000), second place ($1,800), and third place ($1,200).

The annual writing competition, open to accounting and business majors attending Pennsylvania colleges and universities and Pennsylvania residents who attend college out of state, was developed to encourage business-savvy students to research and write about significant issues affecting the business environment.

The topic for this year’s competition was: Should the engagement partner be named in an audit report? Participants were to present his or her opinion regarding the recent approval from the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) on the PCAOB’s rules requiring disclosure of the engagement partner for audits of public companies and highlight whether he or she believed naming the engagement partner will have any effect on audit quality.

Of the 131 submissions from students representing 32 colleges and universities in Pennsylvania, three students of the Fox School’s Master of Accountancy (MAcc) students submitted the winning papers. Writing papers on the topic of this year’s competition was a requirement for Fox undergraduate auditing students as part of the program’s writing-intensive auditing course in Spring 2017.

Melissa Cameron, MAcc Class of 2017–2018, took home the top prize with a well-researched opinion concluding: “Engagement partner disclosure should be (as it is now) mandatory.” Mariya Chernaya, MAcc ’17, and Leah Pillsbury, MAcc Class of 2018, won second and third place, respectively.

“The Department of Accounting is proud of our students for this impressive accomplishment,” said Sheri Risler, director of the Fox School MAcc program and professor of accounting practice. “Our students winning all three awards speaks to the quality of our students and the excellence of the program’s curriculum.”

Get to know the winners below and explore their opinions and the reasons behind them in their respective papers, linked in their names below.

First-place submission: Melissa Cameron, MAcc Class of 2018
Second-place submission: Mariya Chernaya, MAcc ’17
Third-place submission: Leah Pillsbury, MAcc Class of 2018