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Point Park University Rowland School of Business accounting students Allison Brown '24, Ben Rivera '21, Dontae Robinson, Sarah Sailer '21 and Darin Vilano from Professor Richard Neish's auditing class placed second in the Pittsburgh Institute of Internal Auditors and Pennsylvania Institute for Certified Public Accountants' 2021 Internal Audit Case Competition, held virtually on Nov. 4. With 13 teams in the competition, Point Park's team was one of six finalists selected to present their case and demonstrate their knowledge of accounting and auditing to representatives of the Pittsburgh accounting and auditing community, including academic professors and professionals from PNC Bank and Schneider Downs.

"I learned a great deal about internal auditing," said Vilano, a Martins Ferry High School alumnus and student in the post-baccalaureate accounting program. "I thought I had an idea of what auditing entailed before taking the course, but I have a much deeper appreciation of it now. It is a very regimented discipline, and it's full of procedures and processes. There is a science to auditing, and there is an art, too, because much of it is subjective."

Students were judged on whether they analyzed the facts properly and drew proper conclusions and appropriate recommendations. In addition to researching and studying auditing, students had to educate themselves on South African laws, as the company featured in the case was located abroad. 

"We did a lot of research regarding accounting standards," said Robinson, a City Charter High School alumnus. "I specifically researched a lot of internal controls that companies commonly have in order to avoid the difficulties the competition company was facing."

Rivera, a Del Rio High School alumnus from Texas, credited various accounting courses for helping the team succeed.

"Auditing, Intermediate Accounting II, Intermediate Accounting III and Advanced Accounting each taught me material that was crucial to tackling this competition," he said. "Big shout-outs to Professor Neish, Margaret Gilfillan, Cheryl Clark and Jayne Olshanski for being awesome teachers." 

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