Niagara College Accounting students win silver at CGA Ontario Case Competition


Accounting students (from left) Christopher Ohlhoff, William Nathan Hildebrandt and Stephanie Martino stand with Accounting professor Barrie Tober after winning silver at the 2014 CGA Ontario Case Competition.

Three second-year Accounting students were counted among the best in Ontario when they captured silver at the 2014 CGA Ontario Case Competition.

Hosted by the Certified General Accountants of Ontario and George Brown College, the competition was an opportunity for students to test their financial problem-solving skills in a timed and judged case study against teams from other colleges across the province.

Niagara College students Christopher Ohlhoff (Smithville), William Nathan Hildebrandt (Welland), and Stephanie Martino (St. Catharines), will each receive a $1,000 scholarship towards the CGA program of professional studies for their achievement.

Competing in teams of three at the March 22, 2014 event, the students were given a case that was written specifically for the competition and given two hours to read, analyze, prepare and practice a presentation on their recommendations before presenting their analyses to a panel of judges from the accounting industry. The top five teams then  presented their case again to an audience consisting of all other teams, all faculty coaches, and a new panel of judges.

“The opportunity to compete in a competition where we were able to apply the knowledge the college has provided us to a real-world situation was invaluable, both academically and to our future professional lives. The experience of the competition provided us with the ability to network, and to experience what it would be like to work with a deadline in a business setting,” said Ohlhoff on behalf of the three-student team. “We feel honoured to have been able to participate in such an outstanding program, and to work closely with the faculty in preparation for the event.”

Accounting professor and coordinator Barrie Tober noted the students have been training for the event since December 2013. They were very diligent in their training and were very receptive to faculty comments and suggestions on ways to improve.

“I am always encouraged and inspired when I work with students who choose to go above and beyond their regular studies,” she said.

She also pointed out that the NC students who competed are all in their second year while many other participants were third-year students who were returning to the competition for the second time.

“The students benefited from the experience of preparing case analysis which doesn’t enter our curriculum until the third year. They also developed and honed their presentation skills on a weekly basis,” said Tober.

Tober views the competition as significant because many accounting students may not appreciate the importance of analysis and presentation skills in the industry.

“This competition allows me to remind them yearly of how critical these skills are in the accounting industry,” she said.


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